Worksup LIVE series: Hybrid conferences, Challenges & Solutions

Worksup LIVE series: Hybrid conferences - Challenges & Solutions

Worksup LIVE

On 9th September, Worksup platform organized the first virtual event from the Worksup LIVE series, about hybrid conferences, challenges & solutions.
Worksup LIVE is a virtual event series hosted by the platform, covering different important topics about virtual events every month. 

The recording of the event is available here in Estonian:
worksup.com/live

Speakers

The speakers were Kadri Karu, the Managing Director of the Estonian Convention Bureau (ECB), Endrik Randoja, the Managing Director of Confent and Hedi Krönström, the sales and client support manager of Worksup. 

Key Take-aways from Worksup LIVE series: Hybrid conferences, Challenges & Solutions

Kadri Karu, introduced the restrictions during the Autumn season for conferences. She explained how big events have adjusted to the new regulations. Karu agreed that the daily life of organizers are much more complicated. They now need to plan three different formats, live, virtual and hybrid versions of events at the same time to be ready for possible changes.

“It is important to be ready for changes and offer the audience a flexible way to participate. Supportive and correct partners are a big help.”

Karu also mentioned the different publications compiled by ECB, like the guide for safe events. She brought out different examples how organizers have communicated the restrictions and safety instructions.


Endrik Randoja’s presentation focused on the differences of hybrid format and the biggest challenges and lessons learned. He also emphasized the increasing influence the hybrid format is having in the event industry.

“The pandemic will pass, but hybrid format, meaning a conference with a virtual twin, will not disappear. It is a great chance to keep a human touch for the event, while increasing the reach of the target group and using the flexible functions of virtual platforms.”

Hedi Krönström, introduced different solutions how Worksup platform supports the hybrid format of conferences. She explained how Worksup functionalities help to engage participants simultaneously with solutions both onsite and online.

“We cannot say that either of the participants onsite or online have more impact during the event. When the online solutions are well incorporated to both formats, the participants can have an equally engaging experience.”

Worksup platform

Worksup is a live-, hybrid and virtual event platform that was founded by Estonian conference organizers in 2018. Since then, the platform has held more than 1000 events. More than 600 have been in virtual and hybrid formats since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic. Worksup platform allows to hold virtual meetings and live broadcasts. The most popular features include Q&A, polls and different solutions for enhancing networking and communication. Such as AI interest matchmaking between the participants and chat. In addition there are virtual solutions for expo and sponsors. When leaving the event, the participants can bring virtual business cards from Worksup platform. 

For more information, book a free consultation through the button below.

How to increase virtual event attendance?

how to increase virtual event attendance

Sometimes you have the perfect idea, content and setting for your virtual event, but the audience does not feel engaged or does not even show up. It is difficult to onboard participants to an online event. And even when you succeed in attracting a desired crowd there is a big drop-out. So how to increase your virtual event attendance?

Here are 5 steps to keep in mind:

1. Set clear goals for your event and audience

Setting clear expectations about how to measure success in event attendance is the foundation of virtual events. Do you care about the fact that you have as many attendees as possible? Or do you care that those attendees are relevant and lead to possible sales or useful contacts. Define your goals of the event first and understand clearly who is the best audience for it. 

2. Understand your audience needs

After you have defined the goals and audience, make some research on your possible attendees. Now more than even, understanding when is the best time to organize an event for participants is highly important. Do they have kids who are doing distant learning? Are they busy business owners who have meetings booked all morning. Do they need breaks to go walk the dog? Do your research and keep in mind that the average participant needs some buffer time between sessions. The attention span in the home office is short and full of distractions. 

3. Make your virtual event simple

The more you complicate things already before the event, the less the chance your attendee will even show up. With so much going on, participants need something that is easy and relevant to consume. Don’t over-do with registration, functionalities or tracks, keep the communication and organization clear and simple. Minimize your own risks of technical mishaps with seamless broadcasting and clear interaction functionalities. Sometimes less is more.

