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Why Live Chat Is Extremely Important For Hybrid Events

I'm the owner and founder of PIT Designs. I love creating digital presence and creative digital solutions for our clients.

Posted 4 months ago on August 12th, 2022.

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Hybrid events are growing into the household model for holding conferences, meetings, and other occasions. This approach is set to expand in the future, given the strengths and opportunities of online events. 

However, planning and hosting hybrid events are anything but easy tasks. Hosts need ways to make these events appealing, attractive, and engaging to their audiences. What Are Hybrid Events?

Precisely, hybrid events allow virtual and physical attendees and connect and engage through interactive software. They incorporate the strengths of traditional event organization and online meetings to enable all attendees to benefit from the occasion.

Hybrid events started as early as 2012, but the pandemic of 2020 sped up their inception. At first, meetings went mute, and the arenas dried. However, after a few months, all in-person events migrated online. 

The internet offered an excellent venue for them. People adopted a way to converge, learn, share ideas, and discuss important matters using their computers, desktops, or mobile phones. As the pandemic cooled down and the no-crowd rule loosened, the arenas started flowing with guests again. 

However, the world has tasted the beauty and strengths of an online venue, and the idea will probably not die completely. 

Due to the rising popularity of hybrid events, hosts and other stakeholders have been coming up with creative ways to run the events and enhance attendee experiences. 

For example, hybrid events can be enhanced with augmented reality (AR) technology. A bright example is the Pot Noodle Virtual Careers Fair. 

The original physical fair was canceled due to the pandemic public health restrictions and replaced with an immersive AR experience that guests could reach by pointing their smartphones at outdoor space."

What's the Difference Between Live Streaming and Hybrid Events?

It may sound unclear, but there's a big difference between live streaming and a hybrid event. Live streaming allows you to follow the proceedings of an event, but you get no chance to interact with the moderators, physical guests, or hosts. On the other hand, a hybrid event uses technology to enable the virtual audience to interact with those physically present at the venue. Here are some examples of hybrid events.

  • Big Sports Events where physical fans attend the venue and watch the games live, but virtual enthusiasts can still follow and share their thoughts through broadcasts.
  • Product descriptions, meetings, and corporate conferences where physical and virtual guests can interact and share thoughts on the discussions.
  • Online company events where speakers can hold meetings with employees and discuss different aspects of the corporation and business.
  • Television shows where viewers can interact, vote, and share their thoughts with hosts and guests.

Role of Live Chat in Hybrid Events

While hybrid events come with different benefits, they also have shortcomings. For instance, keeping a virtual audience attentive to the proceedings of an event isn't easy. As a result, hosts need to find a way to continuously engage audiences and constantly draw their attention from the distractions around them. 

Live chat comes in handy to help keep your virtual audience engaged and make them feel part of the discussion. Here are some ways live chat can help make a hybrid event a success.

1. Boosts Engagement

The main difference between a hybrid event and live streaming is attendees' physical and virtual ability to engage in different topics under discussion. Again, fully engaging the virtual audience will help maintain the audience's attention for longer. It will also limit the rate at which people leave the meeting halfway. After all, given that they can go without raising eyebrows, virtual guests often quit meetings earlier compared to physical attendees.

2. Increases Returns on Investments (ROI)

Keeping your audience intact until the end of the event increases the rate of all your guests getting to your call-to-action and taking positive action. Again, an online event means more people from different world regions, various tiers of the professional ladder, and varying experiences can attend and share their ideas.

A live chat allows every guest and attendee to air his or her views, ask questions, think through problems, and offer a more diverse approach and solution. The ideas you collect from an international perspective can lead to a positive impact on your business. 

Similarly, most live chat software is sustainable, and you can reuse them several times at different events. 

3. Encourages Interaction

The virtual guests and physical attendees may have many questions to ask, need specific clarifications, and have an urge to interact with those at the event. Offering live chat services gives your audiences a better way to ask their questions to the whole panel, leave their feedback, and find clarification instantly as the event proceeds.

However, hosts need to come up with a way to make the discussions accessible to every attendee. You may designate one of your staff members to relay your virtual guests' inputs to the panelists or opt for audience engagement tools that support use by both live and real guests. Another great tip to use is to embed live chat into the stage screen, so everyone (live and virtual) can read the messages and participate. Incorporating a chatbot UX design into a hybrid event planning is one of the best ways to reap the benefits of these developments and yet another way to encourage interaction. 

4. Inspires Teamwork During Workshops

Monopolizing your event can be a significant turn-off to your guests and limit their engagement. Thus, you may want to incorporate live chat into your sessions to attract more discussion from your audiences and keep the conversation heated.

Limit how many presentations, talk sessions, and discussions come directly from you or your panelist by dividing the attendees into different groups. Give them various topics to discuss and let them share their findings and thoughts via live chat.

That allows them to learn and be more engaged and makes the workshop more interesting. While you may have to kick off the conversations, let your audience drive the discussion and stir it up till the end.

5. Live Chat Is Easy To Access

Live chat is available to all audiences around the world. As a result, using it in your hybrid event opens the discussion to different people from varying cultures and makes it easy to exchange diverse ideas. That helps in marketing your brand to a broader market and allows your physical and virtual guests to learn new ideas and develop new perspectives.

Everyone is in it to benefit. As a result, you'll get more return viewers and attendees every time you hold such events and also referrals from friends who profited from the events.

Live Chat Is Extremely Important For Hybrid Events

Everyone loves a place where they feel more welcomed, valued, and their views respected. Again, a hybrid event can be dull to online guests if they can't air their ideas, ask questions, or seek clarification.

As a result, it's beneficial in every aspect to keep your audience engaged and make the event as lively and entertaining as possible. Live chat is an excellent way to build confidence and engagement from your audience.