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Hybrid events are the new normal

Throwback to 2019 (the last year of normality before COVID-19 hit) events and conferences were running mostly without a hitch all over the world, bringing people together to learn, collaborate and entertain. Fast forward to now, the learning, collaboration and entertainment is still happening but it looks a lot different because it’s mostly all happening online.

When COVID-19 hit, we quickly provided virtual event solutions for our clients that were desperately trying to find alternatives to cancelling. We had already been doing this for some time before the pandemic, but running a hybrid event is something we, and many other production and event companies around the world, had to quickly learn about as things shut down. Since then, we’ve made hybrid/virtual event solutions part of our core offerings, because it’s just part of the new normal.

WHAT IS A HYBRID EVENT?

It’s understandable if you’re still not 100% sure what this actually means, but don’t worry, it’s actually quite an easy to understand concept. Put simply, a hybrid event is an event that combines both in-person and virtual elements. This could be either your viewers watching the full event from home, or integrating presenters and speakers who can’t attend in person to give their presentation.

A hybrid event could be held for any of the following:

  • Staff/client updates or presentations
  • Product launches
  • Conferences
  • Award ceremonies
  • Competitions
  • Team meetings
  • Webinars

HOW DOES IT WORK?

If all you need is to broadcast your event to a virtual audience who can’t attend in-person, this is what we call a livestream. We film the event either virtually or on-location, and livestream the video directly to an online platform (such as YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook) which can be accessed by your audience via a web browser. 

If your audience is attending in-person, but some of your presenters/speakers can’t be there, this is what we call a livestream with a virtual element. We film the event on-location, but work with either your or our AV partners to set the virtual presenter up on Zoom, Skype or Teams and have them appear on-screen in the room for their presentation. We can still livestream the full event with the virtual presenter to audience members who can’t attend in person, or we can record the whole event and send you a video file afterwards to share.

WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE IT WORK?

Nothing! The beauty of working with professional events, AV and production companies is that all you have to do is tell them what you want, and they’ll make it happen. Be aware that running an event with a virtual element will need additional equipment to make everything work smoothly, so give your suppliers as much information as possible as early as possible so they can quote and plan accordingly.

If your virtual element is just live streaming the event to a virtual audience, all you need to do is pass on the appropriate event links for them to click on on the day. We will supply this to you around a week before the event unless otherwise discussed.

If your virtual event is incorporating a virtual presenter/speaker, you’ll need to let them know that we’ll need to do some testing with them prior to the event. The testing session is when we set them up on the specific software they’ll need to connect with on the day (such as Zoom, Skype or Teams), and we run through how they’ll run any powerpoint presentations or media during their presentation, as well as audio, video and internet quality.

Thanks to the advancements in technology since the pandemic began, running hybrid events and reaching your audience virtually has never been easier. If you have questions or want to run your own hybrid event, chat to one of our team.

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