Event Production for Hybrid Events: Why It Matters and How to Turn Up the Heat in 2021

May 26, 2021
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By now a growing portion of your virtual audience is more interested and willing to attend some version of in-person events again. But there’s still a large share of your virtual audience that appreciates the flexibility and ease of attending online events. Not to mention the tracking and data capabilities event marketers can take advantage of with a digital experience.

Regardless, those visiting your event in person will want to be dazzled and entertained, and your virtual attendees also want a first-rate virtual experience. So how do you satisfy both audiences? By adding a higher-production quality to your hybrid events. 

For your event to stand out from your competition, you’re going to need to invest more time and resources into crafting a memorable experience for your guests, both online and in person.

Elevating your event’s production value happens through every step of the planning, execution, and post-event procedures. Keep reading for our top tips to heighten your event’s performance and appeal.

what is event production?

What is Event Production?

Event production is the process of all the financial, creative, and technical organizing, planning, and execution required to put on an event. But event production has another connotation — taking a normal event and adding a touch of theatre or drama to turn it into a highly memorable and engaging experience. 

Event production is also about increasing your event’s technical production value, raising the bar on the quality of the audio, visuals, streaming, online platform, and your tech stack to positively impact your event’s presentation quality. 

Event Production Is More Than Just Event Planning. Here’s Why

Event planning is just one part of the event production process. The event planners are the brainstormers who pick the physical venue and hybrid event platform, pick the theme, handle the budgets, and find vendors, etc.

The event management staff run the event. They’re the ones on the floor and online facilitating and executing the event, making sure it’s running smoothly, and solving problems as they come.

Finally, comes the event production team. These are the audiovisual and staging experts who run the cameras, microphones, graphics, lighting, streaming, and other technical tools that create a high-production quality look and feel for the event.

Event Production Elevates An Event to An Experience

Any company or person can create an event, however, creating an experience takes more work and ingenuity. An experience is multi-sensory, incorporating memorable visuals, audio, music, lighting, and entertainment.

Sometimes events can be forgettable, but experiences are not.

Makes Attendees Feel and Remember the Event

An event experience makes your attendees feel something. It stirs up their emotions and their imagination to create a lasting memory long after your event has finished. Not only that, but they’ll want to tell everyone they know about the experience. And you can bet on them showing up the next time you throw another event because they’ll be hooked.

Do you remember the first time you went to Disney World and experienced that feeling of wonder and awe? Make your attendees feel that way. Make them want to take action based on how your event inspired them.

Creates an Environment With Technical and Creative Features

Remember when movie theaters used to pull open the curtains before the movie played? Or having a band or MC announce guests before they come on stage? These things created anticipation and made the experience seem more special.

These technical and creative features create more excitement and also communicate to your attendees that you think they’re important and that you’re trying to give them a show and a good time. 

Transforms a Brand Into a Seamless Affair

Watch any award show or talk show to get an idea of how a professional event should run. It should be seamless, providing a continuous flow of entertainment and content without any major hiccups or delays. 

From start to finish, your event should entertain and inform your audience without any interference that could hinder your event’s objectives or goals and distract your attendees.

Where to Apply Event Production Techniques in Your 2021 Hybrid Events

Event production is key to upgrading your event’s appeal, which will have a compounded effect on boosting your event’s performance. 

A remarkable event experience will create a deeper engagement with your audience, gain more buzz online and in the press, demand a higher sponsorship price, and boost your ROI. 

Throwing a stylish event will also boost your company’s brand and status, and will be the talk of your industry. 

Be bold and go big to invest in your event production. Here are some ways you can add event production techniques at every step in your hybrid event planning process.

Hybrid Event Planning and Pre-Production

Depending on the size of your hybrid event, start your planning and pre-production anywhere from 2-3 months before your event. This includes booking your venue space, choosing your hybrid event platform, and also choosing your production team partners.

Your production team will begin working with you to design sets and room designs that will match and complement your event’s objectives and goals.

