Hybrid events have continued to gain momentum as a way to bring fundraising to both live and virtual supporters. Through engaging dual audiences, hybrid events create highly engaging giving opportunities to maximize the reach of your mission.
But here’s the tricky part: How do you engage with supporters and keep them donating when half of them are in the room and half are at home?
As your nonprofit gears up to host your next hybrid event, it’s important to understand the needs and motivations of these different audiences in order to boost engagement before, during, and after your event. This is especially critical when it comes to your remote audience. You’ll need to tap into the power of virtual tools like video marketing and live streaming to fully immerse attendees into your event.
Let’s dive into top 4 tips to make your next hybrid event a success!
Lead a multichannel marketing strategy.
According to the OneCause guide to hybrid fundraising, leveraging a multichannel marketing strategy for your event promotion can increase the impact and reach of your event. Sharing engaging content on multiple channels allows you to reach larger audiences while increasing the likelihood that supporters will see your messaging and act.
When done correctly, multichannel marketing can help you acquire new donors and boost existing donors’ loyalty to your organization, increasing retention. To launch your multichannel marketing strategy and increase your hybrid event’s impact, your team should leverage these core platforms:
- Website. On your website, create an event landing page for your hybrid event that outlines the purpose of your event, what people can expect if they attend, and any fees for attendance. Then, embed a registration page directly into your landing page so supporters can sign up with ease.
- Social Media. Social platforms allow you to interact directly with all of your supporters. Consider using an event hashtag or a social contest to bolster a sense of community among your supporters and expand your reach.
- Email. Email marketing has the power to supercharge your fundraising. Utilize email to appeal to donors’ emotions and include calls-to-action to directly motivate your donors to sign up and attend your hybrid event.
Being able to connect with multiple audiences through marketing your event is important to strengthen their tie to your event and cause. Remember that every nonprofit finds success by using different channels. Monitor which outlets and what type of content seem to drive the most interaction so that you can produce the right combination of content strategies on a consistent basis. You’ll be connecting with your audiences and driving fundraising results in no time!
Add gamification elements.
Need a new way to excite donors during your hybrid event? Add gamification to boost your hybrid event’s energy and drive stronger fundraising results from both your in-person and virtual donors.
Gamification makes engaging with your event fun and social. It turns passive supporters into active participants and gets them genuinely engaging with your mission. Here are a few gamification tactics that you can use during your hybrid event:
- Scoreboards: Highlight the leading donors and foster a healthy sense of competition so donors feel motivated to see their name on the board. Get participants excited to donate and see the impact of their support on the event’s total proceeds.
- Countdown Clock: Build a sense of urgency at your event with a countdown clock. It will help build momentum as your event closes and spur guests to compete to make a big difference with limited time.
- Thermometer: Showcase your fundraising progress and how close you are to reaching your goal with an event thermometer. As you approach the end of your event, supporters feel motivated to keep donating and see your nonprofit reach your goal.
Gamification taps into people’s competitive spirits and makes everyone excited about raising as much money as possible for your mission. Utilize gamification to create an enjoyable and fun experience for your donors, no matter how they choose to attend.
Use live streaming.
Ensure your remote attendees feel just as involved as your in-person supporters! Implementing live streaming technologies can help connect your virtual guests to your event and grab their attention. The power of media allows nonprofits to build connections with remote donors and humanize their mission, no matter where your supporters are.
Check out these tips to make sure your live stream runs smoothly:
- Choose a live streaming platform that complements your fundraising software. Make sure you can connect your live stream with your event site to ensure guests simultaneously watch your event and donate.
- Have a live stream support team. To ensure your virtual attendees have the best experience, have individuals from your fundraising staff in charge of the live stream to help with set-up, troubleshooting, and monitoring.
- Do a technology dry-run. Don’t let event day come without doing at least one test-run. This will get your team familiar with the technology so you can troubleshoot any issues before the event.
- Leverage engagement tactics during your live stream. Engage with your virtual audience even if they are not right in front of you. Use chat, social media, or text messaging to have virtual guests communicate throughout the live stream.
Implementing live streaming during your hybrid event provides exciting opportunities for your nonprofit to expand its reach and increase impact by engaging supporters from anywhere.
Send text alerts.
In our highly digital and connected world, supporters are already spending a lot of time on their phones, and 90% of text messages are read within three minutes. Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with attendees before, during, and after your event with text alerts! This type of communication will keep both of your audiences up-to-date on your event.
Here is how your nonprofit can use text messaging during your event planning and execution.
- Before the event: Build momentum by communicating often and hosting activities leading up to the program. This includes texting registrants reminders about social media contests, events hashtags, and any other pre-event information. You could even send short videos that give a sneak preview of your event and emphasize how donor support will help maximize your nonprofit’s success.
- During the event: Use text messaging to keep donors informed on event updates, different event schedules, and goal progression. This helps make sure your donors are actively engaged during your programming.
- After the event: After your event ends, be sure to quickly follow-up with donors to thank them for their support. According to Kwala’s guide to donor communications, you should let your donors know how much was raised and reference their specific gift and its impact. You could also take this opportunity to invite them to your next event!
Text alerts let your organization quickly engage attendees and spur action. Adding text alerts ensures all guests are informed and connected to your event, whether they are in the room or streaming virtually.
Hybrid events allow for both donor and organization flexibility; however, it can be challenging to keep both audience types engaged. Implementing these tips on how to maintain hybrid event engagement before, during, and after your event will be a surefire way to make your next hybrid fundraiser a success!