With Omicron ushering in the next stage of the pandemic, it seems we have another season of hybrid events to plan and prepare for. For the event planners quickly looking to shift planned in-person events back to hybrid, we wanted to share a couple of key suggestions to keep in mind as you navigate another transition.
What is a hybrid event?
Let’s start with a quick definition of what a hybrid event is because it can mean something different to different people. A hybrid event is an event where there is both an in-person and virtual audience. The extent to which you focus on one group more than the other is determined by the vision and the goal of each event host. In a hybrid event, it is important to think through the attendees experience no matter the medium they are attending through. A hybrid event can be as simple as a video feed going to a virtual platform for a remote attendee to obtain the content to a truly immersive experience where you bring both audiences together through a variety of tools.
Keep it simple
Less is more. Such a simple concept but so true when it comes to planning hybrid events. There is often the tendency to overcomplicate and include every idea your team has into one event. It’s important to avoid this and include select things that will help your event stand out but not end up being too much to manage. Remember – other ideas could be used in future events!
Practice and record
As they say, practice makes perfect. Take the time to plan out the various elements of your show in advance, draft a script, and practice in front of others for feedback. Once each segment has been perfected, record them in advance. This offers you plenty of time to edit and present as professionally as possible. This also gives you time to review your messaging and ensure your presentation is succinct and to the point.
Invest in a stage manager
One of the most important things to invest in to make your event a success is an experienced Stage Manager on headset managing cues and talent. Hybrid events can be complicated affairs, with time-sensitive cues happening one after another. Having a qualified Stage Manager working in tandem with your Show Director ensures the show runs smoothly and stays on schedule.
When your event incorporates virtual elements, the probability of complications and issues can be high. It’s important to have a person or multiple people in place to address things like ensuring speakers and attendees are connected within the virtual platform, audio and connection issues, and that any other problems can be addressed quickly without impacting the event as a whole.
Focus on the positive
It has been a tough year, going on two years, for everyone. Make sure to keep this in mind when planning the schedule for your event and keep any down-tempo subjects, like memorials, away from the closing of your event. It’s best to leave your audience on a high note and share successes, accomplishments, and future goals during the closing of your event.