Hybrid meetings utilize cutting edge equipment and technology to connect virtual and in-person attendees for a unified experience. The problem is, most businesses don’t own the equipment needed for a hybrid meeting, or know how to operate hybrid meeting technology. Yet, companies must quickly adapt, or they will be left behind as the world goes “hybrid”, which is happening fast.
McKinsey & Company, global leaders in business strategy, estimate 90% of organizations will adopt some combination of remote and on-site work as they emerge from Covid restrictions. A survey conducted by Upwork, the world’s largest talent marketplace, indicates by the year 2028, upwards of 78% of teams will have remote workers. If your company wants to stay relevant, you will need to offer hybrid meetings that actively engage both virtual and in-person attendees.
With the right equipment and technology for your hybrid meeting, and an educated team that knows how to run the show, hybrid events elevate both the in-person and virtual experience. Far more sophisticated than their casual cousin, video conferencing, hybrid meetings are vastly more complex to conduct than meeting in-person or virtually. Even the experts at the Harvard Business Review note that hybrid events are “easy to do poorly and hard to do well.”
To produce a quality hybrid meeting experience, you will need impressively built equipment that includes a variety of cameras, microphones, and speakers, and the cables, switches, and splitters necessary for professional live streaming setups. Perhaps most important are video encoders that enable high-quality video and audio to be streamed in real-time, expertly configured to ensure they don’t overload any processing systems.
Hiring an experienced team of hybrid and virtual event production professionals is a smart choice to ensure a first-class experience for all in attendance.
Technology for Hybrid Meetings
Choosing a virtual platform is as important as choosing a venue. When a hybrid event is done right, virtual attendees are able to have the same interactive experience as those attending in person.
Specialized hybrid event technologies offer a variety of ways to engage both your in-person and virtual audience, bringing them together for a shared experience. Technologies like live polling and Q&A sessions keep viewers watching, surveys and knowledge tests are a great way to ensure participants pay attention, and gamification adds an element of fun, and incentive to participate. Hybrid Meeting Equipment Checklist
Having the right equipment for your hybrid meeting is as important as the content you will present. A successful hybrid meeting depends on equipment and technology. To start, you’ll need a stable, secure internet connection, speakers with crisp sound, microphones that guarantee every word is heard clearly, cameras that capture all content and attendees, and much more. This hybrid meeting equipment checklist can help ensure you have what you need:
- Internet Connection: Having a strong internet connection is imperative to ensure all feeds sync up, materials load properly, and audio and video streams in real-time, without delay or interruptions. For optimal streaming quality your internet connection should be hardwired, not wireless. To ensure stability, your internet connection should not be used for anything except your event needs.
- Laptop Computer: A smartphone or tablet has limitations in size and power, deeming it insufficient to host a high-tech hybrid event. A high-powered laptop computer with ample storage space is recommended; a slow computer will jeopardize your hybrid meeting.
- Wireless Presentation Remote: A wireless remote is useful for moving through slides, switching between presentation screens, to start and stop video, and in some cases, mute microphones, or change lights. Commonly, the wireless remote is used by another, allowing the speaker the freedom to focus on their presentation.
- Monitor: Hybrid meetings often integrate use of several monitors in varying sizes. A small one might be used as a teleprompter, others for projecting virtual attendees in full size to include them amongst those attending in person. Larger monitors are used to screen prerecorded video content, often placed around the venue so everyone has a clear view of visual presentations.
- Microphones: Depending on the layout of your hybrid meeting or event, a variety of microphones will be used to ensure no word is missed, including clippable lapel microphones and stationary shotgun microphones. Adding an audio mixer with microphones is optimal. For audience engagement and Q&A sessions you’ll need wireless hand mics and a mic runner, or stand mics positioned appropriately.
- Audio Speakers: Audio is even more important than video, because without clear, crisp sound that is easily heard, your event is a bust! The size and acoustics of a room will dictate the amount of speakers needed for your hybrid event. Partnering with an event management company will ensure every word is heard, loudly, clearly, and without delay.
