3 Tips for a Versatile Hybrid Event Environment
You’re planning an event and you select your venue. What’s next? In a venue, a floor plan provides limits to stay within the physical boundaries of the building itself. What happens when you introduce the digital environment of a hybrid event? How does that impact your participant experience?
I’ve put together three easy-to-remember environmental cues that provide the excitement of a live event experience, with considerations specific to hybrid events. Without knowing your event type or participant size, these tips aren’t meant to cover everything you’ll need. Think of them as a basic foundation you can build upon:
1. Create a backdrop that works on-site and on screen
Start simple with graphics and other design elements from your on-site signage by replicating the same look and feel on your event platform. Event platforms that have engagement tools or uploadable resources typically allow for some flexibility in customizing colors and adding in branding elements. Take that same approach with slide content. Add transitional slides or motion graphics that appear between presenters or during breaks.
In your venue environment, keep everyone’s attention focused on your content. Place cameras strategically to capture different recording angles, audience reactions, and close-ups of the stage. Then, display them on screen at your venue. This gives your on-site participants the ability to see what your remote users view – another way to bridge the two experiences. Don’t forget to test your lighting on camera to make sure it’s bright enough to capture well for a broadcast.
Take it a step further:
- If a presenter is broadcasting or pre-recording from home, here are some tips to enhance your attendees’ experience and give your presenter more confidence.
- Be open to production solutions that have been designed to be cost-effective. For example, a stage set like Encore’s Backdrop Pro gives you professional polish while still allowing for some customization at tiered pricing. Depending on your needs, pre-built studios like our Broadcast Studios are another great option to consider. These solutions are cost-effective in that they’re set and ready for use or they’re mobile (can be brought to your venue or office), with efficient processes in place to reduce setup time.
2. Be intentional about seating
Before the pandemic, traditional event seating never took social distancing into account. These days, it’s front and center in its influence of room and seating design. Depending on your event or meeting type, seating and tables can be positioned to observe, present, or placed in a specific area to appear on camera for other attendees.
For a conference room-style meeting with multiple presenters, consider each participant’s viewpoint and how you might integrate them. A low-profile 360° camera, like a Meeting OWL, positioned in the center of your room or table shows all participants at once or focuses solely on whoever is speaking. You might also consider a device like ClickShare that allows attendees to share their laptop screen with a click of a button. By staying seated, presentation content can be viewed quickly without any unnecessary foot traffic.
Take it a step further:
- Curious about Meeting OWL and ClickShare? See these and more small meeting solutions here.
- In the « Hybrid Event Handbook« , we use three examples of tiered meeting styles to show you different seating, room layout, and camera capture options to consider
- Looking for more creative, out-of-the-box ideas? Check out this Forbes article, « 10 Creative Customer Experience Ideas for Social Distancing«
3. Don’t forget lighting and music
Besides making sure you have adequate lighting to appear on camera, lighting influences the mood in your event space. Try dimming the room lights and using LED uplights in different colors to frame a stage or to separate your overall event agenda into segments. A little variation goes a long way for your online viewers.
Another great mood enhancer for hybrid events is music. Music can motivate, calm, and serve as a bridge or buffer between sessions and presenters. For example, you could use the same ‘waiting room’ music in your event platform as you do on-site as one more method of joining the two experiences.
Take it a step further:
- Watch the on-demand webinar, « When Science and Events Combine: Adult Learning and Technology, » which talks about color theory and using technology to enhance cognition and mood.
Creating a versatile hybrid event environment
Creative, production, and technology event solutions have been mainstays for in-person events because of their ability to inspire people, facilitate education, and provide engagement.
With hybrid events, you can deliver the excitement of a live event experience for your in-person guests with the same physical elements, graphics, and sounds shared by your remote participants. In this post, I’ve touched on a couple of considerations for your hybrid event environment. I hope they prove helpful and that you feel more confident by having a foundation to start with.