A buzzword that is being heard more and more in event planning, hybrid events allow you to cater for two audiences, those who are physically in the room and those who couldn’t make it.
Hybrid meetings have been in existence for a number of years now but with the emergence of new technologies, this type of meeting is growing at a rapid rate. Allowing you to deliver your content beyond the four walls in which the event is taking place, hybrid meetings allow you to target a much larger audience. No longer do you have worry about those who couldn’t make it being lost opportunities for sales, instead you can reach out to all.
Making use of constant advance in technology, hybrid meetings are the perfect combination of virtual technology and traditional face-to-face meeting methods. A hybrid meeting could have a physical attendance and also an online virtual element. Going beyond conference calls of the past hybrid meetings make use of a variety of emerging technologies to ensure virtual attendees are as well catered for as those at the event. As this type of meeting is growing at a rapid rate, it is something many people are getting involved with.
That’s not to say that are doing it correctly however, here we look at the ways in which you can host a successful event.
- By paying particular attention to the venue you choose. When putting together a hybrid event, there should be a big emphasis on venue finding. As technology plays such a massive role in the hybrid event, you should ensure the venue you choose is adequately equipped. This means choosing a venue that can cope with vast amounts of data being transferred at one time. Of course, the venue should also have wireless internet access to accommodate for those physically attending the event too. As you will be filming and broadcasting sound, be sure to also test the acoustics of the room to ensure sound is accurately transmitted on camera.
- Define which software packages you will be using and ensure you know them inside out. Before the event pin down which software you will be using and make sure you know that software inside out. There are so many software options available that can be of assistance to hybrid meetings, e.g. for live streaming there is Ustream, Livestream and, for small numbers or virtual breakout rooms, Skype. Decide on the software you will be using early on and ensure you advertise it in advance so that you’re virtual attendees know what they will be using.
- Make use of emerging technology and keep ahead of your competitors. Organising a hybrid meeting means really having your finger on the pulse of emerging technologies. One such technology that is set to have a big influence on event management is Google Glass. Back in January, Sli.do, a web-based system for audience interaction, introduced its Google Glass app at the Fresh14 Conference in Copenhagen. The app allows event attendees to go to a dedicated URL where they can submit questions during a presentation. At your event, this would allow everyone participating to see the questions and vote them up or down. The presenter would then be able to respond to the question without having to look at a computer or even turn away from the audience. Audience interaction can be further increased through the use of a Glass app called ConnexMe. Designed to boost interactivity during meetings or presentations, the app requires attendees to visit a dedicated app on their smartphones and tablets. The event speaker can then use a voice command on the Google Glass to launch a poll that appears on the website and can also be projected onto screens around the room for those in attendance. As audience members respond to the poll, the event speaker will be able to see the results on their Google Glass in real-time.
- By encouraging your attendees to use their smartphones and tablets. While it was once considered taboo to check your mobile phone whilst at an event, today it should be encouraged. On any screens, hoardings, posters etc. you may have, be sure to advertise your social media details, any hashtags you are using and any other tools you will be making use of.
- By making all content available online in real-time. Be sure to share any content online as soon as it is presented at the event. This includes any presentations, handouts and videos you display.
This blog post has been written by:
Specialising in technology, Dean Ronnie, has particular expertise and interest in emerging technologies and the ways in which this technology is changing how we meet in a business environment. For businesses requiring cutting-edge conferences, Dean recommends Conference Care.