Digital Event at the heart of WWF’s #Panda Live!

As part of the last presidential campaign, WWF France wanted to invite the main candidates to answer a series of questions about ecology live on the internet. Between February and April, they welcomed to their premises Emmanuel Macron, Yannick Jadot, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, and Benoit Hamon.

We were in charge of all the technical aspects of each of these events.

Setting up the scene and implementing the equipment, multi-camera capture of the interviews presented by Pascal Canfin, live broadcasting on Facebook and Periscope, integration of simultaneous titles, installation of a system for the speakers to see a selection of questions asked live by the audience.

The highest audience performance of these live events was more than 7,000 simultaneous viewers and over 22,000 views. A real success for WWF France!

The secrets of a successful hybrid event

In a world where technology is advancing rapidly, hybrid events offer a perfect balance between the accessibility of the virtual and the warmth of human interactions. They open the door to a wider audience and break down geographical barriers. The main advantage they offer is their immense flexibility. However, orchestrating a successful hybrid event goes beyond simply overlaying a virtual component onto a physical event. Discover in this article the subtleties of hybrid events, from technological tools to audience engagement strategies.


Table of Contents :

  • Technology at the Heart of Hybrid Events
  • Audience Engagement and Innovative Strategies
  • Marketing of Hybrid Events


Technology at the Heart of Hybrid Events

In 2024, technology has become the backbone of hybrid events, playing a key role in blending physical and digital experiences. Let’s explore how different technologies transform these events and optimize the experience.


Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) offer unprecedented possibilities to enrich hybrid events. AR can overlay digital information in the physical environment, allowing on-site participants to interact with virtual elements. For example, at an exhibition, stands can be enhanced with interactive details visible only through AR devices.

As for VR, while current technologies do not yet allow for entirely virtual events, it can still be integrated into events. Some organizations choose to offer VR training to their participants. This approach is both fun and educational, contributing to making the event as memorable as possible.


Artificial Intelligence and Personalization

Artificial Intelligence has a lot of potentials in personalizing the experience of hybrid events. Through data analysis, AI can recommend specific sessions, professional meetings, and content tailored to the individual interests of participants. This increased personalization ensures a more relevant and engaging experience for each participant, whether online or on-site.

For example, if a participant is interested in digital marketing, AI could suggest other marketing professionals to discuss with or participate in discussion groups focused on the topic. The networking experience is more targeted and, therefore, more effective.


Audience Engagement and Innovative Strategies

Audience engagement is a cornerstone in the success of hybrid events. It’s no longer just about presenting content, but about creating a participatory and memorable experience for each participant.

Interactivity is Key

The key to engaging the audience in a hybrid event is to offer interactivity that transcends the boundaries of physical and digital. Tools such as live Q&A sessions, interactive workshops, and discussion spaces allow online participants to actively get involved. Organizers encourage participation using real-time voting technologies or feedback apps, creating a two-way dialogue between speakers and the audience.

Immersive Experiences and Gamification

Many organizers also incorporate elements of gamification. This can include challenges, games, or point-based activities, which stimulate healthy competition and interaction. Moreover, immersive experiences, such as augmented reality puzzles or virtual reality adventures, can transform an event into a fun and educational experience, thus boosting engagement and retention.

Engaging the Audience via Social Networks

Finally, social networks play a crucial role in audience engagement. By integrating social sharing features, such as event-specific hashtags or photo-sharing contests, organizers can extend the event experience beyond its physical or digital limits. This not only encourages active participation but also helps to build a community around the event.

Moreover, live features on platforms like Facebook or Instagram are still underused, although their added value is real. They allow participants to react, comment, and interact directly with speakers, strengthening their sense of being integrated into the event even if they are not physically present.


Marketing of Hybrid Events

The marketing of hybrid events has evolved significantly in recent years to meet the unique challenges presented by hybrid events. Marketing strategies must not only attract participants but also effectively communicate the added value of the hybrid experience.


Targeting and Analysis

With a potential audience expanded by the hybrid format, targeting becomes more crucial than ever. Marketers use demographic, behavioral, and psychographic data to segment their audience and create personalized messages. Targeted campaigns allow reaching the right individuals, whether they prefer to participate online or in person, thus maximizing the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

Finally, marketing for hybrid events requires constant analysis and rapid adaptation. Analytical tools allow marketers to track the performance of their campaigns in real time and adjust their strategies to maximize impact. This agility enables staying relevant and effective in a rapidly changing environment.


