how to host a hybrid event in 2020
Hybrid events are definitely not a new phenomenon, they have been growing in popularity throughout the industry. Big brands like Apple and Tesla really allowed this platform to sky-rocket with their style of presentation, bringing the online viewers into the story. In this article we break down the top 5 things to prepare for when hosting a hybrid event.
Experiential marketing is slowly coming back, but until then we are still living in a strange semi-lockdown world so we must adapt accordingly.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
This point is essential for any event but crucially so when you can not see the reactions on the people who are attending. Heat mapping has always been a clever tool to track tangible engagement at an event but for a hybrid event you will have viewers dialling in from their living room. So what do you do?
Well we have found great success in our social footprint tool. This allows us to measure interactions connected to brands based on hashtags, mentions and images.
When planning for an event you must have the end goal in mind. That is always going to be, how can I best engage with and please the people who are taking the time to attend?
To understand WHO these people are firstly is a crucially valuable tool.
Audience listening allows you to hear what your fans say about your brand.
These tools are very powerful and allow a brand or user to connect with shared interests (EG someone that loves Aston Martin may also love talking about their lawns and gardening). This paints a picture of who that individual is and your brand can speak their language and prepare an event that they will feel as though has been curated for them. Amazing.
BE CONTENT RICH
This not may be an option for you straight away, but it is definitely something to think about when planning lead times for your hybrid event.
The long and short of this point is that you are either going to have content in advance or you aren’t.
Make sure that content is stored somewhere that is easy to grab and if you are using specific tools and software, make sure that those operators are around when needed. We are in a period of furlough and staff working from home. When planning any event organisation is key, trying to do that when staff are not around can be incredibly challenging.
If you do not have the content available, then make sure there is time to build this from the bottom up.
UNDERSTAND THE TOOLS AVAILABLE
This is what will take your hybrid event from another zoom presentation to something truly fantastic.
This is your opportunity to show those online viewers something special.
We used augmented reality for our hybrid event, this meant that when the 2 presenters were discussing Randox on stage, a 3d overlay of a baby and a heart appeared on stage. We also had the blinds go down on set when we turned the lights off and the floor interact with the heartbeat of the presenter.
The opportunities in this space are endless, get creative!
We also used an extended reality stage which allowed us to take a standard sit down chat between Aston Martin and ourselves and transform the set design. The presenters are sat on an LED stage but the camera used allows them to be seen as though they are in a specifically designed set or warehouse.
STUDIO IN THE BOX
This is cool.
A completely remote piece of kit that contains a professional camera, audio equipment and screen.
The box is in 1 piece of kit, about 1 foot tall. You send this piece of kit out along with some green screen material to any presenter you wish (Richard Hammond if you were hosting a car event for example) and then it is all controlled within the master control room at the HQ of the main recording studio.
The team can change the background image of the presenter to match the set used in the main studio and they can also cue in and speak directly with the presenter.
This clever piece of kit will take your ‘zoom’ presentation to another level, allowing for high level continuity and the ability to bring in presenters from overseas.
PARTNER WITH A BRAND YOU TRUST
You know this.
Hybrid events may not be a brand new phenomenon, however not every company who can produce a physical event will be set up to master the hybrid event.
In summary you will need to build in the strategy so that you can then create the content around what your audience likes. Use the tools available like augmented reality and the studio in the box to take your presentation to a truly fantastic and engaging event and finally partner with a brand that you trust.
To see our hybrid event in motion, please click here.
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