After more than a year into this pandemic, a lot of people have Zoom fatigue and can’t wait to attend in-person fundraising events again. But there are others who would still prefer a virtual event – either for comfort and safety, or because they have fallen in love with their life of curbside pickup and sweatpants. Are you supposed to hold two events now – a virtual and in-person event to accommodate both?
No. This is the “new normal” we have been talking about for a year now. Hybrid fundraising events will give everyone the best of both worlds, blending technologies to create a single, seamless experience.
This guide will cover what your website is going to need, how to make it fun, and a few best practices to help you raise more money for your cause. Online. Off line. Everywhere.
What is a Hybrid Event?
What does your website need to host a hybrid event?
Your website plays an important role in a hybrid fundraising event. Not only does it have to do everything it needs to do for a traditional event, it needs to take it a step further to offer a virtual option AND make it engaging. Let’s start with some of the elements that you can’t risk overlooking for a smooth and successful experience.
With this split event, you need your registration page to be extra clear. It needs to state how to purchase in-person tickets, how to register as a virtual guest, and if there are different levels for supporters for each. For example, can in-person guests sponsor a table? Is there a virtual equivalent? Many virtual events allow those who live in the vicinity to register with a donation that includes a meal or gift bag. Make sure the options for all types of registration are crystal clear upon checkout.
The same goes for all follow-up communication. When guests receive their confirmation emails, don’t allow for confusion by sending everyone all of the information. In-person guests should receive an email that includes information about parking, COVID precautions, etc. Virtual guests should receive the links and any other technical information. Avoid confusion among your guests by catering the correspondence to their chosen experience.
Everything Mobile Friendly
In 2021, everything should already be mobile friendly. The stats don’t lie. But this will certainly be one of those situations where anything that isn’t totally and 100% optimized for all device types is going to hurt your cause. Double and triple check that the registration, donation, and any participation activities, such as bidding on a silent auction or entertainment, are all optimized for mobile.
Everyone attending your event, virtually or in-person, is there to support your nonprofit. You are all working together for a common goal, so let them all see the progress! Having a system that allows the gifts to be visible in real time during the event can ramp up the excitement, and the donations.
Social Media Integrations
Social media can build a community around the event before, during and after. Pull in hashtags directly to the event page to facilitate conversations, maximize your reach and communicate your cause.
Reporting & Analytics
This is absolutely essential. Any time you do anything on your website, you want to track what is working and what isn’t. When the event is over, you want to explore which aspects were highly utilized, which could have performed better, and what opportunities you have to improve for your next hybrid fundraising event.
What are some fun features to include?
Add a sense of urgency with a countdown timer.
Create some friendly competition among your donors.
Motivate donors with a visual representation of your goal.
Fun prizes get people talking, and bidding.
Include a way to display personal messages with donations
Give your virtual guests a voice with chat boxes
Hybrid Event Best Practices
Mittun is the premier website provider for nonprofits and mission-based brands. No matter the type of fundraiser you are hosting, your website is your most powerful marketing tool. Countless organizations have trusted us to help them do more good in the world. Could your website have an even bigger impact on your mission?
Are you prepared for a hybrid fundraiser?
Contact Mittun for a free assessment today.