What Are Hybrid Events
Digital & Physical Worlds
Hybrid events can be, well, a hybrid of both virtual and live events. That wasn’t so hard, was it? After the year that shall not be named, traditional events, like many things, entered a heavy downward spiral. The industry began looking inward and found the answer at home.
Streaming had been dragged further into its own spotlight as a means for its industry to continue onward and upward. This insight brought about a new wave of thinking in how we experience our world at large and on a modern scale.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen both brands and businesses moving further into the experiential world as traditional mediums of impact move further into socially shared experiences. These moments allow consumers and coworkers alike to finally share a tangible entrance in both brands and businesses we have conventionally participated with alone in our own heads.
Event channels now combine the physical and digital by broadening the audience and allowing any given space to become a stage. It’s a given these (those) days that if you were to go to a music festival, you see people all around you with a device in hand sharing the physical experience with a digital audience of their own. It’s been around us the entire time. Not yet on an industrial platform, but instead within the end-users sharing these memorable moments with their friends and family.
Internet and broadband continue to expand. Literally now orbiting earth in the form of satellites and below the surface as fiber networks. This growth and potential in live streaming (along with any large-scale projects) only grows the global outreach most businesses only dream of retaining.
This saves cost and time on enormous traditional event builds. It also strengthens the brands’ digital footprint and audience alike while growing towards an energy net positive experience.
It’s true; we’re attempting to run two separate events simultaneously. Before you dive too far into the safety of the past, here’s a healthy reminder we live in a world of forward-thinking. The event industry, like many others, has officially evolved for the better. Again, all of these things were in motion to only now be fast-tracked into our broader social norm. This unprecedented pandemic allowed all of us to rethink and relearn everything from business models and partnerships to event technology and content delivery.
There’s a bonus side to hybrid functionality. Consider having sponsors with the opportunity to land in front of both sides of your audience. That comes out to double the exposure they’d typically have before. Hosting part of your event on a virtual stage creates new opportunities for avenues of lead gen and awareness.
By offering sponsors more value, your event has the ability to attract more partners. This could help offset the technical cost of running the event and allow you to grow your relationships with any given partner.
An awful lot of factors need to be considered when deciding the format of any event. Companies have begun auditing venues to further ensure events are hybrid-ready once live experiences are allowed to return. This can consist of a questionnaire for venues to fill in to ensure they have the basics in place to run hybrid events in the future. Chambers of Commerce are planning hybrid events, allowing options to attend in person or virtually. The capacity of the events to be tailored to the guidelines and regulations for each city.
There’s certainly a thirst in the business community for a modern middle ground. Digital is here to stay, and the future is very much a hybrid one.
Here’s what you need, and what we so happen to do.
Talent, both on and off-screen. A theme/direction for your event. A crew to provide the necessary platform for the event. Troubleshooting with the said crew, a few rooms for that talent, then wham you have your event. It can be a bit more complicated, but not by much.
Issues will occur, like anything you create. Plan to bring the two worlds together. Think ahead of time about the sure-to-be roadblocks along the way. Doing so will help bring together the best transitions built for the best event.
Of course, it includes multi-view streaming setups, cameras, and crews running the show behind the scenes. All are supported by both off and on-site technical teams. They’ll manage the flow and be ready for a host of issues along the way, before and during the event in real-time.
Here’s another significant bit, the run of the show, the schedule, and too many terms to, well, term. This caters to both sides of your audience. Programing yourself to be both engaging and effective in the days to come. Think highly of timing when planning. This includes sessions, how many per day, community building, live polls, and Q&A moments.
Did we mention collaborative breakouts? Content rollout, content fallout, push notifications, analytics, design systems, deep breath, security and encryption teams? Don’t snub bandwidth issues, and having a backup plan at every turn, too.
Content is Everything
We should mention there is a beginning, middle, and end when it comes to events. That means connecting, sharing, and exchanging follow-ups and lead-ins with both parts of your audience.
Let’s call this your optimal content flow because in this world, content is king. Allow yourself time to plan attendee engagement and strategy by the tool effectively. Then there’s the translation, aiding design range as it moves from a still to a motion state for, at times, hours on end.
All of this setup to draw in more attendees and lower your carbon footprint. Your content is arguably the key here.
Let’s recap. The soft apocalypse changed some things around. People took a step back to think about things in a new light. They saw that it had some potential and efficiencies and leaned further into that good. The internet and tech ecosystems grew stronger and continue to do so. Multitasking event experiences became the new normal.
There are far too many experiences we thought of to link out to here. But here’s some encouragement for you to go out and seek these things yourself in planning for your next brand experience.
Or another blog post, in our case.
Things move fast, always have, and always will. We have a tremendous opportunity to leverage built-in audiences while exploring the possibilities of pushing boundaries outward in gaining new community members and tangible points for that audience to enter the fold. We find that exciting.
Keep an eye on tech. Watch as things grow as the world heals and begins to come together closer than ever before. As an industry full of leaders, we can continue to navigate and improve together.
OVATION is a fully integrated virtual event platform and hybrid production partner. We support you with production teams or creative staff to compliment your internal teams. Get in touch for a discovery call to learn how we might help you change the game.