Hybrid events, the latest buzz word or a completely new way of delivering live events?
In this blog, Steve Garratt, Creative Director, will try to answer that question and explain how we will approach this new world at Studio Giggle.
But first things first, what is a hybrid event? It is simply an event with both a live and online component.
New is nothing new
The simple answer is Hybrid events are nothing new. We have actually all been doing them for years. Whether it was simply recording the event and then publishing highlights or even complete versions of the event online or actually streaming the event via Youtube or Vimeo. That being said, the lessons we have learned whilst focusing on purely virtual events cannot be forgotten as we pivot back to rooms full of people. The audience expectations for the online experience have significantly grown and the desire to give everyone the same experience, live or virtually is really what the phrase ‘hybrid events’ is all about.
A Hybrid Philosophy for Hybrid events
There will be different solutions for different events of course. Here at Studio Giggle, the events we tend to deliver are content-driven launches, investor meetings or internal conferences. When we planned these virtual events we focused on giving the audience a high-end live TV-style experience. This was generally studio based and utilised XR and AR technologies to bring the content to life. Interactivity was always a key part of the mix as this ensured the audience stayed engaged and had the opportunity to interact with the presenters in a similar way to the experience they were used to live.
Our transition back to live events will follow a similar solution. It will be a live TV-style experience but now with a live studio audience. The aim is to create an experience that is the same in the studio as it is online. The same visual experience, the same access to the presenters and the same opportunities to talk in break out rooms and network spaces.
In this environment, the platform (where the live event is streamed) becomes as important as the room where the live event is staged. The content needs to work on big screens and small screens. The presentations need to be as readable on a monitor or iPad as they are on a screen in the room. All of these factors feedback into the design methodology of the entire event. In the past the virtual part was a bolt-on, a ‘nice to have’, now, all parts of the event have to be considered as one and will have a direct influence on each other.
Studio Giggle is well known for pushing technological boundaries. XR, AR, virtual production and volumetric filming have become a day to day occurrences in our studio and that will continue. However, choosing the right technology for the right event will become even more important – there is no point in delivering a 3D holographic experience in space if that doesn’t translate well on the platform for the virtual audience. Working with a company like Studio Giggle, which has a deep knowledge of both types of events is the perfect way to ensure that your new Hybrid event delivers for everyone watching or attending.
Hybrid teams make the best hybrid events
To deliver these kinds of events we will need to utilise a hybrid team. Experts in virtual events or streaming and live events experts will need to work together to ensure that the quality of the experience is the same, no matter how you choose to engage with the event. Therefore making hybrid events, hybrid by nature!
At Studio Giggle, we are experts in technology and innovation, but (believe it or not!) we don’t know everything and the real skill will be putting together the right teams of suppliers to ensure you have expertise in every department. The lost art of delegate management will once again become critical to the success of your event. Registration desks will once again litter foyers, food and beverages will have to be considered (can you find a way to share the food concept with the virtual audience as well?), and let’s not forget the evening’s entertainment. Agencies like Chorus, First and BamBam Productions have been delivering live events for years and working closely with us will turn their considerable expertise into Hybrid events.
It’s great to back delivering what we all do best and in this new world, the opportunity to work on a wider variety of events, delivered in venues and studios and online has never been greater. I’m excited to see how the technologies we have all come to rely on, Zoom, Teams, OpenReel will evolve as we push them to enable us to deliver more engagement to bigger audiences than ever before. But I’m also excited to work in multidisciplinary teams in venues around the world with real live people once again. The world of events has changed for good, but this is just evolution rather than a revolution and everything we know has just become more important than ever.
Do you want to chat more about hybrid events? Give us a call on 0117 972 0081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org