Making Hybrid Events That Aren’t Terrible (With Low Cost And Repurposed Tech)
As the world opens up but the option for virtual is here to stay (at least in my opinion), we’re going to be a part of more hybrid events.
And as business owners who may be creating these events for our customers and clients, they present a unique opportunity to make more money (more participants usually equals more money anyway) but also a way for you as a business to make things accessible to more and different kinds of people than possible with an in-person only event.
Here are a few ways to make them better for everyone.
1. Check the internet speed of the venue ahead of time. If your venue doesn’t know their internet speed, it might not be the best spot if you plan on having a lot of participants virtually. Also, a 150 feet ethernet cord will save you.
2. Better sound is better than better visuals. We’ve all been to a virtual event where someone shoved a camera in the back of the room of a live event and the sound proceeded to cut in and out. Instead, have an audio-only connection on the podium (maybe an old smartphone that is logged into the Zoom meeting as ‘Presenter Audio’?) and turn off the sound on the camera that’s showing the ‘stage’. If you want to get fancy, they make Bluetooth-capable lapel mics!
3. Create a way where in-person and virtual events can talk to each other. When we were all virtual, the Zoom chat was fine but starting an event hashtag and telling people to use it on Twitter or set up an area where people can walk over to a computer that’s logged into Zoom/the virtual meeting platform and talk to people there is a custom breakout room or similar. Even allowing for breaks to give them time to talk or providing a participant list and contact info can communicate that part of the value of the event is the connections made.
4. Balance the concerns of in-person and virtual people but know the recording will get the most views. Remember we are making decisions that affect different groups of people so we want to balance interests and come out with a nice clean recording at the end.
Hopefully, our sample event in this broadcast will give you some ideas about how your business can handle hybrid events because there is something between shoving a webcam in the back of a room and hoping for the best and hiring a full-on television production company.