Marketing For Hybrid Events

Best Practices

Koy Tayler, BCMA Digital Strategy Coordinator

It’s clear that hybrid events will remain an important part of education and resource-sharing in the cultural heritage sector. As with any event planning, marketing is a key component to the planning and overall success of hybrid events.

Both in-person and virtual attendees expect something unique and exciting that is designed to provide a similar level of experience. The following points will help you clearly define your hybrid event, create community, and retain audiences for future sessions.

Need support planning your hybrid event or suggestions on how to optimize your event marketing? Email Koy Tayler at outreach@museum.bc.ca with your inquiries.

The BC Museums Association gratefully acknowledges funding support of from the Government of Canada.

Categories
Museum Education

Live Virtual Event Delivery

Explore this complimentary resource on delivering live virtual events - Finding a streaming platform that fits your needs can help you deliver an exciting experience for audiences during your next virtual or hybrid event....

Define Your Hybrid Event

Make clear distinctions between virtual and in-person offerings. 

Clearly and repeatedly communicate that your event is hybrid and attendees have that option at your earliest event touchpoints.

Event touchpoints are the times attendees will interact with event content and are important marketing opportunities. Touchpoints throughout the event process can strengthen synergy, engagement, excitement, and loyalty to your organization.

This strategy can be more cost effective for securing future attendees than putting money and effort into the recruitment of key speakers or creation of innovative content for upcoming events. 

Event touchpoints are the times attendees will interact with event content and are important marketing opportunities. Touchpoints throughout the event process can strengthen synergy, engagement, excitement, and loyalty to your organization.

This strategy can be more cost effective for securing future attendees than putting money and effort into the recruitment of key speakers or creation of innovative content for upcoming events. 

Event touchpoints include:

  • Social media
  • Registration
  • Event website
  • Response time to inquiry via email
  • How timely follow-ups post event are
  • Event signage
  • Overall experience 
  • Event program and content

This strategy can be more cost effective for securing future attendees than putting money and effort into the recruitment of key speakers or creation of innovative content for upcoming events. 

 

Tailor your marketing to each audience. A benefit of different marketing campaigns and content for each audience is that it allows you to highlight the unique values of both the in-person and virtual aspects of the event. This helps make content feel personal and unique.

 

Understand Your Stakeholders

Make it clear that your event will help them meet their needs.

Questions to ask yourself:
How do they consume content?
What technology and social media do they use?
How much time and financial resources do they have?
When are they most likely to interact and how?
Who are their key influencers (eg. funders & partners)?

Make a strong case that your event will provide unique and innovative value to attendees. Interact with your audience through social media forums, like a Facebook group, to build a sense of community and interest. People engaged on these platforms can be your best advocates and share your event to other groups.

Invest in online engagement throughout the year. Re-purpose event content, share relevant resources from others and discuss the value, and contribute to your audience’s content through likes, comments, and re-shares. This humanization and personalization of your organization can lead to more trust and interest for upcoming events. 

Optimize Your Online Presence

Give potential attendees multiple opportunities and reasons to register for your event.

Numerous event touchpoints will increase the chance of a successful ticket sale or engagement. The effective frequency, or number of times a message needs to be received before action is taken for non profits is approximately 16. It has been estimated that it takes the average customer nine to 16 interactions with a brand on different channels before they make a decision.

While this is not necessarily what you will need to increase ticket sales, it is always good to surpass what you may perceive as a minimum number of touchpoints required to trigger action. 

Provoke thoughts or action pre-event through cross-channel touchpoints and synergies. It is important to have consistent and recognizable branding across channels. Make sure navigation and registration is simple and easy through these channels, otherwise you risk losing an attendee.

Increase the number of touchpoints, like social media posts or email reminders, as your event draws closer. Reveal and announce new details such as the event agenda, speakers, and other details to build anticipation and curiosity. Focus on the benefits of attending such as making connections, networking with industry experts, and receiving discounts or giveaways.

Examples of How to Optimize Your Online Presence:
Leverage long-form content like blog posts, Instagram or Facebook lives, and videos to generate interest across your channels. These can include information on topics and guests that will be part of your event.

Important Note: Videos, as part of pre-session engagement, are used and consumed now more than ever.

Create an eye-catching focal point on your website, event on Facebook, or social media banners that share important event and registration information.
Pin important event posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Consider a link in bio account to help drive engagement and loyalty.
Tag guest speakers and sponsors for additional reach on social media.

Consider sharing event marketing materials with guest speakers and sponsors to share on their channels as additional touchpoints and to engage new audiences.

Resources

Explore resources available to help strengthen your marketing and hybrid event planning:

Virtual Event Resources Toolkit

Future Perfect: Developing Effective Models for Digital, Physical, and Blended Conferences

How to Make an Online Event Accessible

In this resource, there are some helpful tips for making your online event more approachable and reachable.

How to Make Your Online Presence Accessible

While many people take looking at social media and websites as a daily experience, for many individuals these platforms are not available due to lack of internet or are not attainable due to their lack of accessibility.

Digital Marketing

Destination BC: Scale your marketing efforts, strengthen your online presence, and deliver compelling content that speaks to your current fans and connects with prospective visitors.

Social Media Marketing

Destination BC: Build your reputation and amplify your word-of-mouth marketing campaigns on social media.

How to: Create Strategic Social Media Content Plan

Charity Village: This webinar, specifically presented for nonprofit staff and volunteers, will help you to create your content strategically using a 5 pillar framework that will strengthen your brand, build your authority online, and save you capacity during the day.

Mini-session: Digital Accessibility & Social Media 101

Confused with how to caption your content? Wondering if your brand colors pass a blindness test? Join us for an express event about “Digital Accessibility & Social Media”! In this 30-minute online webinar, you’ll learn 5 fast and free actions for making your online content more accessible.

Mini Session: Top Five Tips for Filming on Your Phone

In the session, we will walk through each of the 5 tips for successful filmmaking on your phone! Exploring how planning, storyboarding, editing, and launching your film all play an important role in the process.

Online Courses

Explore online courses available to help strengthen your hybrid event planning:

Digital Tools for Museum Professionals

In this online course, you’ll get hands-on experience using several free, open-source digital tools you can use to enhance your museum programs, exhibits, and online content.

Video 101: Creating Better In-House Videos

Video 101 guides you through how to create great videos with DIY equipment. Designed for cultural sector professionals, the course will help you streamline your video production process, from planning, filming, and editing to publishing your film.