Hybrid events are nothing new.
During our 35 year stint in the events and video production business, Legend has produced all types of events and usually there’s some sort of hybrid element involved, whether it be piping in a speaker from halfway across the world, or providing a livestream of an event to an audience working from home.
Hybrid events enhance the amount of engagement audiences can have with an event, they provide a greater level of accessibility for people who may not be able to attend an in person event but still want to be included.
We over at Legend think they’re here to stay, so we’re gonna break down some of the best practices we’ve implemented over the course of our experience for you, and share some key questions you should ask yourself when thinking about going hybrid.
Hybrid: Deciphering the Term
The term hybrid is VERY in right now–you see blog posts (haha) or think pieces about it all over the web. And of course, due to the rapidly changing landscape of the last few years, Hybrid events in their current form (ie, a live event with an online element of some sort) is the way to go for people who want to gather in person safely while reaching the largest audience possible.
The thing to remember when considering a Hybrid event is that you are in fact creating two separate programs, tailored to two specific audiences.
The most successful hybrid events give a lot of thought to the value they can bring to their event through each medium.
In-person events allow for the communal experience that we as human beings crave, they allow us to have some fun and explore thought provoking content in a new context. A virtual event cultivates networking and community in a different way, attendees may have more access than they would have at the in person event. If there’s an on-demand element, they may be able to rewatch talks or sections and come up with deeper insights as a result.
What are some ways to optimize both “versions” of your event so that your attendees are able to take advantage of the particular strengths of each medium? Once you can answer that, you’re on your way to something unforgettable.
Two Programs, Unified Intent
Even though you are creating two distinct programs, a truly flawless hybrid event also finds a way to make these elements cohesive enough that there is no doubt you’re attending the same event. This is a biggie for a lot of our clients–many want that “in the room” feel for the streaming portion of their events, and there are a lot of different ways you can go about this.
For example, say you want to do Q&A, how do you collect questions from people in the room as well as online? How will people ask the questions in each medium? How do you quality control audience questions so the most dynamic ones make it to your panel or keynote speaker?
Another way to get that “in the room” feel is to add some fun interactive elements. Integrate social media so that in person attendees can tag the event in their reception pics and videos. Have a camera person roam around the reception to give an immersive look at the event space to air online during breaks. Or, add a photo booth or trivia that you can play both in person and online to facilitate smooth interaction between all your viewers across mediums.
Nitty Gritty Knowledge
As with any event, the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re looking to go hybrid is to make sure that you are keenly aware of your message, your audience, and the way in which you want to communicate. As long as you’re specific about these things, the rest of your production elements will fall into place.
In addition to that, it’s critical to have an event production company in your corner that you can trust, who will advocate on your behalf to make sure your vision is realized. A good production company (like Legend) will use their experience and unwavering curiosity to find the most creative and effective way to weave together and accentuate those in person and virtual elements, engaging your audience exactly how you want to.
They can answer your questions about set design and construction, wordsmith the perfect script, design dynamic graphics that give a polished look both on a big LED screen and on your laptop at home, and shed a light on what exactly Vmix is and why you should use it, along with countless other details.
So much goes into a Hybrid event. To put forward that unforgettable experience, take some time and give it a think, then call Legend and we’ll work with you to take it to the next level.