9 Things You Need To Know About Hybrid Events
Andrew – Creative Director – Collaborate Global
Jamie – Technical – Matrix Events
Taken from the Q&A of Collaborate’s Hybrid event. We speak first hand with those that have, planned, created and completed it. Discover the 9 top questions from the public on Hybrid events and how your brand can still excel at brand activation through these your own Hybrid event. You may be asking yourself ‘how do I put on a hybrid event?’ Well, get in touch
“How long was the studio in development for?”
It’s been in development really since February when we first started seeing events go online and although the technology has been around for many years for streaming, it has been great to see it done in a professional way for both agencies and brands. Collaborate have spent about a month preparing for the show I suppose, in total from creative concept through to execution today.
“Are there any other technologies that you have considered including in a hybrid event and how could they work?”
I think we are most excited about the XR stage. I think the main stage is great. It’s cool. But the XR stage is taking leaps and bounds forward. From our personal perspective, the XR stage is the cutting edge of the technology that has been available to play with for the show. It is in its infancy to a certain extent, so it has got some technological limitations. You can interact with 3D, motion and graphic elements, it worked really well with our Randox and Aston Martin segment. I mean, we’ve tried it, we’ve tested it. It works.
It has great potential to link a viewing audience within the live show. For example, a QR code or some other recognisable code could flash up on the screen whilst the XR stage is in action and that could allow a second screen activity to be overlaid. You could have an augmented moment on a second screen for the audience. Happening over an augmented moment on the main screen, in a live space. Mind blowing.
“What are the lead times needed for content and production of a Hybrid event?”
In terms of lead times, from a production point of view, I would suggest that these types of events need to be taken with the same planning and the same mindset as a traditional, physical live event.
In terms of lead times for creating, it really depends on what you, as the client or stakeholder is wanting to produce. If we are starting from scratch it is like building a house. If you have the bricks (design) already done, the lead time is going to be a lot quicker that starting from the very beginning. We can of course build up from level 1 but it takes more time.
“Can you explain the process of how a studio in a box works and what the remote presenter will need?”
To summarise for those that missed it. A studio in the box is a completely transportable, shippable, piece of camera equipment. We can send that to a guest speaker anywhere in the world, along with some green screen material and by using some light editing we cue up the same imaging from the live stage, giving the impression that the remote presenter is at the event. It has a microphone, the same cameras that we use on site, autocue and the ability for the Directors on site in the live event to speak and cue up directly to the guest speaker.
There’s a lot of options that we can do to get people connected. As soon as the box arrives at the presenter’s house, all you need to do to get us up and running is to plug in the power and connect to an internet source. As soon as we’ve got it up and working, our technician is able to talk directly to the presenter and that’s where we can start tweaking the camera to make sure it looks and sounds great.
As soon as we have got power and internet, we’re pretty much there.
“What are the limitations to the XR Stage, can it be transported and does it work outdoors?”
We only found 1 issue, not for us, but for future use. It needs to be set up and worked on in a controlled environment. When direct sunlight hits the led back wall it can knock it out. To answer your question about the outdoor ability, I would say that unless you are in a very controlled environment (night-time with 100% rain cover) I would not use it then. The beautiful bit about this kit is that it functions so well inside and it’s ability to create a large space makes me wonder what it would even really serve as for outdoor use. It’s all transportable. It all goes in flight cases and the Anna Valley team have taken it apart and put it up in different venues, so we are confident in the ability for it to be moved, just maybe not outside.
“Pandemic aside, do you feel as though this change in approach to events was coming regardless?”
Our job is to help brands tell their stories in a really engaging way. This event is a way of proactively tackling issues that face us, today. We have already used this technology for events (pre-Covid). I would say that change is always going to happen, technology is going to improve and people will want new things, we just moulded that change in technology with the change in lifestyle we have all been forced into. Once this is all over, the XR stage will be used in more dynamic ways I am sure.
I think there are also lots of benefits that this kind of technology can bring from a sustainability and an ecological point of view. Not having thousands of people all fly into 1 place for an event.
“How do you see the Hybrid format working in the music world?”
The technology is there for music and it is already being used in that world. We’ve seen Katy Perry, and other artists in recent days use the technology of the XR stage and use it to a really nice effect.
Getting artists back and performing is vitally important, getting 80,000 people into Wembley might not be happening in the short and medium term, but creating engaging experiences using a hybrid event platform might bridge that gap. Collaborate did this with a Rita Ora music video just before lockdown I believe, allowing superfans and the press to meet and experience the physical event, whilst thousands watched online.
“What’s the benefit of approaching this style of marketing as a live event, rather than simply as a product showcase, hosted on a corporate website?”
If we think about the core values of live events and why they are so popular, what is it that springs to mind? They are jazzy and engaging. Quite frankly, they are exciting. Live events are a fantastic foundation because it allows us to operate in a more creative mindset rather than just seeing it as a ‘video’.
“How would you wrap up this Hybrid event Ben?”
We want to thank every person that took the time out to come to the event and also to those who were engaged with the video and the Q&A after. To summarise, this technology is not brand new, but it allows us to take a creative approach to a Hybrid event. It can differentiate from a standard video. There may be 15,000 people that come to a physical event, but 1.2million people that watch online. The Hybrid event allows us to bridge that gap between a standard video and something interactive. The reach is potentially much larger.
We look forward to using what we have learnt, for this time we are in and also to help sculpt the future of how our industry looks.
The Collaborate Team
To watch the event back or to discover more please visit https://hybridevents.collaborateglobal.com