The Importance of Storytelling

Effective communication for a hybrid event involves using multiple content formats – blogs, videos, podcasts, and social media posts. Storytelling is at the heart of these contents, telling the story of the event, its speakers, its participants, and the unique experiences it offers. This narrative approach not only sells the event but also creates an emotional connection with the potential audience.


The Future of Hybrid Events

If the Covid pandemic has shown us that virtual does not yet replace face-to-face contacts, technological innovations are getting us closer and redefining our perception of what an event is. Some occasions are irreplaceable by the virtual; others are optimized by the digital experience. What then is the future of hybrid events?


Augmenting Reality or Virtualizing Reality?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, technological tools are evolving and so are events with them. For example, holographic technology could allow speakers or artists to perform simultaneously on multiple stages, virtual and physical, around the world.

Augmented Reality will also likely play a part in these changes. While it is already integrated into events, it is expected to become even more immersive and interactive, which will effectively reduce many costs in terms of equipment and human resources. These changes will optimize hybrid events.

Other possible changes point towards a virtualization of our events. We’re especially looking forward to the highly anticipated advent of the metaverse and the spectacular evolutions of virtual reality. Online participants, for example, might explore a 3D virtual exhibition space, interacting with products or services as if they were physically present.

Finally, artificial intelligence could be used to create personalized itineraries for participants, while data collected during the event could help improve future experiences. Connectivity will allow for better quality live transmission and smoother real-time interactions.


Audience Expectations

Today, the audience expects more than just a live broadcast of a physical event. Online participants seek an immersive and interactive experience, where they can feel as involved and valued as those who are on-site. This expectation pushes organizers to constantly innovate in how they design and execute hybrid events, with a focus on personalization, accessibility, and inclusion.

This means not only adopting new technologies but also rethinking the very structure of the event. Sessions could be designed to encourage richer interaction between physical and virtual participants, and schedules could be adapted to cover different time zones.


Choosing the Right Agency

Whether you’re planning a product launch, a conference, or a seminar, our team of experts is ready to assist you at every step. We guarantee a seamless experience for all participants, whether they are on-site or online.

Contact us to create a hybrid event with creativity and professionalism.

How to organise a successful digital event: A step-by-step guide

Unlike physical events, where success can be felt and seen, the success indicators of a digital event are not always visible to the naked eye: measuring the success of a digital event goes beyond simply counting the participants. It involves deeply understanding how an event resonated with its target audience and assessing whether the objectives have been met.

In this article, we will explore different ways to measure the effectiveness of your digital events, from key performance indicators (KPIs) to final participant satisfaction, through engagement and return on investment.


Choosing KPIs

KPIs are essential metrics that will help you assess the effectiveness of your digital event based on the objectives you have set. Choosing the right KPIs is crucial for obtaining an accurate measure of your event’s success.

Depending on your goals, KPIs can vary. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, relevant KPIs might include the number of participants, the extent of media coverage, or the volume of mentions on social networks. If your goal is lead generation, focus on the number of contacts collected or the number of sign-ups for a free trial or demonstration.


Measuring Engagement

Engagement is a key indicator of the success of a digital event. Engagement-related KPIs can include active participation rate, time spent on the platform, the number of questions asked during Q&A sessions, and interactions on social media. These metrics help you understand how the audience interacted with your content and your brand.


Tracking Conversion

For events aimed at converting participants into customers or leads, KPIs such as the conversion rate of registrations, the number of resource downloads, or tracking post-event actions (for example, signing up for a demo or purchasing a product) are crucial. They directly reflect the impact of your event on your business goals.


Post-event Analysis

After the event, it’s important to follow KPIs that measure long-term success, such as the retention rate of participants, the increase in social media followers, or the improvement of brand perception measured by satisfaction surveys.


Data Collection Techniques

Once you’ve identified your KPIs, the next step is to collect the necessary data to measure your success.


Using Built-in Data Collection Tools, Surveys, and Questionnaires

Many digital event platforms offer integrated tools for collecting data on participants and their behaviors. Take advantage of these features to track engagement, number of participants, time spent on the platform, and more. As for pre and post-event surveys, they are an excellent way to collect qualitative and quantitative information about your audience. Use targeted questions to assess participant satisfaction, understand their interests, and collect suggestions for improvement.


Social Media Analysis and Analytics Software

Social media analysis tools can help you monitor mentions, hashtags, and engagement around your event. This is a great way to measure your event’s reach and understand how the audience interacts with your content. Moreover, if your event is hosted on a website or an application, web analytics tools can provide valuable insights into visitor behavior, including the most visited pages, bounce rates, and user journeys.

