How to manage your virtual audience as we shift back to in-person meetings

Phelps R. Hope

CMP - Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions

Q&A From Meeting Planners

Phelps R. Hope, CMP, Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions with Kellen Company and past President of Skål International Atlanta, shares one of the most common questions they receive recently from clients and how they respond to them.


Given the successes with virtual conferences, associations are still looking at keeping a virtual audience in conjunction with the in-person audience once we get back to in-person conferences. How do we manage this?


The easy answer is to focus on the networking of the audiences through shared experiences instead of forced interactions.  A key challenge is to determine how the two audiences will interact, if at all. The desired outcome of a hybrid event is to provide the optimal experience for both the virtual and in-person attendee. These two audience types might have different needs and goals – so you can’t contrive interactions if it does not enhance the experience for both audiences. The effort will be to determine those needs and goals and design the experience to achieve them, then look for shared experiences upon which you can capitalize on.