How wonderful would it be to attend one virtual or hybrid event without someone saying, “Can you hear me now? Audio is one of those key tech issues that no one thinks about until it doesn’t work. But when you’re organising a hybrid or virtual meeting, it needs to be one of your top priorities.
Questions you need to ask your stakeholders
Design with the end in mind. Knowing what you’re trying to achieve and what the parameters of the event are will help determine your audio needs. Ask your key stakeholders and your event team the following questions:
1. Does the presenter need to be seen on video or are we broadcasting audio only?
2. Will only the presenter audio need to be sent to the offsite attendees? Or will there be discussion and/or Q&A that also needs to be heard? Will that discussion/Q&A be with in-room participants or remote viewers, or both?
3. Will the speakers be connecting to the event remotely? Will they need to be heard by participants meeting onsite? Or are they only connecting to other remote participants?
4. Will participants joining remotely need to be heard by in-room participants?
5. Will participants attending the event in person need sound reinforcement to help them hear each other in the space?
Think through your event scenario
Will your event be 100 percent virtual? Consider using a pop-up studio or multiple pop-up studios where your speakers can broadcast with full audiovisual support. This elevates the quality of your content and ensures that your troubleshooting team is onsite with your speakers, VIPs and entertainers.
Will your event be hybrid? In addition to pop-up studios, here are three common audio set-ups to consider, depending on the size and composition of your meeting.
Small collaborative meeting. If you’re hosting a small meeting where the in-room team can hear each other and they only need to be able to hear the virtual participants, the cameras and microphones built into participant laptops may not be sufficient. If you want a more professional look and feel, however, consider using an all-in-one camera that has a built-in microphone and speaker. These “smart” devices can swivel to capture the in-room speaker for the remote viewing audience while providing superior sound quality for the in-room guests.
Mid-size collaborative meeting. With a larger room, in-room attendees may need amplification so that they can hear each other speak as well as hear the remote participants. This requires microphones that can capture each in-room participants’ voice and broadcast it through loudspeakers in the physical space. Consider using external microphones and loudspeakers.
Dedicated presenter. If the meeting is more presentation-oriented, then you may only have to focus on amplifying the presenter, with options that can facilitate group discussion and Q&A. The best solution for this set-up is to secure a dedicated microphone for the presenter(s) and in-room loudspeakers. Consider employing additional wireless handheld microphones to capture impromptu comments or questions that might arise to ensure all in-person and virtual attendees can hear.
Work with your technology partner to choose the best solutions
Now that you’ve defined your goals and considered the different scenarios, work with a dedicated tech partner to decide on which audio set-up is best to keep your audience connected.
Need more guidance on selecting the right audio solution for your next hybrid or virtual event? Contact the Encore team or read about our solutions.