Organising a hybrid event to learn more about hybrid events

Running a hybrid event takes a lot focus as well as some tech

Many of us learn best by doing, and at Lyyti, experimentation is at our core. When we saw that hybrid events were gaining a lot of traction, we wanted to organise one ourselves. The goal was to organise a hybrid event for prospects and customers to better understand this particular event type. The event was organised in collaboration with our good friends at Tapahtumallinen.

Even though we can organise events ourselves, we wanted to spar new ideas with our partner and come up with new elements that we could try out to make it worth our participants' time. We also noticed that we don't have all the necessary equipment or know-how to run a proper hybrid event, so having a partner on board felt like a natural choice.

Goals for our hybrid event

The goal for our event was to talk a bit about the future of events, how they might shape up, and have insightful discussions about the hybrid events themselves. We wanted to expand our knowledge with the audience and give them a bit of food for thought. Also, we had just launched certification for Event Success Management and wanted to boost its visibility and have as many people sign up as possible. Since we believe that Event Success Management is the way of the future, it suited our agenda nicely.

We aimed to have at least 30 people onsite and 100 people online, and we exceeded those numbers. With a combined number of over 300 registered people, we were pretty happy with the participation. In addition, we stated that we wanted to reach an Experience Value Score of 70 and have at least 70% of the participants to have signed up for the Event Success Management certificate. 

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Planning a hybrid event

The project started with a kickoff meeting with Tapahtumallinen, where we discussed the plan and goals for the event. We agreed that they would help us with the invitations, run the technical side of things, and create the event's timetable.

The agenda ended up having two parts: one keynote from our CEO Petri Hollmén about the state and future of events and how they will shape up in upcoming years. The second half was a discussion between Petri and Tapahtumallinen CEO Sanni Rostedt on what should be considered when planning a hybrid event and key learnings from this project. 

To break this up, we had a stretching break between the sessions followed by a bit longer break, where people could get some coffee and network. During the break, we hosted a discussion for the online audience of the event so that the gap wouldn't feel as long since most of them were attending from home.

Technical equipment of the event

The event was streamed with Demio, which allowed us to have excellent chat options and polls to help us gain insight from our audience. Onsite was handled with a simple "raise your hand" polls. During the event, the chat was visible for the onsite people to follow what was happening online. We used multiple cameras to create a high-quality experience for our online audience.

We hoped that the high production value would impress our participants and create that wow factor. Investing in technology might seem like a no-brainer for a technology company. Still, it also supports Lyyti's mission to help our customers organise events worth the participants' time. We certainly follow our own advice, and when creating events, we try to make them meaningful and worth the time investment.

Results of the event

After the event, we went through our EVS results, and sadly we fell a bit short of our target by scoring 60, which is in no way a bad result but not quite what we were aiming for. 

There were some connection issues for some of our participants, and hence they didn't give a high EVS number. However, the agenda and our break program gained a lot of positive feedback, and we felt that we were able to make a real impact on people. Speakers and the quality of sound and video gained a lot of praise, too. We were happy with the results and managed to get EVS answers from 41% of the audience, which is impressive.

Many were happy with the event but felt like it wasn't entirely a 5/5, so that dragged our score down. The majority of feedback was about our content. It was considered exciting, but it didn't please everybody. Some of the comments hoped for more concrete tips for running hybrid events or felt that we could have dived deeper into the future of possibilities. Other comments included technical issues when joining and the length of the break for online participants.

When it comes to our second objective, registrations to event success manager certification, we could get 22% to sign up and complete the certification. Even though we fell from our targets, we are very happy with the reception the certification got from the audience. In hindsight 70% might have been a bit exaggerated but you need to set your goals high if you want to go far!

We were delighted with our results and are looking forward to our following events. 

Continuous learning by committed improvement action

Following Event Success Management, you should always commit to a few improvements for your next event. We decided to focus more on creating detailed instructions on Demio's platform and how the participants will join. We will also provide a quick troubleshooting guide for possible error situations. When it comes to the agenda, we will try to dig even deeper into the actual hands-on tips and tricks and focus less on the trends and other "high-level" topics.

Follow us on social media to see our upcoming events, and if you wish to continue discussing hybrid events, or events in general, you can contact us anytime!

Recording of our event can be found here (in Finnish).

Next, read our blog, "Practical tips to planning a hybrid event," inspired by this event.