How to hold a hybrid event
AS TECHNOLOGY advances, hybrid events are becoming increasingly more popular and accessible. Hybrid events are those that combine a live (in person) and a virtual (online) audience experience, blending and engaging the two elements. The technology and capability for web and live streaming is growing rapidly, and event organisers are actively trying to include this option in as many events as possible.
Hybrid events can be great for an array of event types, including meetings, product launches, conferences, trade shows, company announcements, training, and sales and marketing updates. Those that attend virtually can view live footage and content from the event, such as keynote and guest speakers, workshops, launches and education sessions via a webcast direct to their computer, tablet or mobile phone. Generally, they are also able to interact with the speakers and other virtual attendees via messaging tools, a chat line or social media channels.
When holding a hybrid event, the most important thing to consider is that your event is fulfilling for all attendees, whether in person or virtual, and effectively engages both audiences.
Here are some things to consider:
To have a successful virtual experience, you must have flawless technical output. Content such as video, slides and other event data needs to be prepared, input into the streaming system and tested in advance.
Keep on time
It can be hard to keep events strictly on time, but this is even more important when providing a hybrid event. Like waiting for a TV program to start, your virtual attendees will log on specifically at that time, for that speaker or presentation, and if there are delays or confusion with timing, they may log off.
Participation and engagement
Allow time and access for both online and in person attendees to participate in discussions or workshops, and remember to allow time for online attendees to contribute, as they may not be able to answer as instantly as those within the room.
Hybrid events using live webcasting are a powerful communication tool and can assist you to save money, extend the life of in-person events and broaden your audience and event exposure, offering different perspectives and an exciting experience for all involved.
Nathan Hinschen is the Partner at Novotel Brisbane for AVPartners, which creates integrated event experiences through combining state-of- the-art audiovisual technology, unrivalled expertise and a highly-tailored approach. www.avpartners.com