Now that event planners are increasingly focusing on virtual and hybrid events, there are a few things for venues to consider. In this post, we take a look at hybrid events for venues. In this blog post, we discuss what they are in the first place, what venues should do to ensure their success, and give examples of successful hybrid events in recent years.
What are hybrid events?
Hybrid events are events that include both face-to-face and live virtual streaming elements. They have grown in popularity in recent years, and with COVID-19’s impact on the industry and the ability to gather large groups of people, hybrid events are expected to be a significant part of the future.
In an informal survey conducted during Global Meeting Industry Day in April, 62% of event planners said their events will be hybrid style in the future, while 18% said there will be greater demand for virtual-only events.In an informal survey conducted during Global Meeting Industry Day in April, 62% of event planners said their events will be hybrid style in the future, while 18% said there will be greater demand for virtual-only events.
To fully understand hybrid events, it’s important not to over-complicate things. Take the World Cup, for example. Football matches have thousands of in-person attendees, but each event is also broadcast to millions of people around the world.
Virtual and hybrid events still need venues
Just because an event is virtual or hybrid doesn’t mean venues are out of luck. The visual element of virtual and hybrid events is an important part of the overall experience. When filming the event, the camera zooms in and out and captures the background – so the venue will definitely be part of the virtual audience experience.
While planners may not be looking for an overly lavish and spacious venue for a purely virtual event, they still need to find a venue that has the basics, such as a stage with podium and audio-visual equipment, to give the broadcast a polished atmosphere. When it comes to hybrid events, the venue becomes even more important as attendees will actually physically gather in your space.
As hybrid events become the norm, this could have some long-term implications for the events industry. As a venue, it will therefore be crucial to maintain a high standard of transparency and open communication with planners.
These 5 points are necessity when it comes to hybrid events at venues:
As hybrid events become more popular, it will be critical that venues have the technical capabilities and infrastructure in place to provide a lasting experience for all involved.
A high-quality video camera and exceptional Wi-Fi are no longer optional. Venues need to be equipped with sufficient bandwidth and speed to handle large numbers of attendees and advanced event technologies, such as augmented reality and virtual reality.
Hoteliers should ensure they have digital infrastructure in place to support these advanced amenities. And with the advent of 5G, venues should consider whether the investments they are making today will be relevant in a 5G world. Make sure your digital infrastructure is robust and world-class so it doesn’t become obsolete as 5G technology becomes more widespread. Here are five equipment-based steps venues can take to put together a successful hybrid event:
Use the right cameras – To create a rich experience that keeps the virtual audience engaged, a camera is a necessity. Consider how many and what type of camera you need when deciding.
Provide high quality microphones – Wireless lavalier microphones are the best option as they look better on camera and there is less chance of ambient noise. If there is a Q&A session, you will also need wireless handheld microphones and microphone runners for the audience. Remember: the audience at home also needs to hear the questions. It is crucial that their experience is as valuable as that of the audience who are physically present.
Good internet connection at the venue – An internet line dedicated solely to the livestream is essential. This means that no one else from the venue – staff or attendees – can use this internet.
On-site technical support – Hire someone who knows how all your venue’s equipment works and has all the necessary information a planner’s AV and streaming partners need to know.
Test everything in advance! – Test everything in advance to make sure all equipment is functional. Take time to test the lighting, camera and sound before the event begins.
Special Event by Apple as an example of a successful hybrid event:
Held at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California, the event had both in-person attendees and a live-streaming audience. During the event, where Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a handful of new devices and features, the view of the online event audience was switched back and forth with multiple camera angles, adding an extra sense of interaction to the live stream.
Read also our blog post on the topic of virtual exhibition: