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3 ways to host your small association’s hybrid events on a budget

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Event Management

Hybrid events are a must-do to meet the expectations of today’s members.     

Read on for tips on how to pull off great hybrid events – even with a small budget.  

 

By Christine Bergeron, Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands

 

 

Hybrid events. They’re a must-do these days. They give your members the option to attend your key events in the way that works best for their schedule, budget, health safety concerns, and other factors.  

But how do you pull them off when you have a tight budget? 

Here are three ways to make the most of your association’s hybrid events to fit your budget: 

Understand what your members want.
Our world is changing. As it does, it’s important to know how your members’ needs and expectations are evolving so you can deliver more of what they want and not waste time and dollars on what they don’t need.  

A good place to start is by digging into association trend data. For example, read the 2021 Association Trends Study by Community Brands for a deep dive into members’ and associations’ perspectives on events, professional education, and more. 

Also, ask your members for feedback. For example, find out how many people are likely to attend your event in-person versus online so you can plan accordingly. Uncover what elements of each experience (in-person and virtual) would give members the engaging experience they seek.    

TIP:YourMembership association management software has survey functionality built in, making it easy to build and send targeted surveys and get feedback. 

Streamline content production. 
Hosting a great hybrid event depends heavily on your ability to create valuable contentAnd when you have a small staff, it’s important to develop content as efficiently as possible. Here are some ways to streamline content production:

  • Ask industry experts to present about recent articles/studies they’ve written. Or, ask them to lead a discussion about a hot industry topic. 
  • Look at your member survey and what your members are talking about in your online member community to inspire ideas for session topics. 
  • Repackage and repurpose existing content. For example, combine related topics from blog articles or short webinars into a more comprehensive session or workshop.

Invest in hybrid event technology with high ROI. 
Hybrid events require the right technology to help you deliver a great event efficiently and cost-effectively. So, when determining your hybrid event technology needs, look for these essential components

  • Event registration through your association management software (AMS) – Having an AMS that offers built-in registration streamlines your event registration process by automatically populating your members’ individual information. 
  • Streaming and capture services – Look for event technology that offers live streaming and capture services to help you provide a variety of content delivery for your online attendees.
  • Mobile event app – Choose technology that offers a mobile event app. A mobile event app is the perfect companion for today’s mobile-oriented audience and a powerful asset for delivering a captivating, memorable, and engaging event experience. An app puts everything attendees need right in the palm of their hands.
  • Virtual exhibits – Select technology that allows you to give your virtual attendees a place to learn more about products and services in an online exhibit hall in which exhibitors can host online booths and be available for live chats with attendees during pre-set virtual exhibit hall hours. 

TIP: YourMembership AMS includes association management software, learning management software, event management functionality, and a mobile event app. It’s part of the connected network of solutions for associations by Community Brands, which also includes the event tech software and services you need to pull off a successful hybrid event. For example, YourMembership AMS integrates with Pathable, an event platform from Community Brands that helps you plan, promote, and power your hybrid events.  

Learn more.
Even with a small staff and a tight budget, your association can create successful hybrid events. Learn more tips for creating great hybrid events: Watch the on-demand webinar, Small Staff, Big Success: Hybrid Events on a Budget. 

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