If the buzzwords from the last two years have been unprecedented and new normal, the phrase on everyone’s mind now is hybrid events. The very thought seems to strike fear into many businesses who’ve only just got used to online events after years of doing everything in-person. But we’ll let you into a secret – hybrid events are nothing new, we’ve actually been running them for years.
You may not have organised a hybrid event yet, but you’ve definitely attended one. If you’ve ever watched a TV show where there’s an audience in the studio, you’ve been part of the remote audience. Concerts, sporting events, comedy gigs, chat shows – if there’s a physical and a remote audience, it’s a hybrid event. At the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve ever gathered round a colleague’s laptop to join a video conference or bundled your family onto the sofa for a zoom quiz, we can call those hybrid events too, albeit in a very low-tech way.
What is hybrid anyway?
We define hybrid as an event where audience members are both attending in-person, and remotely online. It’s helpful to think of a scale – at one end there’s fully physical events, like in the olden days, and at the other you’ve got fully remote events, where everyone’s at home in a shirt, tie and jogging bottoms. Everything in between is hybrid.
The next step from doing a fully virtual event, with everyone participating from their own computer, is to get your presenters together in a studio. This could be a professional broadcast facility, or the crew can come to you and broadcast from your office or a conference centre. This is a great way of improving production quality, as we get to swap out your webcam for professional broadcast cameras, and it allows for more natural interaction between presenters.
You may want to consider bringing a physical audience into the studio, just like you see on TV shows such as QI or the Graham Norton show. This can be broadcast via platforms like YouTube, or for a more bespoke and professional online environment there are dedicated, brandable live-streaming platforms. We’ve actually launched our own dedicated platform, contact us to find out more.
If you want your audience’s experience to be more interactive, there are online events platforms like Hopin which allow your remote audience to navigate around a virtual conference centre, attending seminars and workshops, group or one-to-one networking, or even browsing an interactive exhibition hall.
If you want to avoid your attendees having to travel the length of the country to attend, but still want people to be there in person, you could consider running a multi-site event, with satellite locations. By connecting up multiple venues, you can allow both your audience and your presenters to attend a local hub, where they can network, participate in workshops, and watch keynote presentations from other venues.
Finally, large-scale congresses offer a wealth of hybrid opportunities, from satellite sites, remote speakers, virtual workshops, combined exhibitions, interviews, highlights, roaming reporters, the possibilities are endless.
There are no fixed models for hybrid events, just lots of options and opportunities. Work with an experienced production specialist to deliver the best event for your organisation, and give your audience a fantastic experience, however they attend your next event. Contact us today to find out more.