Building a Hybrid Event Environment
Take over the space – Just as your brand and theme take over the landscape of a hotel or convention center, your virtual platform needs to be shaped as an extension of that same look and feel. Whether entering the doors leading into your general session or clicking on a link that opens your landing page, there should be no doubt your Consultants have joined their community. Reflecting the same imagery, colors, font and language used in your physical signage, a virtual platform should provide a wealth of opportunities to re-enforce your message. The upside of all of this is that you stand the opportunity to double the exposure of your passive learning and Consultant recognition with a dynamic presence in both digital and physical spaces.
Be intentional with the agenda. – When it comes to event design and session scheduling in a post pandemic, hybrid environment new considerations always arise. Virtual events have taught us that shorter more interactive content is much better suited to our new digital attention spans. Complimenting these needs are increased safety guidelines on traffic flow and social distancing to limit the length and location of concurrent sessions. With on demand content available post session, Consultants truly don’t need to miss a single presentation.
Allow for a new vision in staging. In the past, the general session scenic expression and stage has always been one of the key elements in an event. Now, new capacity requirements, seating plans, and broadcast considerations are changing stage designs. Taking a step back from the traditionally expansive, panoramic approach this year and consider two audiences—those physically in the space and those viewing through a digital lens. Consider breaking up the scenic design into multiple stages that allows for a variety of camera backdrops and activities. Wow factor can still play a part, but function takes on a much more critical role.
Prepare for a larger scope of production equipment and crew. When delivering main stage content in a hybrid environment all of the equipment and technicians of the past remain, but now there is an added virtual production. Two examples to consider are switchers and cameras. Both function quite differently in these two worlds. Cameras that support IMAG capture tight shots to magnify people and content to the back of the room (content). Broadcast camera operators take the point of view or wider shots to show what is happening in the larger space (context). A second switching system may be necessary for each experience.
Create spaces and times to bring the audiences together. Consider incorporating a host or emcee focused on the virtual audience. Since remote attendees are not as easily able to connect with speakers or leaders onsite, it’s important to deliver a more intimate experience with a small host studio that utilizes a talk show format. This approach not only fosters more engagement, but it helps to tie show elements together and provide a personal/conversational experience for virtual attendees.
Check back for more information on our continued series about hybrid events. Next: Translating a Hybrid Plan.