Digital conference organisers take the lead as hybrid events increase

AIM Group's Annalisa Ponchia.

With hybrid events taking a front seat during the Covid-19 pandemic a new breed of digital conference organisers are taking the lead, according to event company AIM Group International.

AIM Group International has published a new guide on Virtual and Hybrid Events after organising more than 90 digital events since the pandemic began and a further 180 virtual events in the pipeline before the end of the year.

“The organisation of a virtual and hybrid event requires a DCO (digital conference organiser) a team with specific knowledge and competences and the ability to offer strategic guidance on planning events with full or partial digital components,” said Annalisa Ponchia, director of innovation and customer experience AIM Group International.

AIM Group’s new guidelines outline six steps to plan and organise virtual events that satisfy the mix of different stakeholders – attendees, speakers and sponsors – leveraging the new opportunities offered by the virtual formats and channels.

  1. Content first. Linking the content with the right communication format and style should come first, adapting the tone of voice, session formats and tools.
  2. The Digital Event Team: strategic mind-set and tech skills. From the Digital Event Strategist to the Content & Resource Manager or the Digital Tools expert, there are several specialist skillsets and profiles that are needed for this kind of event.
  3. Digital platform and the best user experience: how to choose the most suitable solution? Whether it is a fully virtual event, a hybrid or multi-hub  digital event, you must assess your needs first and then choose the right technical equipment and tools.
  4. Digital Sponsorship opportunities and Virtual Exhibitions. It is important to consider and find new ways to generate sponsor value and not simply replicate the ones used for in-presence events.
  5. The importance of Communication. A focused effort on communication is needed to gain attention, reliability and trust from your target audience and engage users throughout their journey before, during and after the event.
  6. Sustainable actions and CSR initiatives for virtual events. Online events can be much more environmentally sustainable than physical events, we must feature this and also look for opportunities to add CSR initiatives to leave a legacy on the community.

“Organising a digital event can open a wide range of new opportunities because you are not limited by the usual physical barriers, you can very easily expand the audience and with the correct event duration and timetable you can even prolong the event lifespan,” said Ponchia.

“There is one extra tip that I would suggest and that is leveraging data and feedback to make sure that the event is fully measurable. If you set clear KPIs at the outset and leverage all the channels from analytics to social media and the event app then you will be in a great position to measure the event impact.”

Download the full report here.