How can we define a Hybrid Event?
A hybrid event combines both in-person and virtual participation together. Whilst this will take place in a physical venue, an audience has the ability to interact with this venue live and online. At a time where COVID19 has significantly impacted the ways in which businesses operate, it is no surprise that companies are redirecting their marketing efforts towards this exciting and very current form of communication.
How does the virtual audience engage with those who are physically present at these events?
Here, a virtual live discussion can be formed in order for there to be as much engagement between the virtual audience and those who are physically present. If a discussion board is set up, virtual attendees can ask questions here to which a moderator can choose which questions to ask directly to the physical audience. From this, virtual attendees may feel as if they are receiving as much attention in line with what they would receive if they were physically there.
Also, with social media being an integral part of everyday life, it could be wise for event company to display an event hashtag on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to get a conversation flowing amongst multiple members of the audience. This creates a communal feel and would also benefit people whose question were not answered live. Instead, other members within the forum can help to answer these questions.
What are they key benefits of hybrid events whilst COVID19 remains present?
This form of event reduces the number of people present in a physical venue, due to an audience only being present online. This therefore remains complicit with social distancing measures and drastically reduces the chances of contracting the virus. As a result, companies get the benefit of continuing to host events yet in a way that is perhaps considered more modern and in line with government guidelines about keeping safe.
Another key benefit is that this form of event can increase the number of people attending an event. For some individuals, it may be difficult to get to the venue, spend money on travelling or booking time off work. Instead, the audience has the satisfaction of simply attending the event from their own home which also introduces the idea that these events can be accessed globally as long as you have a device to stream this on.
What equipment is needed to host a hybrid event?
Similar to most events, the same technologies are needed in order to successfully host live events. Arguably the most important device needed is a high-quality camera. Here, various questions can be asked. How many cameras are needed? Will the camera support all screen sizes? Will this be in HD? This also may need to be supported by tripods, allowing for various camera angles and positions to be shown if a live panel is being recorded.
The other essential device that is needed are high-quality microphones. These ideally will be wireless and perhaps discreet in order for them not be a distraction for those on the panel, and the audience viewing. Whilst high-quality imagery is vital when communicating to an audience, this needs to be backed up by high-quality sound in order to effectively tie in together the messages being displayed.
Are hybrid events the future?
For now, it seems so! Whilst traditional events will gradually come back as the pandemic eases, with the digital world rapidly advancing, it would not be surprising if this becomes the norm with many businesses choosing hybrid events due to reduced costs involved and heightened efficiency.
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