How to deliver a successful hybrid Sales Kick-Off event

December 4, 2020
Encore Research

As we look forward to 2021, it’s time to start planning for sales kick-offs. In a period where we’ve seen events delayed or cancelled, sales kick-offs are one event type that can’t be delayed and will be essential to driving business success as we recover from the pandemic-driven recession.

Current restrictions require that we forward plan and investigate ways that these events can still be effective and engaging. This is particularly true for those not able to attend in person.

This blog will give you a plan to make your hybrid sales kick-off event in 2021, the best yet.

START PLANNING NOW

By planning for a hybrid sales kick-off, you’re eliminating the risk of having to cancel your in-person only event, or missing out on the invaluable face-to-face engagement of a totally virtual event. A hybrid event gives you the best of both worlds, even if restrictions change between now and the event.

As with every event plan, before you begin working out the details of your live event, define the outcomes you’d like to achieve. Determine what your teams need to know to drive sales and the tools they’ll need to achieve this.

By having a clear idea of what you’re wanting to achieve, helps your hybrid event production partner recommend the best solutions needed. With delegates attending both in-person and virtually, you’ll need to consider how they’ll be able to engage and participate such as for a Q & A, live polling and accessing content.

MAKE AN IMPACT

A sales kick-off event is a great way to motivate your team. For hybrid events there are a range of ways to do this to make an impact with attendees whether they’re in the room or online.

Encore offers an Immersive XR Stage solution which uses extended reality to create a virtual stage or amazing virtual environment for your product reveal. We can create a 3D visual of your latest product and have your speaker present it on stage. Imagine the latest model car driving onto the stage to reveal it live for the first time. Or a product demonstration for a medical device supersized on stage to show the various working mechanisms.

Another great use of hybrid solutions is for Q&As with product owners, where in-room and online attendees can all ask their questions live. The same technology can also be used for sessions surveys or quizzes to test your attendees understanding of the content they’ve learned and have some fun.

Video networking is increasingly in demand for sales kick-offs to enable teams from around the world can build business relationships. Solutions have developed well beyond a self managed Zoom call – which we all know are prone to difficulties with our a technician to make sure international

presenters connect and can be heard. Encore’s video conferencing service enables individual or small groups to do business and make sales at a time when the information is fresh and everyone is motivated.

Live streaming of presenters is an ideal way to ensure your event continues even if a keynote expert is unable to attend. A professional result is vital to make sure everyone can see and hear the presenter clearly. Even if they are used to having Zoom conference calls, it can be very different to create a conference standard production. Plus Encore’s live streaming platform is specifically designed to replicate the in-room experience for online attendees, so they get the same benefit as those in the room.

ENSURE THE IN-PERSON EVENT IS SAFE & COMPLIANT

The in-person event can continue in a venue with appropriate safety guidelines in place. Encore has developed MeetSAFE to deliver events in a safe and compliant way. Government restrictions plus these guidelines will determine the number of people in the room, layout, direction of traffic, sanitation and more.

CONSIDER THE VIRTUAL EVENT ENVIRONMENT

For virtual attendees at your hybrid event, it’s important to create an environment that is as close to the live event as possible, to engage these attendees and include them in all areas possible. Encore recently developed an innovative event streaming platform offering a range of features to recreate the live event. The platform can use your company branding and include many features to bring live and remote attendees together.

The platform enables remote presenters to stream into the event if they can’t attend in person, there’s also live polling, live chat, social media, resource sharing and many other features.

USE ON-DEMAND CONTENT

If presenters are in different time zones, on-demand content can be played in the live event on screen and via your streaming platform or website. Recorded content can also be played at a later date and used for training.

EVALUATE POST EVENT

It can be difficult to provide ROI for sales kick-off events, whether they’re in-person or hybrid, but it’s vital for securing your budget for next year. Encore has a range of tools to help you demonstrate engagement and value.

Select an event management platform that will enable you to measure the performance of your delegates and their engagement with presenter content. Whether they’re in the room or online, you can measure duration watching content, clicks, participation in group learning or Q&A etc which are useful indicators of engagement with the session’s content.

Post event surveys are also a vital tool to get feedback and ideas for improving future events.

Our Hybrid Event Plan Summary

  1. Plan ahead and err on the safe side with a hybrid event.
  2. Set clear goals so your hybrid event production partner can recommend the best solution to achieve them.
  3. Create a cross-functional team to help you plan with input from all business units. Take advantage of online platforms for meeting and to help plan and share documents, like Microsoft Teams.
  4. Ensure the in-person event is safe & compliant by using a Contactless Check-In system as well as applying MeetSAFE guidelines.
  5. Take advantage of on-demand content for your virtual component. This allows even in-person attendees to re-watch content, as well as for overseas speakers or attendees who couldn’t attend the live streaming.
  6. Engagement is at the heart of all events. Consider an interactive platform like Chime Live that offers a wide range of features to engage virtual attendees.
  7. Track and measure your ROI. By knowing what you’re wanting to measure can help dictate what tools you’ll need. Hybrid events mean you have the opportunity to measure both in-person and virtual results.