June 24, 2022
Hybrid Event Production & The Key Tech You Need to Know About
BY Nick Forster
June 24th, 2022
Hybrid event production is undoubtedly the most complex of the event builds. Combining the best of in-person and virtual events, they exemplify how far we’ve come in a short space of time within the events industry. And of course, at the heart of hybrid event production, is technology. They really wouldn’t exist without it, and quite a lot of it.
We’re going to walk you through the London Filmed hybrid event production process, including the key tech you need to know about.
HYBRID EVENT WORKFLOW
Depending on your budget and your objectives, hybrid events can become pretty tech-heavy. For this article, we are going to just focus on the critical tech for a successful hybrid event, but take a look at our blog on Choosing the right event tech for your audience to get your creative juices flowing.
– Event Platform
This is where your online audience will enjoy the event experience, so depending on your objectives and engagement strategy, you’ll want to choose a platform with all of the features you need. Many platforms now include as standard:
- Event registration
- Polls, live chat, Q&A, AI-powered networking
- Virtual sponsorship booths
- Audience analytics
- Multiple areas including stages and breakout zones
Event apps can be a nice way to connect the in-person and online experience with a shared agenda, content, and networking opportunities. These are available from event platforms that offer a hybrid solution. If you’re on a tight budget, look for event platforms that work on a tiered pricing structure depending on attendee numbers, and/or features.
We’ll use the information you provide in your brief to advise on platforms if you haven’t already got one in mind.
– Video Conferencing Platform
This is where your speakers are held and where they will deliver their content when it comes to their slot on the agenda. We typically use Zoom because it gives us the most flexibility when it comes to organising your speakers in the ‘green’ room and ‘go-live’ room before broadcasting them into your event platform. Our Virtual Floor Manager will be with your speakers throughout your event, testing their audio and visuals and moving them into the ‘go-live’ room. We do also cater for Microsoft Teams and vMix call, if needed.
– Smart Venue
A smart venue means it has the right setup to cater for a hybrid event. Take a look at our blog How to choose a venue for a hybrid event for a more comprehensive list, but the absolutely critical requirement is a reliable internet connection. A hybrid event requires fast wifi for the attendee experience and any tech experiences you include, as well as a dedicated hard-wired ethernet connection with a minimum 20Mbp+ upload and download speed for a flawless live stream broadcast. AV upgrades such as green screen technology to optimise your live-streamed content, microphones, projectors, and in-built speakers are all useful tech that will elevate your event.
We’ll conduct a site survey early in the event build to map out the logistics, the room layout, plot camera equipment, assess AV infrastructure, and test internet capability.
– Live Stream Platform
The live stream platform allows your audience to view your filmed content in real-time. Some event platforms have integrated streaming solutions, but most require a streaming platform such as Vimeo, YouTube, or Twitch. We’ll recommend a live stream platform based on your event requirements.
– Production Team & Equipment
To broadcast the event sessions with your graphical overlays and assets to your virtual audience within the event platform, you need production equipment. This really warrants a production team to ensure the tech is up to scratch and creates a seamless dual experience for your audiences. You’ll need multiple HD cameras, microphones, lights, autocue, monitors to show the virtual speakers and audience, a switcher to move between views, a mixing board to switch between microphones and audio content within a session, and a live production and streaming software such as vMix. Our production team- as standard – includes a live stream engineer, camera operators, and a production manager.
LONDON FILMED HYBRID EVENT PRODUCTION
As with any event, having a clear idea of your event objectives is a crucial first step. This, as well as your event agenda, will really help us understand what you’re trying to achieve so we can curate the best selection of tech to get you there. Your budget and how you are going to measure the success of your event are two other important strategic pieces of information to have at the early stages of your event build.
To make your event truly shine, make sure it is an extension of your brand with custom branded graphics, overlays, transitions, and event collateral. If you have an in-house graphic design team, let them loose, otherwise, we have a team of graphic designers ready to translate your brand guidelines into event assets for your in-person and online audiences. You might also want to consider pre-recorded content, illustrations, animations, and motion graphics to level up the event experience.
This is where all of the built design elements come together into the live stream project according to your agenda, ready for the event day.
A complex build requires plenty of testing. As well as the site survey where we ensure the space is fit for purpose, including a full technical spec with the venue, AV and their IT team, it is also really important to hold tech and speaker briefings with all stakeholders. This ensures everyone is comfortable with the tech, understands the process, and the flow of the agenda, so they can deliver on the event day. We also run an event rehearsal with key stakeholders to ensure the agenda and project build creates a seamless experience for both the in-person and online audiences from start to finish.
Again, this is where a production team is really crucial. Not only do you have live speakers and attendees to organise, but also online speakers and a potentially much larger online audience too! Our live production team and project manager will be with you throughout the event, orchestrating each component of the build online and in the venue to create the seamless, event experience that we designed together during the brief and design phases.
We highly recommend using an event production company when going hybrid to ensure you realise your event objectives and don’t get caught out by the complex build and event tech required. If you like the sound of the London Filmed event building process, get in touch.