- Cameras: Your hybrid event will require multiple HD high-quality cameras to capture a variety of angles, from keynote speakers to on-screen presentations. Shooting from multiple camera angles ensures virtual viewers are able to fully participate. Display size of the live stream may be 4:3 or 16:9, depending on screen viewer users, so it’s important to film with a camera that supports all screen sizes.
- Tripods: Shaky video is an instant turnoff. Use a tripod to support and stabilize your camera(s). Set up in advance, using a tripod ensures you capture content from the best viewpoint, filming desired angles with cameras pre-positioned to get different shots from close up to widescreen.
- Switcher: You will need a switcher if your hybrid event includes transitioning between live stream and pre-recorded content, or includes changing visuals.
- Lights: Lighting is a key element of a top-quality hybrid event, virtual participants want to see as closely as those attending in-person. Lighting is required on the stage, as well as on the participants. stage lights, spotlights, color effects, etc.
- Staging: Staging makes your hybrid event stand out, taking it from so-so to spectacular. Staging may include backdrops, greenscreens for scene projections or a 3D experience, monitors or different sized screens for presentations and prerecorded video, or a plethora of aesthetic details to customize your hybrid event.
- Cables and Cords: From varying length extension cords and USB cables, to chargers for all equipment, virtual events are a plugged in experience that will stall if you don’t have the right cables and cords. Before your virtual event, be sure to measure the distance from equipment to outlets to gauge correct length, then add extra, because more extension cables and cords will be needed for events where they need to be hidden.
Hybrid Event Management Services Checklist
By now it’s clear that, for most businesses, your smartest and most likely safest move is to partner with a hybrid event management company, rather than to try and produce your event by yourself. Hiring a team of experts saves you time and money, reduces stress, eliminates worries, and empowers you to focus on what you do best: creating content that wows your audience.
A hybrid event can be complicated to pull off, as many pieces need to be seamlessly integrated to be engaging for all who attend. It’s best to hire a seasoned team of professionals who’ve successfully produced thousands of events, helping companies like yours with every aspect from planning to production. When considering a hybrid event management company, look for the following services in this checklist:
- Audio Visual Support: Your AV support team handles all your lighting and sound needs, from microphones and speakers, to spotlights and special effects. To ensure your event goes off without a hitch they test every aspect in advance, so transitions from live to recorded video, or a presentation are flawless, and audio and video for both in-person and virtual attendees is superb.
- Production Support: Your virtual event producer will guide you through every step of producing your hybrid meeting, from selecting the best venue and right platform, to supplying the equipment and hybrid meeting technology, assisting with marketing, providing training, conducting rehearsals, day-of event support, and post-event analysis.
- Virtual Platform: Hosting a hybrid event that holds the attention of your audience, achieves your goals, and keeps attendees engaged requires a sophisticated virtual platform. An event management company will assess your hybrid meeting needs, walk you through the best options, and determine the virtual platforms that will take your event to the next level.
Get the Hybrid Event Support You Need
One does not “wing it” when hosting a hybrid event. Each moment must be thoroughly planned out down to the most minute detail. Producing a high-quality hybrid experience requires high-tech equipment you probably don’t have, and hybrid technology you most likely don’t have access to, nor the time it will take to learn how to use it. In short, producing a hybrid event is complicated, and hard for a beginner to pull off successfully.
Your hybrid event might include camera changes from keynote speakers to speaker panels, switching from live feed streams to prerecorded portions, dynamic presentations, engaging your audience with interactive games or live virtual networking opportunities, or dozens of other segments that are best managed with the help of professional hybrid event management experts.
The team at AMP Event Group is ahead of the curve, providing event planners with recommendations for the optimal equipment, platforms, and technology to communicate their messages with a positive and memorable impact. Capable of fulfilling unique hosting needs, AMP Event Group helps generate custom-designed content using state-of-the-art tools that allow for complete creative control of a conference, meeting, or event. No matter your industry, from your first idea to the final implementation of your hybrid meeting, the experts at AMP will deliver everything you need to host a first-class hybrid event. Contact AMP Event Group today to get started!