Hybrid of Live and Virtual Events the Answer for Right Now

Openings and lockdowns have everyone a little on edge and confused. Especially with news changing on whether vaccinated people can get together without masks, or masks indoors? As scientists learn more about the coronavirus, we know things will shift again. But meantime, you have employees you need to get working together as one team and it’s time for a bit of fun to make that happen.

Do you force everyone into one space? Given the numbers of workers who’ve said they want to stay working at home, and those worried about the dangers of virus mutations, that’s not likely to be well received.

Maybe your budget or event location is limited and a hybrid event makes more sense. Whatever your rationale, hybrid events are becoming a more popular option to satisfy those who want to stay remote and those who really want to be together. There are a couple ways for this to work.

Live Broadcast

Plan to have a live broadcast of your event activities for people joining remotely. To maximize engagement, be sure to include some of these items:

  1. Have the event host acknowledge viewers throughout, and give them the advantage of closeups.
  2. Include polls or quizzes that all can participate in. You can use the same tools.
  3. Have an online liaison to interact with remote viewers and answer logistic questions, as well as to share online questions with the host.
  4. If it’s also a public event, use social media to connect attendees who are there live or viewing remotely.

Livestream for Remote and In Person Teams

You may decide that for the activity portion of a longer live event, it makes sense to broadcast it all. This can make economic sense as some activities are easier to have everyone participating online. It can also be cost effective to have a mix of entertainment that does not have to include travel costs.

In this case you want to have a very engaging host who can interact with everyone, and set up a camera in the room. This is a great energizing opportunity for the host to call for cheers from the team set up together.

Some tips for engaging everyone:

  1. Add to your event checklist a wi-fi check to make sure everyone can access the event from the live room, and does everyone have a device? Of course people can also share if not.
  2. Make sure the live room doesn’t tune out, keep things moving and energetic. Get people out of their chairs every now and then.
  3. Use breakout rooms for the remote viewers and the live room for activities to engage smaller groups.
  4. Use breakout rooms for everyone to get a mix of live and remote attendees interacting together.

Activities that work for hybrid events

Anything that works remotely can be adapted for a hybrid event: Name That Tune, Survey Says, Trivia… As well as magic acts, comedians and music.

The key is to always understand you have both audiences to be managing. Sounds like a lot? That’s why it makes sense to have staff manage both, or to outsource your event or the virtual delivery. Make sure to have a walkthrough with everyone to make sure they know how to deal with different situations and have cues to watch for with both audiences.

One of the most challenging parts of any event is sound. You might need a sound engineer to test and balance the sound for live and virtual listening and recording.

Remember that the best part of virtual events is that it is really easy to make recordings that can be viewed later. That might be on demand viewing for presentations and announcements, or a highlights reel for your team to revisit the fun times later.

 

Got more questions? Contact us for a chat on how to make your next event a success.