While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted conferences, planners are thinking ahead to what events will look like next year and beyond. One solution that has been trending even before the worldwide shutdown is the hybrid conference model. Featuring both in-person and virtual components, hybrid events provide a way for participants to attend who are unable to travel, but also allows for face-to-face interaction, with adjustments for social distancing. Here are some best practices to keep in mind if you opt for a hybrid conference.
Here and There
While online attendees can watch a livestream of conference presentations, most participants are looking to be more than just passive audience members. Create an app for your conference using a platform like Eventbase, Socio, or EventMobi to build a bridge between your virtual and in-person participants. During presentations, be sure to have a designated facilitator who can monitor online questions as they come in and incorporate them into the session's Q&A time. Another way to encourage attendees to take a more active role is to create Twitter polls to get real-time engagement during presentations and throughout the conference in general.
Loud and Clear
For any conference, ensuring that all of your A/V needs are addressed is a crucial part of the planning process. With hybrid events, that is especially true as your presenters need to be seen and heard by attendees far and wide. High-speed internet is a must, but you also need to have video equipment and microphones with the proper capabilities to broadcast keynote sessions without technical glitches.
The Social Network
Making sure conference attendees stay engaged in between sessions can be a challenge even when everyone is in the same venue. Carving out time for networking is one solution, but how does that translate to the hybrid model? Incorporate social media into your planning by setting up a dedicated Facebook group for your conference, where all participants (in-person and virtual) can network and discuss important points from keynote speakers and sessions. Your conference app is another great place for all attendees to have group discussions, direct messaging, or participate in fun challenges.
Hybrid conferences are a good solution to keeping your event going during this time of social distancing. Of course, there's the added benefit of expanding your audience beyond your regular in-person attendees. Contact us today to find out how the experienced staff at The Otesaga can assist you in planning your conference.
Are you ready for a summer getaway? We have a feeling the answer is a resounding, "yes!" The Otesaga is open for its 111th season, and we can't wait to welcome visitors looking to reconnect with nature in Cooperstown. There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors in America's Most Perfect Village, and a stay at our upstate New York hotel is the perfect place to unwind after a day outside. Here are just a few ways to experience the beauty of America's Most Perfect Village!
Fresh Air, Fresh Flavors
As The Otesaga opens its doors to guests, delicious dining also returns to Hawkeye Bar & Grill. Offering a breathtaking view of Lake Otsego, the outdoor patio at Hawkeye pairs perfectly with the outstanding summer menu that Chef Jim Perillo has created for the season. Enjoy a Greek Farro Salad or Harissa Roasted Chicken with the beautiful natural landscape of Cooperstown as the backdrop for your memorable meal.
Main Street Treats and More
One of the can't-miss experiences in Cooperstown is a stroll down Main Street. Lined with stores and restaurants, the quaint charm surrounds you and encourages a leisurely stroll to take it all in. Enjoy an afternoon treat of ice cream while experiencing a picturesque upstate New York summer. If you're feeling inspired, explore the quiet village streets just off of Main Street, where you'll find several historic markers including Council Rock Park.
Guests of The Otesaga have been drawn to its serene lake views for 111 years, whether they're relaxing in a rocker on the veranda or sitting on a bench on the back lawn. For visitors looking for a more active way to experience nature, Cooperstown is full of great places to hike, bike, or walk your way to stunning views. The Sleeping Lion Trail at Glimmerglass State Park offers a challenge to hikers and bikers, with a climb of 435 feet; for those looking for a less strenuous hike, the Beaver Pond and Woodland Trails provide another way to enjoy the great outdoors. Of course, the "Glimmerglass" of James Fenimore Cooper's novels is a great way to beat the summer heat, with a swim in Otsego Lake.
If you're ready for outdoor adventures, Cooperstown is a must-stop on your itinerary. A stay at The Otesaga provides the perfect way to relax after a day of fresh air fun, with delicious dining and serene lake views.