Soon after global lockdowns, various events that happened worldwide quickly became accustomed to game-changing, substantial growth of virtual technology. The event industry and its audience stayed grateful for the new ways and made a clear, enduring path for hybrid events in the future. Hybrid events are known to accommodate large-scale, diversified audiences and, thus, speakers as well. There are remote audiences and remote speakers who connect live with a physical event through a virtual medium. And there are live audiences and live speakers who are physically present at the event venue. They all gather and interact under the same platform as the ‘hybrid audience’ and ‘hybrid speakers.’
Let’s discuss hosting hybrid events with live and virtual speakers in detail. We also present some ideas for seamless hosting by the end of the article.
How hybrid speakers address hybrid attendees
Another reason why event organizers hire remote speakers is to make events all-inclusive. According to speaker low, 56% of the event planners objectify diversity in their speaker hiring process. But, it is not an easy process for hybrid speakers to address, cover and engage hybrid audiences. Here are some takeaways for live speakers to involve both live and remote audiences and vice versa:
Double-check equipment in advance
Have a rehearsal day and pre-run all your equipment in advance. Check the camera, microphones, speakers, and conferencing call or live streaming apps like Zoom, Webex, Vimeo, YouTube or so on for a technically sound event. Also, during the event, take a moment to check with the attendees often to ensure everything is at ease at all ends.
Cover all the audience in-person and virtual attendees
Picture the whole platform, the remote and live audience. As a remote speaker, keep your eyes straight to the camera and look through it to connect live with the attendees. As a live speaker, ensure you equally turn to, address and travel simultaneously with the virtual audience and ensure there are no left-outs.
Find ways to engage everyone
Ways to maintain engagement differ from in-person to virtual platforms. It is crucial to find some middle ground exercises that both virtual and live audiences can be a part of is very important. For example, Q/A and scoreboard for online and offline teams are a few common great ways to interact with both sets of audiences.
Hire a moderator
An efficient moderator to oversee the whole event and jump in at times of need can be a life saver. The moderator keeps an eye on all audiences – both live and virtual, assures the lack of technical problems, clears any doubt in between, etc.
Save some energy for the camera. To be a live speaker and a remote speaker are two other things. As a remote speaker, it may be hard to replicate the same energy as the live one through the camera. And as a live speaker, it may be hard to simultaneously mutualize both live and remote experiences.
Ideas for seamless hosting
Hybrid events are complex. According to Markletic, 46% of the event organizers face challenges in simultaneously engaging both virtual and live audiences. To bring everyone online and offline together in one premise and ignite a communication flow from all directions, your event needs to be strategic, pre-planned, and well-executed. Some valuable tips and takeaways to monitor for hosting a seamless hybrid event:
Selection of speakers
Before finding the host, know what the objectives of your event are. This helps you rule out the key details like:
- What must be the goal of the speakers?
- What type of presentation or strategies do you want for your target audience?
- What is the cost of the speaker?
- An elaborate background of the speakers to review previous performances etc.
Audio-visual production in event technology can improve the overall quality of your event, especially for remote audiences. Production includes several tools, equipment, and an A/V team to produce desirable output and improve attendee engagement. They may include audio mixers, microphones, transmitters, adapters, cameras, light, projectors, speakers, etc., for seamless content delivery. Hire an A/V team to maximize output quality
Treat both the speakers the same
In hybrid events, remember there are two exclusive sets of audiences. Engage and interact with both live and remote audiences with the same level of attention, involvement, and opportunities. Forming groups as an online participants group and live participants group can bring a sense of competition and boost the direct interaction of two sets of audiences.
The more proficient the speaker is, the more interactive the event would be. Breakout sessions, online and traditional games, and strategies to increase engagement help to hold up their attention span and spice up the event with some activities. Addressing attendees with their names can make them feel involved as well.