Finally, encourage live feedback during the event through Q&A sessions, chats, and real-time polls. This allows you to measure engagement and collect valuable feedback while giving participants an active voice in the event.

Best Data Collection Practices

  • Respect privacy by ensuring that your data collection complies with privacy regulations such as GDPR.
  • Test your data collection tools to verify that they are working correctly before the event to avoid technical issues.
  • Inform participants about how their data will be used and how it contributes to improving the experience.
  • Analyze in real-time by monitoring data during the event if possible to quickly react to any issues or opportunities.

By implementing these data collection techniques, you ensure you have the information needed to evaluate the success of your digital event according to the KPIs you have established.


Analyzing Audience Engagement

Once you have collected the necessary data, it’s time to analyze how the audience interacted with your event. Audience engagement is a key indicator of the success of a digital event.


Measuring Interactions

Interactions during the event, such as questions asked, polls filled, and active chat sessions, are direct indicators of audience engagement. Analyze these interactions to determine the topics or moments that generated the most interest or engagement.


Participation, Behavior, Feedback

Furthermore, the time spent by participants on your platform or during specific sessions can give you an idea of their interest and engagement. A high participation time is often a good sign, but it is important to contextualize it with other data. In addition to time spent, examine participant behavior: which sessions did they attend? Did they download resources? Did they participate in interactive activities? These behaviors provide valuable clues about what holds your audience’s attention. Finally, feedback collected during the event, such as responses to live polls or comments in chat sessions, is valuable information for assessing engagement. They can also indicate areas for real-time improvement.


Financial Results Evaluation

Once you have a clear understanding of participant engagement and interaction, it’s crucial to assess the financial impact of your digital event. This step allows you to determine if the investment in the event has generated a positive return on investment (ROI) and to identify areas for improvement in future budget management.

Calculating Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is a key indicator for measuring the financial effectiveness of your event.

To calculate this figure, start by quantifying all costs associated with planning and executing the event, including technology, marketing, personnel, and any other expenses. Then, assess the value generated, which may include direct sales, qualified leads, brand awareness value, and other tangible and intangible benefits.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

In addition to calculating ROI, conduct a detailed cost-benefit analysis. This involves assessing the benefits of the event beyond direct financial measures, such as improved customer satisfaction, expansion of the customer database, or increased brand loyalty.


Tracking Key Financial Indicators

Identify and track financial key performance indicators specific to your event, such as cost per acquisition (CPA), cost per lead (CPL), and customer lifetime value (CLV). These metrics will help you understand in depth the financial effectiveness of your event.

Tips for Improving Financial Results:

  • Optimize costs by identifying areas where expenses can be reduced without compromising the quality of the event.
  • Increase generated value by seeking opportunities to enhance the value brought by the event, such as improving sales strategy or expanding the target audience.
  • Analyze and adjust using collected data to understand which activities generated the most value and adjust your planning and budget accordingly for future events.


Collection and Analysis of Post-Event Feedback

Once your event is over, collecting and analyzing feedback from participants is essential for evaluating its overall success and for improving future events. Here’s how to do it effectively.

Setting Up Satisfaction Surveys

Develop satisfaction surveys to send to participants shortly after the event ends. Make sure your questions cover various aspects of the event, such as content, platform, accessibility, and engagement. Use open-ended questions to gather detailed feedback and multiple-choice questions for quantitative analysis.

Carefully review the feedback collected to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Categorize feedback to better understand general trends and specific concerns of participants.

Organizing Debriefing Sessions

Convene debriefing meetings with your team and key stakeholders to discuss the feedback. Share the results of the surveys and discuss actions to address the feedback and improve future events.

Use the insights gathered to refine your digital event strategy. This could mean adjusting the event format, introducing new technologies, or changing content approaches to better meet participant expectations.

By integrating post-event feedback collection and analysis into your evaluation process, you can gain a complete understanding of the success of your digital event and identify valuable opportunities for continuous improvement.


Choosing the Right Agency for Your Digital Events

Measuring the success of a digital event goes beyond simple collection of numbers and statistics. It requires a holistic approach that integrates setting clear objectives, choosing and monitoring relevant performance indicators, effective use of data collection tools, thorough evaluation of public engagement, rigorous financial analysis, and the collection and analysis of post-event feedback.

If you are seeking additional expertise and support, turn to Digital Event. Our team is here to help you achieve your goals and make your next digital event a resounding success. Contact us today to learn more!