The restrictions in in-person events have compelled the event industry to adapt to new formats of event hosting to continue engaging the attendees. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event industry was introduced and prospered by virtual event platforms. The event planners, organisers, and attendees took some time to get habituated with the new format of the event however, eventually all turned out to be in favour of virtual events. Leveraging technology to recreate the traditional in-person events and increasing the interactivity by incorporating exciting tools and features depicted sound progress. As the popularity of virtual events grew, the landscape started transforming and the need for in-person events became clear. An alternative was required which can accommodate the virtual and the in-person audience, which led to the adaptation to hybrid events. Hybrid events are essentially a mixture of in-person and virtual events, with the ability to include both components with a high level of interaction.
Hybrid Events and Technology
As mentioned, hybrid events have a virtual component. Hence a virtual event platform is required when hosting a hybrid event. a virtual event platform relies upon technology, hence leveraging the latest technology will amplify the overall experience received by your attendees. Hybrid events allow the organiser to expand the audience while simultaneously providing the organisers with the ability to entertain and interact face-to-face with a certain group of audience (in-person).
In the current landscape, there is a set of audiences that prefer to attend the event online remotely, as an event planner/organiser it becomes your responsibility to accommodate them virtually without compromising on the level of interaction. As far as the in-person audience is concerned, they can interact with other attendees and simultaneously have a face-to-face conversation with each other and with the organisers. Apart from interaction, the in-person audience also experiences the event from your own eyes which develops a sense of authenticity. The virtual component of your hybrid event can leverage the technology you incorporate in your virtual event platform which can not only increase the level of interaction but also help in the entertainment and participation of the virtual attendees. Interactive solutions, an immersive 3D environment, and seamless content are some of the features virtual components of hybrid events bring to the table.
The virtual component of your hybrid event will be exposed to what you put on the Livestream. The virtual component will be taking place over the internet. You can provide excellent graphics and interactive environments irrespective of the event type or format. The cost-effective virtual event platform allows the organiser to invest the saved time and capital in other sectors of the event and increase the overall engagement of the event, however, that doesn’t mean to compromise on the technology used!
The in-person attendees can also leverage the live stream to revisit segments or speakers of the hybrid event. you may leverage several platforms available out there to live to stream your event such as Facebook Live, Zoom etc.
Exposure and Lighting
Visuals are undoubtedly a significant aspect of the event however it is also important to understand the significance of good lighting and exposure to showcase the content of your event. the attendees must perceive the content as they want it to be. Lightning, focus, aperture, and backlights are some of the aspects you can keep in mind to enhance the overall quality of the content without tampering with content at all. Having a proper influence on the content is also as important as the content itself.
Live events in-person events offer a great range of interaction between the host and the attendees. Several sessions to leverage from and interact with a particular group of attendees is relatively easy in the case of in-person events because of the physical presence of the attendees and the host under the same roof. In-person attendees can leverage several technology-induced gadgets for the event to acknowledge their presence and entertain the same. Not only will this induce a sense of inclusion in your attendees it will also help you engage them with the event on a deeper level.
The virtual counterpart audience can attend the sessions they want by interacting on their screens. Their attendance is automatically filled, thanks to computer data collection. They may attend the sessions they want to join and interact with the host or the speaker via chat, audio, and/or video. Though entertaining your virtual attendees may seem to be a little problematic in the beginning, with time being you will get adapted and if the odds work in your favour you may start preferring virtual interaction due to the leverage of the latest interactive technology.
Some of the ways in-person and virtual attendees can be engaged with the event is by leveraging the latest tools and technology such as projector screens, wrist gadgets for navigation, online schedules, mobile applications, and online live streaming. Understanding and implementing the correct visuals, lighting, sound, and interaction will enhance your event experience and provide it with a professional touch that will eventually engage the attendees with your event.
Over to You
It is blatantly obvious that in-person cannot be sustained in the current landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awareness regarding social distancing has induced a certain sense of protectivity in the attendees which compels them to prefer virtual events over in-person events. however, that is not the entire case! Though virtual events are growing in popularity, one cannot simply underestimate the level of authenticity and interactivity a traditional in-person event offers. In either case, virtual or in-person, the role of technology has been identified and recognised as one of the most crucial roles, especially in virtual events. With every advancement in technology, we observe a reflection of that advancement in the event. Since hybrid events are a mixture of virtual and in-person components, the role of technology cannot be overlooked. The above-mentioned article attempts to bring the significance of hybrid events and technology in light by emphasising the current landscape of the event industry. The preference of the attendees to attend the event indicates what tools and technology to leverage to attain maximum engagement.