Using tech to hold hybrid events
One of the things businesses haven’t been able to do during the pandemic is stage events with lots of people there. Restrictions, in England at least, have now been lifted of course, but you might not feel totally confident hosting a large-scale event just yet, and many employees won’t feel comfortable mixing with too many people either. The answer could be hybrid events, and the good news is there is lots of tech out there that can help you do it, and you can make a high-quality event with accessible technology that’s relatively simple to use.
What is a hybrid event?
Quite simply, it’s a mixture of live and virtual things happening all at the same time, with some people physically attending and others watching on a screen remotely. You can have speakers, guests, presentations, and interactive activities just like you can with any in-person event. It’s an effective way of keeping numbers down while still involving and engaging everyone who’s attending virtually. Your audience can participate, wherever they are.
Benefits of a hybrid event
There are many benefits to hybrid events. You can reach a much larger audience than if it was only in-person, give people a choice of how to attend (including different device options), and customise their experience of the event. The analytics side of the event is easier to track too, as you can capture data and audience engagement during and after the event with follow up polls and emails.
Use tech you’ve already got…
You might be able to hold a hybrid event with tech you’ve already got. Teams, Zoom, and even Skype can do the basics, but you’ll need to set a laptop up where the camera can capture all the action. A USB camera you can plug in might be better though, but you won’t be able to do much on an interactive basis. There’s also the Zoom and Teams fatigue factor to consider too – some people are fed up with using these for meetings.
… or try speciality software
There are software packages available you can try for hybrid events. They can spice things up with virtual display backgrounds, stop presenters fluffing their lines with autocue, and even have professional video directors on hand. Most will also integrate with existing tech, like Teams and Zoom for those watching online, which is useful for Q and A sessions, live polls, breakout rooms, and other features.
Speciality software packages for hybrid events include Hubilo, Hopin, and Cvent.
Immersive technology is becoming more popular than ever with all sorts of businesses. And it’s perfect for hybrid events too. It takes virtual reality a step further by combining it with wearable tech like smart glasses, apps for watches, and even special gloves that allow people to ‘touch’ their surroundings. Mixed reality, where you combine physical and digital worlds, is also great for hybrid events. For those not there in person, they can become immersed by viewing events through web cameras with special filters or using specialised smart phone apps.
Suitable for just about every kind of event
Whether you’ve got a conference, team meeting, away day, product launch, or anything else, a hybrid event will work for you. You can bring everybody together or showcase your company to potential customers. Just make sure your internet’s up to scratch and you plan things thoroughly before you start. And, as with any new software, test it thoroughly before you use it on the day.
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