In a recent study published by EventMB, we were shocked to see one statistic; that an overwhelming majority of event organizers (81%) believe that in planning Hybrid events, they have to design and execute separate, dedicated experiences for in-person and remote audiences.
It can seem overwhelming to think that the return to Live-In-Person events with a Digital/Virtual component could feel like needing to plan two events. Luckily, with the right application of Production Technology and Expertise, you won’t have to wear several hats to pull off an Exceptional Experience for both the audience in the room and the remote audience that you want to reach.
5 Ways to Leverage Production Technology for Hybrid Events
Hybrid events have been around for years. Apple’s WWDC is a 5-day event, that broadcasts it’s most sought-after content (the big product reveals and keynotes) while in person attendees enjoy gatherings on site with other developers. When developing that content plan, their team is meticulous about what will and will not be broadcast. The big thing to remember is that the content of Tim Cook’s speech, the visuals and the staging don’t change, just how it is framed for the different audiences. Year after year, the global broadcast of the day three keynote and launch event drives more and more engagement and ticket sales for proceeding years.
An AV company we visited a few weeks back said that they think the advent of Hybrid is being blown way out of proportion, and that we are going to go back to a single camera streaming to a simple website. We don’t think so. Online and remote audiences are going to demand more, and your stakeholders will want to leverage the opportunity to reach that massive audience potential in a meaningful way.
The best way to integrate broadcast into your event is to add a simple Flypack (a portable system that consists of all the necessary gear to monitor, switch and record audio and video at any location) to your event. That way you can concentrate on planning the event, while a good production partner can broadcast it.
A flypack will enable you and your team to seamlessly manage cameras and video mixing to the virtual channel of your event without disrupting the flow of the live experience.
Your live audience is there to interact and shake hands, while your Virtual audience wants to see rich content. Consider adding a secondary space that can be used as a remote interview location. Imagine your keynote finishing their 45-minute presentation on stage to a live audience, broadcast to the virtual attendees. Once the session is over, the live audience will want to have a chance to get up, walk the trade show floor and network. Your remote audience on the other hand can be treated to an exclusive one on one interview with the keynote speaker from a breakout room set up as a broadcast centre, offering added value aligned with their content focus.
You will need to add a focussed producer that oversees what the remote audience sees on broadcast. This role is essential to making your broadcast as compelling as possible. Luckily, after over 18 months of working on remote broadcasts, this is not a skill set that is too foreign to a lot of us in the industry.
Focus on bringing on a team member with TV and Film experience as they really know what the frame can tell an audience. We were able to leverage our years of broadcast experience in the eSports market to make some pretty great events make the transition into a digital broadcast over the years. Check out some of them in our past work.
By adding a little infrastructure to record sessions and content in the form of camera equipment and recording decks, you can leverage that for a long time. Your live event can then become a content factory that allows you to engage your online audience for another planning cycle throughout the year. Not all of the sessions of the conference need to be broadcast each day live. Some breakout sessions, round tables and panels can be recorded, edited and used for further promotional and audience growth leading up to the following years event.
Remember, your event is not the format. Your event is the content and the audience that consumes it and the format should be what supports and frames that content and how your audience wants it to be delivered.
A hybrid format allows you to leverage your content and messaging and package it to two separate outputs at the same time, allowing for some great possibilities.
Let us show you how to create an exceptional production experience for both your audiences, whether they are in the seats or on a device far away.
Book a meeting with us, let us build a custom plan using our production framework, then together, let’s create an exceptional experience together.