Technology to accommodate remote speaker
To connect remote speakers with the audience, we need:
- Wired or wireless microphone
- Camera with auto lighting adjustment
- A tripod to put the camera on standby
- Proper lighting
- Live presentation and video conferencing application
The technology used by the live speaker
To connect a live speaker we need:
- Wired or wireless microphone
- Speakers and amplifiers ( if needed depending upon the crowd )
- An audio regulator
- A projector
- Proper lighting
- Video conferencing application in case of hybrid events
Best practices to be followed by them
Being prepared for an event starts from scratch. Incorporating common, beneficial practices can improve your event quality to a greater extent. And some of them are:
- Brainstorm and invest time in content creation
- Set a goal and purpose for the event
- Script and outline the event
- Have a solid production team for quality content
- Live stream to increase social media interaction
- Facilitate accessibility and all-inclusive diversity practices.
- Breakout sessions and other strategies to engage the audience
- Use cross-platform integration to increase audience input
- Promote your event
- Follow a post-event regime for outreach
Final check before you go Live
An uninterrupted event must be free of any technical problems. To ensure that we have a rehearsal day and check on all technical outcomes like audio quality, audio clarity, reach and volume, different angles of the stage and speakers, user’s end and audience input tools, etc. Check your technical hardware and software as frequently as possible. Make sure the speaker and the attendee are intact. And finally, go live.
Future of hybrid events
Technology reshaped the way even content is delivered or perceived. It helps increase attendee’s engagement, track and monitor specified metrics quickly, and helps improve the overall ROI of the event companies. According to studies by Socialtables, event technology saves 20% of the cost spent on events, increases productivity by 27%, and event attendance by 20%. Let’s discuss some of the trends that marked their presence in the future of the event industry
Touchless techs like smart watches, contactless registration and check-in/check-out, QR code, digital payment, and other touchless technology are exceptionally useful in post-pandemic in-person events.
For engaging the audience and creating an immersive virtual environment, Virtual event technology invented several features. To name a few- virtual booths, metaverse, gamification, 3D cube. VR personalizes the event experience for the attendees with gamification, avatars, 3D booths, etc.
Event management application
Virtual events encouraged event management applications greatly. The all-inclusive mobile application provides a platform to manage, market, host, survey, and follow up with the event with AR/VR engagement boosting integrations. They come in-built with a range of features like social sharing, registration, guest tracking, mobile audience engagement, monitoring and tracking the post-event metrics, etc.
COVID compliant events
COVID-compliant events are a definite part of the future in the events industry. Obligated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), events must follow some mandatory guidelines. They include contactless registration, digital payment, verification for vaccination, PCR testing in rare cases, temperature checking, canned drinks, boxed meals, separate and small networking sessions, mandatory masks, and 6 feet distance.
Non Fungible Tokens owned by people as a digital asset. The event industry uses them for ticketing, virtual gift money bags as digital souvenirs, etc.
Varied types of events
The constant circumstantial changes branched out the different types of events. Nowadays, an event can be in-person, virtual, hybrid, live, recorded, simulive or micro-events, etc. To elaborate on a few new types that have more scopes on the future:
All virtual advantages are transported to the in-person audience by combining real-time gatherings with virtual components of event technology. These events are easily live-streamed with live accessibility features like live translations, live captions, ASL interpretations, etc.
Micro-events emphasize hosting events for targeted audiences like VIP attendees, inner-cycle meetings, networking events, or solely for a particular type of audience like participants with similar accessibility needs, geographically proximate audiences, etc. On the other hand, some micro-events specify accommodating small-scale audiences. They can be live, virtual, or combined.
Simulive is simply a recorded form of a live event. This pre-recorded session can be broadcasted live at any desired time as per our convenience.
CaptioningStar assists you to live streaming your event seamlessly and professionally on VOD, OTT, and other live streaming platforms to increase viewership. We also have a comprehensive suite of live and post-production services like live captioning, recorded video editing, closed captioning services, translations, live translations, transcripts, and ASL interpretations for recorded or live events. CaptioningStar focuses on accessibility needs to eliminate any hindrance- linguistic, geographical, or physical indifference and makes your content reach extensively.