Hybrid events combine the elements of an in-person and a live event. Since the pandemic, it has been the new standard of hosting events. It allows companies to attract live and virtual audiences, allowing them to expand their audience reach. While it is convenient for the attendees, this event poses challenges for the organizers. Identifying the technical difficulties of hybrid events is essential to devise a plan to overcome them and have a successful event.
This guide explores the technical challenges of hybrid events and provides insights into navigating them proactively and successfully.
Hybrid events offer technical challenges for event organizers. Therefore, it's essential to take a proactive approach to address these challenges for a successful event.
When producing a hybrid event, there is a tendency (albeit unintended) for the remote attendees to be treated as 'second-class' participants. But this shouldn't be the case: in-person and remote attendees should be considered equal. Therefore, you must strive to deliver a quality experience for both audiences.
One of the technical challenges is how to deliver the presentation equally to in-person and remote audiences. In addition, you want to ensure that any presentation is delivered at the same quality for both types of audiences.
The best way to navigate this challenge is to create a custom broadcast stream for the online audience. For example, if you have a visual presentation for the in-person audience using large screens, it can be hard to view for the remote audience on their screens. Therefore, you must create a dedicated broadcast stream for those watching online. Using this approach enables the remote audience to enjoy the same broadcast quality.
Another technical challenge for hybrid events is integrating remote and live audiences. One example is when you are dealing with the Q&A portion of the presentation. Remote audiences might feel out of sight, making it difficult to interact and participate with the rest of the audience.
You need advanced audio visual integration to ensure that you can deliver a two-way audio and video feed seamlessly. This integrated approach enables the remote audience to participate in these interactive sessions as if they were in the same room as the live audience.
Hybrid events could also involve remote presenters. Therefore, you have to plan for enabling remote presentations during the event.
There are two ways to prepare for a remote presentation. First, you have to consider the technical aspect of hybrid event management. Ensure that the remote presenters get assistance in setting up their audio, video, and lighting before going live. Aim for optimal audio and video quality.
Second, you must consider how to deliver the remote presenter to the in-room audience. The best approach for this will depend on how many screens you have in the event venue.
If you have multiple screens at the venue, you can dedicate one screen for showing the presenter and the other screen for the presentation slides. But if you only have one screen, you can opt for a picture-in-picture integration wherein the presenter and their presentation are shown on one screen.
Here’s a typical scenario for hybrid events: hundreds (or thousands) of people sitting in one room and more in front of their computers in a remote location.
A successful event consists of allowing a connection between two types of audiences. It’s a smart approach to ensure that live and remote audiences feel valued and that they're getting something out of the event. Specifically, it's common for remote participants to feel disconnected from the experience.
So, how do you overcome this? The first step is to set up more touchpoints for the remote audience. For example, you can set up an event app where the remote audience can engage by providing event notifications, summaries, polls, and other interactive features.
Another strategy is to tap into a virtual host who will direct the remote attendees. It will enable the remote participants to be aware of the flow of events in the venue to keep up with the event progression.
The internet plays a critical role in ensuring the success of hybrid events. However, if there are any glitches with the internet, such as poor bandwidth, it can compromise the quality of the broadcast for the remote audience.
You need to hire an expert technical team and an A/V team to navigate this issue. Make sure you have a backup plan to maintain the audio and video quality of the hybrid event, if there is a poor internet connection.. It’s also important to check the WiFi capabilities in the venue to ensure that the number of attendees you anticipate for the event can be supported.
A qualified A/V team can advise you on the bandwidth requirements for the event so you can prepare accordingly.
Yes, hiring an audio visual team is recommended for managing hybrid events. The technical challenges cited above can be difficult to overcome without the expertise of an A/V team. These are the benefits of hiring an A/V team for hybrid events:
You can tap the technical expertise of A/V teams to overcome the technical challenges of a hybrid event. They work hard to ensure that all technical components are seamlessly integrated for a successful event.
A reliable A/V team is a powerful tool for overcoming the technical challenges of hybrid events. Proper planning helps you anticipate these challenges and develop a contingency plan so you can deal with any issues promptly and effectively.