For many companies, organizing virtual and hybrid events is still relatively a new endeavor. In the current hybrid working setting, future meetings will likely include remote participants. So, let’s do it right! Instead of a long list of things you should consider, here are the 5 actionable and the most essential tips from an expert, Pasi, a digital media producer with more than 15 years of experience.
Over 90 % believe that future meetings are expected to include at least one remote participant. However, organizing a hybrid event comes with challenges such as engaging two different audiences at the same time. Here are the 5 ways to ensure your next hybrid event’s success!
1. Schedule breaks and avoid lengthy sessions
When planning a hybrid or an online event it is important to think about the structure of the event from the remote audience perspective. Adding enough breaks and not doing a lengthy event makes it easier to receive from remote. Before the event, we will make an event’s rundown list with you, where we have marked the length of every section for presentations and for breaks. This makes it easier to follow, and easier to make small adjustments to it during the event. That’s why I also always recommend adding a studio director for longer events, whose role is to look that the event runs on a schedule that is on the rundown list and operates the studio clock.
2. Create simpler presentation slides for your hybrid event
Avoid overfilling the slides with too much content. This is of course also important when doing a normal on-site event. Make sure that in the studio or venue, there is a big enough (e.g. 85” screen) to show your presentation, but you don’t know how the remote audience is viewing it. It could be a massive screen or projector, but then again it can be a laptop, tablet, or just their phone.
Make sure you don’t overfill the slides with text. Split one massive slide into multiple slides and try to remember to ‘talk’ to your guests and not just say “as you can read from the slide”. You can also always send more information after the event to participants or direct them to read more on your site.
…try to remember to ‘talk’ to your audience and not just say “as you can read from the slide”
3. Get adequate tech support – Can you see? Can you hear me now?
Doing a webinar or a hybrid event are two different things. Of course, both of them rely on good audio and video, but when adding two-way audio from remote to on-site, it can cause problems. Can all hear the remote speaker on-site and can the remote audience hear all that is spoken in the studio?
At the studio, we have multiple headsets and handheld microphones. Our audio technician makes sure that the right microphone is active, and the camera operator makes sure that the remote audience sees the right thing at the right time, like presenter, presentation, or the audience. Also, we can drive the audio from the remote audience to the studio so that everyone can hear it.
Also with multiple screens in the studio, we can show the remote audience to everyone on-site, as well to you as a presenter, so you can engage also with the remote audience more easily.
4. Make time for the rehearsal
Yes, it is important to rehearse the presentation. However, it is also important to reserve time to go through the day’s rundown when doing live streaming. That will ensure that everyone knows what happens and when, and you can just focus on delivering your message.
Online meetings before the event are helpful to get a good overall vision and structure of the event and to produce the rundown list of that. However, I have always asked for a minimum of 15 minutes rundown time at least one hour before the event starts; during which we go through the microphone’s sounds, cameras and make adjustments to the rundown list if needed. Also, it’s always good to reserve time to see that all computers and presentations work as planned.
…have minimum 15 minutes rundown time at least one hour before the event starts.
5. Have helping hands, from reliable partners for your hybrid event
We all have been to different online meetings and organizing a small virtual team meeting is fine to do it just by yourself. However, as listed above, with a bit larger events especially a hybrid event, having capable helping hands is going to make a big difference!
Do you want to upgrade your average MS Teams or Zoom meetings? Having multiple cameras will create more dynamic views which enriches the overall quality of the event: And yes, we can still use your Teams, Meet, or Zoom platforms if you want, but with an extra twist.
Also, when going truly hybrid, consider having a venue partner such as HUONE, which will provide all the on-site services and a reliable A/V partner who will take care of the remote audience site. You can just focus on your guests and delivering your message to the on-site and remote participants