4. Use correctly timed communication

Depending on how you reach your audience, via e-mail or on social media, make sure you update the participant timely before the event. Often the attendees just humanly forget they even signed up to attend somewhere. Which is why it is important to plan and automate your communication beforehand. On the same day or an hour before, the attendees need to be reminded where and when they have to be. 

5. Sharing is caring

And lastly, how to increase your virtual event attendance is by sharing. Encourage the attendees to share – share their thoughts before, during and after the event. Create buzz within the participants to build suspense. Allow networking during the event, allow them to give feedback. Make sure those who did not show up live, will get the content on-demand afterwards. This will not only make the attending more appealing, but also creates a good feeling and expectation for the next event. 

Worksup is a virtual and hybrid event platform, enabling clear and easy setup, simple user interface and expert advice. Book your first online consultation below.

5 Challenges for Virtual Events

5 challenges for virtual events

Now that we have done the drill of virtual events for a year, there is still a lot of uncertainty with new variants and possible restrictions. This uncertainty leads the reasoning of event managers to continue with virtual or hybrid events, rather than organize one onsite. However, even with organizing online for more than a year, many challenges still remain for 2022. With the following, we will examine more in detail the 5 main challenges for virtual events.

Lack of proper content strategy

The lack of proper content strategy is one of the biggest challenges for virtual events. With a short attention span and day-to-day distractions it is crucial to keep the strategy up to speed. To keep the participant engaged, the content has to fit with the daily plan of the attendee. Aim for shorter or categorized sessions, more television program narrative and easily digestible information. If you are already an experienced virtual event organizer, don’t forget to analyze your event data. Take a close look at the entries and exits, engagement rates and feedback to improve your strategy for next time. 

Lack of technical expertise and support

Many event managers are afraid that they or their customers and attendees will have issues with their level of technical skills to get the full event experience online. Managers have many technical details to keep in mind. Starting from choosing the platform, the streaming services and prepare for quick plan B if things go south. This is why it is important to choose the right platform and technical services. Keep in mind the skill levels of your attendees!

As always, the key here is to keep the event simplistic and bulletproof. Don’t over complicate the event and create more risks that you are not able to handle.
It is even more important to have the right partners who are able to give you the expert technical support you or your participants might be lacking. If the support system from your event platform is efficient, relevant and fast, the foundation of creating overall success is already in place. 

Lack of engagement

Even with so many possibilities to create more engagement, the challenge to get the participants engaging is still relevant today. More so after doing virtual events already for a year, the attendees are starting to experience online fatigue. Too many options or not purposeful functions create too much noise around the event. The focus should be on using the engagement tools based on the needs and interests of the participants. Features like live polls, Q&A and chats are becoming standard and can be used more purposefully within the content. To provide the similar experience of on-site events, it is important to enable live networking with peers. And don’t forget about connecting with the exhibitors and sponsors as well. 

Lack of understanding the return on investment

Many event organizers are facing difficulties in convincing their customers and partners to invest in online events. Understandably, hard times need hard measures. Not all companies are ready to put aside the money for events, when it is needed more elsewhere. The key here is to know the purpose of your event and communicate it well.

Clear goals and benefits will not only help to convince, but also get you forward in content strategy and marketing. Plan clear indications to measure the success of your event. For example, track audience growth, engagement, leads etc. and use the results to improve your next event. Sometimes a well organized event can be the only solution to boost the morale of your company, partners and audience. 

Lack of security awareness

The last of 5 challenges for virtual events is security. With everything moving online, the risks of breach or cyber attack are even higher than before. It is important to keep cyber security in mind. Especially, if your customer has high profile information they are sharing in their private online event. Moreover, the cyber hygiene standard should be covered from participants, to organizers, reaching all the way to your partners and platform providers. Make sure you check their security standards and keep in mind your own security processes during the event. Aim for solutions that provide different levels of security so that you are able to easily navigate between different needs of your clients. 

Worksup is a virtual and hybrid event platform, enabling clear and easy setup, simple user interface and expert advice. Book your first online consultation below.