Live events, virtual events. Quite the opposite ends of the same spectrum. And in the middle? The wonder that is hybrid events.
But what exactly are they?
Simply put, they are a combination of live and virtual events. More or less.
Well, actually, it’s not that simple to define hybrid events, given that they are determined by what they are and what they’re not in comparison to live and virtual events. And yet, they are nothing to fear. They’re reported to be better for optimising your return on investment (ROI) and promise to reach greater audiences in general. So all in all, it would be too much of a opportunity to miss for everybody involved.
Let’s get started with what they are not. Of course, just livestreaming your event on your Youtube channel doesn’t count as a hybrid event. You need to separate yourself from a TEDx video on Youtube or a random Facebook live. It is also not a video on demand (VOD) that you post on your site/social media after the event is done and gone.
Also, a hybrid event is not putting the live audience before the online audience or vice-versa. Interacting with your audience, regardless if it’s in front of you or behind a screen is the key in making a successful hybrid event. Keep in mind that adding 3D renderings of your event aren’t the solution for audience interaction. Quite the opposite! You never know how tech-savvy your audience will be, so adding the complexity of 3D events can scare-off your attendees.
Instead, build a hybrid event should focus on a great user experience and user journey that keeps both your online and offline audience entertained. Think of it as a talk show that captures audiences in the studio and at home; something is always going on: there is always a presenter, guests home and go and a moderator that directs the online content. Keep your audience focused and you can already consider your event a success.
But keeping the focus of the audience doesn’t mean translating on a 1-to-1 scale what is going on the live stage. Again, hybrid events are seen by two types of audiences: what is impressive live may be considered mundane when streamed online. Dark rooms, overly dramatic light shows, loud or obnoxious sound effects may also ruin the experience for the online audience, while the live one could very well enjoy it. Having different flavours to your event may very well be the key to your success.
Everything boils down to three simple ingredients: make your event interactive, make it short, make it entertaining. But, you know, you don’t have to do it alone. You can have VEEP by your side, ready to create the event of your dreams.
Make your events count. Use VEEP.