How to Leverage Recommended Content and Connections for Your Next Hybrid Event
Too many choices lead to paralysis, or worse – bad choices. Today’s hybrid event attendees are accustomed to personalized recommendations to help them make better, higher quality decisions.
As organizations scramble to wrap their heads around what hybrid events might look like, Social27 has built our platform with hybrid in mind right from the start. So, we have a clear vision of what a successful hybrid event looks like and how organizations can execute on them. At the core of a successful hybrid event is recommended content and connections.
Let me explain…
Firstly, what do I mean when I say recommended content and connections? Well, it’s similar to when Spotify recommends you artists based on artists you’ve already listened to, or when Instagram recommends new accounts for you to follow based on the accounts you currently interact with.
Powered by AI, recommendation engines build taste profiles of every attendee at your event. Then, via machine learning, the recommendation engine continually learns about your attendees to surface more and more relevant content and suggest other attendees to connect with. This provides the personalized experience your attendees expect in this day and age of “you may also like…” content experiences and “recommended for you” networking opportunities.
Recommended Connections for More Strategic, Hybrid Networking
There is almost no other scenario where you cold introduce yourself to random people at an event than a networking event, conference, or convention.
Cold calling is passé, so why do we keep putting our attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors in this awkward position?
The beauty of a hybrid event is that you don’t have to! By leveraging a recommendation engine, your attendees will get connection suggestions based on their areas of interest, industry, role, and other taste profile factors. This starts them off on the right foot so they don’t have to have that uncomfortable interaction that starts with a cold introduction and ends with both parties realizing they have no common interests and are here for different reasons entirely.
By meeting virtually first, attendees can build relationships in advance. They’ll get to know each other and make meaningful relationships that they’ll be eager to continue at the in-person portion of your hybrid event.
Creating better, higher quality networking opportunities will make your event memorable and brag worthy for your attendees. Plus, they’ll make long lasting friends, mentors, and business partners who will continually reminisce and recommend your events to others.
Sponsor and Exhibitor Networking
In-person events can be lack luster for many sponsors and exhibitors.
Booth representatives are often chasing down attendees to try to drag them over to their booths and write their email address down in their guest book. Then, they’ll have to manually enter notes so that when they reach out after the event they have some content. Then, they…pray?
With a hybrid event, the event platform (if it’s good) can recommend relevant sponsors to attendees, attendees can visit virtual booths, see sponsor content, interact with sponsors they’re interested in and schedule in-person demos for the physical portion of the event.
Would anything make your sponsors happier than having fully booked calendars before they even start setting up their booth?
We doubt it.
Give your sponsors and exhibitors more value than they ever thought possible in their event marketing. Connect them with hot leads in advance so they can seal the deal right then and there at your in-person event.
Recommended Content for Greater Attendee Engagement
Most industries have widely adopted some form of recommending content. Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Tinder… I mean, it’s almost harder to come up with an industry that doesn’t leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to keep customers engaged. And then there are events…
It’s time we started leveraging this technology to keep our attendees engaged!
Social27’s Recommendation and Prediction Engine not only surfaces relevant content based on the areas of interest attendees select upon entering the virtual platform, it also learns which types of content each attendee prefers so they are delivered exactly the content they want to see.
This means that at every turn, content isn’t only delivered based on what it is about, but also what format it’s in. If your attendee is a marketer who prefers video content, they’ll be surfaced your marketing SaaS sponsors first, and delivered informational videos before blogs or white papers.
The longer your event is up and the more your attendees interact, the smarter the Recommendation and Prediction Engine will get and the more satisfied your attendees will be.
Leveraging Virtual Event Data for Your In-Person Content
The final way to leverage recommended content actually goes the other way…
One thing in-person events can never have is the level of data virtual events are able to collect. This gives you, your speakers, and your sponsors a chance to understand the needs of your attendees in advance of an in-person event.
What does this mean for you, your sponsors, and your speakers…?
Hybrid Event Content Dictated by Attendees
With a hybrid event, you’re in the unique position of testing content with your attendees before the in-person event ever begins. This gives you, your speakers, and your sponsors the opportunity to put out preliminary content then use insights, surveys, and conversations to find out what’s resonating, and what isn’t.
Hybrid Event Speakers – Leverage Insights for Better Sessions and Workshops
Rather then having speakers try to engage with a virtual and in-person audience simultaneously, speakers should put various 101 content on the virtual platform well in advance of the in-person event. Then, speakers can leverage three types of insights to cater their in-person, more advanced content toward what attendees actually want.
- Engagement Metrics – If speakers put out a few variations of different topics but relevant content, they can then track engagement metrics to see which topics were the most popular among attendees.
- Attendee Questions – If attendees know that they can connect with speakers virtually and send their questions via direct messages or in Roundtables, speakers can look for patterns such as frequent questions and interesting conversations to decide what content to go deeper into at the in-person event.
- Surveys – Surveys can fill in the gaps to give speakers a fuller picture of what attendees are responding to. When combined with engagement metrics and attendee questions, surveys will help speakers make highly compelling in-person sessions and workshops.
After the in-person event is over, recorded in-person sessions and workshops can be uploaded for virtual-only attendees to enjoy with greater accessibility like closed captions. Plus, conversations around speaker content will continue to evolve creating higher quality networking opportunities and more memorable, enlightening conversations.
Hybrid Event Owners and Sponsors –Three Types of Insights for Better Hybrid Events
The three insights types listed above – engagement metrics, attendee questions, and surveys – will also help event owners and sonsors/exhibitors make the most out of in-person events.
Event owners will get a comprehensive, bird’s-eye-view into the interests and challenges their attendees face. Leveraging data for their hybrid events will enable event owners to create truly attendee-centric events.
All the guess-work is taken out for sponsors and exhibitors. Their calendars will already be full of hot leads who want to see their products/services in action and build a deeper relationship with their brands. Sponsors and exhibitors will also already know the top pain points attendees are facing and will be able to craft their in-person event messaging in the words of their potential customers. This creates a greater level of trust that cannot be achieved in a traditional exhibition hall as exhibitors clamor for a few minutes of attention from random attendee passerby.
Social27 Recommendation and Prediction Engine
Social27 Recommendation and Prediction Engine, combined with platform engagement data at the content, account, and attendee level, give event owners, speakers, and sponsors, everything they need to set them up for hybrid event success.
AI and machine learning get to know your attendees’ preferences and serve them the content, connections, and sponsors most relevant to them. Meanwhile, our Events Builder sponsor and event owner dashboards give you a depth of understanding that will allow you to wow your attendees and create true value for your sponsors. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself! Schedule your demo today and see how Social27 can bring your hybrid and virtual event ideas to life with greater reach, accessibility, flexibility, and insight than ever before.