Admin Jul 19, 2021 9:30:00 AM 11 min read

Integrated Event Design Solutions That Connect Presenters and Participants

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wane slowly, event managers are expecting in-person events to make their long-awaited comeback, albeit not in full fashion until 2022. Will they upstage digital events as they did in the past?

50.7% of executives think that the future of all live events will have a virtual dimension. 

In the past two years, digital events made a huge leap forward, introducing new and effective ways to keep participants engaged without in-person contact. The benefits of such events are so impressive that they can't be left behind.

That's why event strategists are exploring new event formats that combine the advantages of in-person events with the convenience of their digital counterparts. As the pandemic winds down, integrated events are taking center stage.

Let's take a closer look at effective integrated event design solutions.  

Integrated Event Design Solutions vs. Hybrid Formats

Hybrid events have been around for a while. When event managers saw the return of in-person events on the horizon, they started thinking back to this old format.

However, while effective in the past, hybrid isn't likely to regain its popularity. Integrated events are much more viable. So what's the difference?

Hybrid Events

Before the pandemic, a hybrid event involved arranging an onsite event and live-streaming it to the virtual audience. During such an event, on-site attendees interacted with each other while virtual participants gained access to presentations from the comfort of their own homes.

This was an excellent solution for people who didn't have an opportunity to attend the event in person but wanted to stay up to date with industry trends, celebrations, announcements, etc.

However, a little over 50% of past event attendees are ready to return to in-person format if proper COVID-19 safety precautions are in place.  

During the pandemic, event managers used the available technology to turn "silent viewers" into active participants. When in-person events return, these silent viewers aren't likely to settle for the return to silence. 

That's where integrated events come in.

Integrated Events

Integrated events are an integration of digital and in-person events with new knowledge in mind. Both onsite and offsite participants can have access to a variety of event content coupled with networking opportunities and a relaxing experience.

Meanwhile, each participant can have access to both digital and in-person options during the same event regardless of their location.

An integrated event doesn't consist of two elements like a hybrid event does. It's a homogenous arrangement that caters to a variety of audience segments.

Arranging an integrated event can be more complicated than designing a hybrid event. However, the attendance numbers, conversion rates, and engagement levels are likely to be much higher.

The event industry is moving toward creating a comprehensive experience for attendees regardless of whether they can attend an in-person event or not, and the evolution of the integrated event format will likely play a large role in that.

Connecting Presenters and Participants

For the digital and physical event arrangements to come together, it's imperative to find ways to connect presenters and participants in a new format.

What may have worked for hybrid events could be tough to implement into the integrated strategy. That's why being open to new solutions is a must.

1. Select the Right Presenter

With in-person events returning, many event organizers worry about losing their digital audience. After all, you've worked hard to attract this audience and keep its interest piqued. What happens when you channel your efforts into in-person events?

By selecting the right presenter, you can keep both audiences in place. However, doing this can be trickier than finding a speaker for a digital or in-person event. The presenter must be the right fit for your integrated event needs.

The speaker should understand the importance of addressing both types of audiences and know how to lead a digital keynote session.

Besides fitting the format, the speaker should:

  • Provide value to both audiences.
  • Consider and meet event goals.
  • Address the audience's challenges.
  • Find the right pace for the integrated format.

Your ideal presenter should have experience with both in-person and digital events and be willing to rehearse specifically for the new format.

2. Select the Right Platform

One of the worst mistakes hybrid event organizers used to make is simply live-streaming an in-person event through the camera. The participants ended up getting a keyhole view of the event, which was unproductive and downright boring.

A comprehensive event platform can turn any event into a highly efficient arrangement. It needs to give presenters and participants an opportunity for smooth interaction. Key elements of the right platform for integrated events include:

  • Q&A functionality
  • Break room ability
  • Multiple virtual spaces
  • Auto-generated captions
  • Networking lounge with chat, audio, video, and group meeting options
  • Quick support
  • Attendee tracking
  • Detailed analytics
  • Feedback collection features

The platform needs to prioritize engagement between presenters and participants while allowing you to run an integrated event without disruptions.

3. Provide Follow-Up Value

A key element of an integrated event is the ability to gain follow-up value. Participants can get extra benefits in the form of curated content journeys or downloadable pieces of training that are only available after the main keynote. This content should be specifically designed to encourage potential attendees to participate in the event and post-event activities.  

Other follow-up elements may include:

  • Content on social media for further engagement
  • Attendee communities
  • Post-event surveys
  • Post-event premium offers
  • Post-event webpages with highlights

After the integrated event is over, both onsite and offsite participants can continue to retrieve valuable content and find new opportunities. This continuous stream of value can make integrated events highly appealing to various segments of your target audience.

Design Successful Integrated Events with Impact Point Group

With in-person events making a comeback, it's imperative to stay on top of your game with event organization. While onsite events are highly anticipated, many audiences are hoping to continue taking advantage of the virtual format.

By designing integrated events, you can cater to your entire audience, boost engagement, and increase profitability. At Impact Point Group, we specialize in creating efficient integrated event design solutions. If you'd like to learn more, please contact our team at any convenient time.