A considerable amount of logistical planning will also take place during this time. This includes getting quotes for hiring outside vendors, contacting technicians to make sure they’re available, determining a budget for the AV gear, planning transportation, choosing furniture, and everything else necessary to put on a successful event experience.

Once these logistics and the planning have been figured out, a production schedule will be created to show a complete rundown of all the costs, people, and moving parts involved so the event can be executed on time and in an efficient manner.

Curious about which production companies out there excel at hybrid events? Check out the Top 10 Hybrid Event Production Companies of 2021.

Onsite: Coordinating In-Person and Virtual Components

Before the big day of your event, your production team will arrive a few days early to set up and install any major installations and wire their gear. Rental companies and designers will also show up to transform your venue space into an attractive environment that will impress your in-person attendees.

It’s during this time that your production team will do run-throughs and troubleshoot any technical issues to make sure your event runs smoothly.

Now is also the time for running through rehearsals. Your presenters, show producers, AV team, and technicians can work out any kinks in your event before they happen. 

For the virtual side of your hybrid event, you should test your event app and platform to make sure there are no technical difficulties that could hinder your online experience. If your guest speakers are speaking remotely, this means walking them through the software and making sure their video and microphones are working properly before going live.

Day of the Event

Make sure to have your crew come in bright and early the day of your event to do one final run-through and rehearsal to make sure things are running smoothly. Now is the last opportunity to change the schedule before going live, and do a final check to see if your web broadcast and live streaming services are working properly. 

Make sure that all setups are in place, that your venue’s internet connection is working well, and check the details, like making sure water bottles are supplied for your guest speakers.

Also, check to see that all VIP materials are labeled and put in place and that nothing major is missing. 

Post-Event Load Out

Generally, your vendors and production team will take a couple of days to fully pack and load out all of their gear and tear down any installations. So make sure you account for this time when booking your physical venue and hire enough help to make this process go quickly and smoothly.

Post-Production and Follow-Ups with Your Audience

The beauty of hybrid events is that everything is recorded, which can then be edited, revised, and reused to create tons of useful content after your event has wrapped.

You can edit your event assets to create a highlights reel, complete with your event’s logo and branding to be shared on Vimeo, YouTube, social media, and your company website. 

These videos could also be sent in post-event thank you emails, offered on-demand, or used to promote your next event. 

event production tips for hybrid events

6 Tips to Take Event Production to the Next Level

Looking for ideas that will wow your audience? Here are 6 tips that can turn your normal event into a memorable experience.

Tip #1) Choose a High-Quality Hybrid Event Platform

In addition to securing a physical space for your in-person venue, you will also need to choose a high-quality hybrid event platform.

Your hybrid event platform will be the venue space for your online attendees, and will also act as a supplemental resource for your in-person attendees.

Make sure that your hybrid platform is desktop and mobile-friendly so people can attend and interact with your event anywhere. This could mean your in-person attendees are answering polls and Q&As alongside your online audience at home.

A great hybrid platform will also allow attendees, no matter where they are, to create user profiles that will help them network with other guests and consume your event’s live and pre-recorded content.

For those visiting in person, this event app can also send out push notifications in live time to inform them of sessions that have been rescheduled, as well as provide a map of the venue space.

A hybrid event platform will also help with pre-event registrations and can integrate with your existing CRMs to make keeping track of your audience easier.

Be sure to pick a platform that also offers built-in analytics and user tracking to help you collect useful data that can help track and quantify your event’s success after it’s finished.

Tip #2) Hire a Well-Known Master of Ceremonies Who Will Host the Event

Try to find a celebrity who works in your industry to act as the Master of Ceremonies for your hybrid event. 

There are numerous advantages to hiring a celebrity or influencer to run your show. For one, they can use their large online platform to cross-promote your event, which can boost your attendance. 

