Many people often struggle to find the best venue for organizing events despite countless options to choose from. But with the pandemic going on, the health crisis made it even more difficult to hold events while ensuring the safety of the participants. From temperature checking, regular sanitation, and social distancing, all these measures have become critical in holding events these days.
More than a year into the pandemic, we’re now at a point where we can gradually dip our toes back into in-person events. People are now holding events outdoors to enjoy a socially distant dining experience with their friends and families. Even couples today are having outdoor wedding-reception venues to experience a memorable setting for the wedding and reception.
Meanwhile, those who want to experience a combination of virtual and on-site events turn to hybrid events. This form of event offers a smarter format to boost attendance and engagement while the pandemic is still going on. If you’re planning to hold an event the hybrid way, here’s what you should know when choosing a hybrid event venue.
What is a hybrid event?
A hybrid event is a not-so-new concept in event planning. It refers to any social gathering that incorporates virtual and in-person elements. With the pandemic affecting the event industry, we’re expecting hybrid events will be the new format for holding small and large gatherings.
Most people tend to overcomplicate the idea of hybrid events. In fact, hybrid events are more common than we might think. For example, football games are held live with thousands of attendees in the venue while being broadcast to millions of viewers globally.
Basically, a hybrid event involves people physically present in the venue while others are watching the event in real time through a streaming platform. It offers a more flexible option to those who want to be at the venue and those who want to participate virtually.
Event planners are seeing a rapid spike in hybrid-style events. In a survey done during the Global Meeting Industry, 62% of event planners prefer a hybrid event, while the remaining 18% believe that virtual-only events will still be in greater demand.
Necessities of hybrid events
As hybrid events become more common, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basic requirements to deliver a successful hybrid-style event.
First and foremost, a high-quality video camera, microphones, and Internet connection are still a must-have. Your chosen venue should have enough speed and bandwidth to accommodate all remote connections and support event technologies, such as virtual reality.
Technical logistics are critical to hybrid events. Streaming the session to the right viewers at the right time, while ensuring everything looks good and sounds great, is no easy feat. That’s why you’ll need a venue where the technical team can take care of everything.
Event venues should also have a digital infrastructure to handle advanced amenities, such as 5G technology. Having onsite technical support is also a requirement to manage all the technical elements of the event, such as the lighting, audio, camera focus and angle, and Internet connection. It’s also critical for the onsite staff to test all these elements before going live.
If you’ll be having the event in a studio, it’s important to enhance the whole experience for remote and on-site audiences by using professional lighting, LED backdrops, camera shots, and special effects. These elements can potentially increase audience engagement for both parties and provide an immersive experience similar to a professional broadcast.
Lastly, when it comes to food preparation, catering options will be stricter. Food safety should be a key consideration when serving foods and drinks. Replace buffets with contact-free lunch boxes and self-service stations.
Safety is another top priority for hybrid events. While it may be great not to think about safety protocols anymore, staying safe should be top of mind with the pandemic still going on. Keep your guests safe by choosing a venue that observes COVID-19 safety protocols.
Even if you’re having fewer attendees for a hybrid event, keeping the participants safe should be a key part of the planning process. The venue should ensure all safety measures are in place. These include mask policies, on-site health checks, hand sanitizer stations, safety signage, disinfection of the venue, physical distancing policies, and other safety concerns.
We hope this article helps you in your search for the right hybrid event venue. As we wait for in-person events to return, we must consider the perfect options to navigate the hybrid world. While this may be challenging, it’s been great to witness how technology has come out during the pandemic. As we move forward, we hope to see more hybrid offerings in the event industry post-COVID.