How To Have A Fantastic Hybrid Events With Minimal Spending.
You either love event budgeting or hate it. It’s becoming more complicated. These events are quickly becoming the preferred event choice for planners. It’s important that you understand how budgeting issues can affect your ability to keep the event on track. This post will discuss the most important issues that organizers must consider when creating budgets for hybrid events.
Set The Objective
Before you begin to think about your budget, consider the impact that your event will have. What message are you hoping your attendees and stakeholders will take away from your event?
Budgeting may seem to be a simple exercise to cut down on costs or reduce the number budget line items. While this is a part of budgeting it is not the main driver. Event professionals who are skilled in the art of event planning understand that budgeting is not only important but also crucial to brand impact. This relationship is constantly under scrutiny.
Do not rush to find the lowest-priced providers as this could negatively impact the outcome of your event. It is true that cheap often means something must be missed. Event tech is an example of this. A low price could indicate that data protection may not be as strong as it should.
It is crucial to consider the quality and value of providers. It’s easy to go for the lowest price. Planners will often compare prices with trusted suppliers. Buyers want to feel they got a great deal.
Fix Your Need
Budget for both on-site and virtual attendees. Event planners are familiar with the process of budgeting for in-person events so we will also touch on the virtual aspect.
You will need web streaming technology to allow the content to be captured, then distributed to your virtual attendees. Crew will be required to operate the technology. These crew members will add to the production team and be responsible for room, sound, and vision.
Budget for a presenter or host virtual. You will need someone to take care of the virtual delegates and tell them what’s coming up. Virtual hosts are invaluable and should not be undervalued. Planners may choose to have one of their employees act as a virtual host. A professional host can provide a strong ROI so it is worth considering. This isn’t a line item on the budget.
Although it is obvious, duplication of budget lines items must be avoided. You don’t have to spend twice as much on two attendees. Take into account the expenses that are shared between both audiences.
Let’s look at the speaker example. A speaker is hired for a fixed fee. Each set of attendees gets to see the speaker. The speaker is actually very good and there is lots of interaction between all attendees. You’re in-person participants are invited to a break at the end of each session. In the heat of the moment, however, you decide to give your virtual attendees more information and conduct a Q&A. It would have been a good idea to have discussed this before agreeing on the speaker’s fee. Budget negotiations can be made easier if you plan ahead.
You should also consider audience interaction technology for voting, question and answer, as well as potential duplication. It is clear that you would be better off having a tech solution that works both for the attendees.
Mind the Gap
You run the risk of missing an item if you focus only on avoiding duplicates. You should conduct a gap analysis. It is a good idea for a checklist to include two columns. One column should be for attendees in person and one for those who are virtual.
You should include columns that address the needs of your other stakeholders. This includes speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. You will identify any gaps as you review what is required.
Registration, for example, is an important item that can quickly become prohibitively expensive. This happens most often when event planners decide to add a new ticket type to an existing event. It’s like adding virtual attendees to an event that was previously only available in person. You’ll need to determine if your registration system can be extended to allow for additional attendees.
It should be able to, that’s great. If it can, great. But if not, you will have to use two separate registration systems. This is at best messy. It will also double your work as you will need to analyze data from different tech stacks. A registration system can be used by both in person attendees and virtual ones is better.
The User Experience
It’s a good idea for budgeting hybrid events to consider the user experience when making decisions. The final quality of your hybrid events will reflect every decision you make about how much budget to allocate, what to exclude, and what to keep.
You won’t want to spend money on tech tools, or hire speakers who are just starting out, if you want a polished, high-performance event. You should have enough money to allow for more spending if necessary.
Include a line item to cover contingency expenses. Unexpected situations are always possible. You should allow yourself some flexibility with your finances.
Conclusion – Budgeting is changing, be flexible
Pandemic impact on the events industry has been a positive one. The needs of people have changed. Businesses communicate with their stakeholders in a new way. The same goes for budgets, and how we approach them.
Many felt the need for continual reductions in production spending before Covid-19. It is difficult to see why, as production spending has been essential. This is especially true now that hybrid events are becoming a reality.
We advise that you ensure you have enough budget to realize the expectations of your hybrid events. Events are becoming increasingly competitive. It is important to make your event stand out in a highly competitive market.
Thinking of hybrid events?
Events force is a technology platform that allows you to create engaging experiences both for on-site and virtual attendees. It includes everything from agenda management and registration to audience engagement, live streaming and networking.