The host will also hold your in-person and online audience’s attention, engaging them with polls, Q&As, and sharing interesting stories or anecdotes. They can also act as the voice for your online audience, making sure to interact with your event’s social media, Facebook, and Twitter pages to read aloud their comments or questions.

Lastly, the host can act as a buffer to smooth out any technical issues so your event runs more seamlessly. If a guest speaker is running late to the stage of having issues logging in online, the host can fill in some time to remove any awkward gaps or mishaps.

Tip #3) Use a Theme to Strengthen Your Content and Messaging

Your event will benefit from having a strong visual or conceptual theme that can unite your physical and digital space into one cohesive experience for all of your attendees. 

Hiring an interior decorator to design your physical space will create a stronger impression on your audience than a conventional or bland display.

Remember, your styling and theme are a reflection of your brand. Depending on your theme, you can then create custom signage and bring in related props and decor to spruce up your venue.

It can also promote social sharing. Online attendees can be encouraged to dress up to match the theme or be engaged in a different way, such as sharing photos of themselves that are related to your event’s theme.

Using an adaptable hybrid event platform, you can customize your virtual space as well to match your in-person stylizing. This includes creating custom branded registration pages, themed breakout session rooms, adding sponsor’s logos in the digital space, and matching the same language and tone that’s being displayed in the venue space.

Tip #4) Add Graphics and Lower Thirds to Your Live Streams

Do you want your live streams to look more professional? Add custom graphics and lower thirds to your video footage so your audience will know who’s speaking, what the topic is, and also so you can display your event’s name, logo, and branding.

If your theme has specific colors or fonts, use those to reinforce your theme with your on-screen graphics. 

Want to add a little bit of something extra in your lower thirds to impress your audience? Consider using animations to add a bit of panache to your graphics.

Vimeo Live, a live streaming service, allows hosts to add professional live graphics in real-time, including adding lower thirds and logos to make adding graphical overlays a breeze.

Tip #5) Use Pre-Recorded Clips and Segments

Filming and editing pre-recorded clips to stream during your event can punch up your event’s production value. This approach is especially helpful if you want to interview guests who aren’t as eloquent on stage, so you can edit their performance to create a flawless presentation.

One example could be to interview influential people in your industry who couldn’t attend your event, but still want to be involved. Fly your crew to meet with these people and record an interview with them.

Or send a crew to your company’s locations to record your employees, your facilities, and create a stirring clip that can be shared with your in-person and online audience. It will also double as evergreen content after your event.

YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google, so post these clips online to promote your next event.

Tip #6) Hire World-Class Entertainment

Hire entertainment for your event that has nothing to do with your event’s theme or industry. This gives your audience a welcome break to just sit back, relax, and enjoy your event experience.

Most events tend to bring in an entertainer of some kind, but if you want to truly stand out and position your event above your competition, find some big names to invite. 

Bringing in high-profile celebrities or influencers will also make your event more high-profile, which will benefit your exposure by getting more publicity in the media and generating buzz among your attendees.

This could include hiring famous comedians, popular bands, DJs, musicians, magicians, celebrity chefs, or mixologists.

Curious how other companies added entertainment into their event? Check out Hybrid Event Examples You’ll Want to Copy This Year (And How to Take Virtual Events Hybrid).

Create a Formula for Success with Quality Hybrid Event Production 

Are you ready to start hosting high-quality hybrid events? Reach a larger audience in-person and online with SpotMe’s hybrid event platform.

Your audience will come to expect an event with more interactivity and networking options, and SpotMe can help you achieve that.

SpotMe’s platform is fully customizable, allowing you to match your in-person branding and style online to create a beautiful and cohesive experience for your attendees, no matter how they attend.

Keep your in-person and mobile audience engaged with our event app, allowing guests to participate in polls, Q&As, networking opportunities, and also watch live streams and access on-demand content.

Want to take SpotMe for a test drive? Contact us to start your free trial, and learn why G2 called us “the complete engagement platform.”

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