Blog 1: 5 Tips for Planning a Virtual or Hybrid Event

2020 has brought on many challenges to the world, with one being the ability to gather together. With this change we are seeing a shift to hosting more and more virtual or hybrid style events.

As we prepare and alter our offerings to service this new industry trend, we wanted to share a few tips with you when planning a virtual or hybrid event.

1.Determine your content first, then choose your delivery method.

Your content should influence your delivery. Take in to consideration the following questions to help guide you.

  • Are your presenter’s comfortable and familiar working with technology?
  • How many guests are attending?
  • Will there be one-way flow of information or an open conversation?
  • Does part of your content require hands on interaction?

The two main methods of delivery are webinars and training sessions.

  • Webinars – one-way flow of information, large number of guests
  • Virtual Training Sessions – back and forth dialogue, small number of guest

2. Know your equipment before launching the event.

You should be familiar with any sort of technology system or equipment that you will be using to run your event. If a problem does occur, you want to be able to fix the problem quickly so that the event can keep moving forward.

3. If you go hybrid, be sure to consider both in-person and virtual attendees.

A hybrid style event is where you have both virtual and in-person guests for your event. Chances are you would have many more guests attending virtually than in-person for a hybrid event, but you want to ensure that anyone signing up to attend is getting the same experience.

Some items of consideration for this part of the planning process include:

  • Can both types of guests ask questions to the presenter?
  • Is the presenter easy to hear both from the back of the room and virtually?
  • Is the presenter clearly visible to those attending virtually as they are to those attending in-person?
  • If you are running multiple sessions, is it easy for the virtual guests to jump between sessions as it would be for those in-person?

4. Lighting and sound are key factors.

Lighting and sound can greatly impact your guests experience when they are attending virtually.

Lighting Suggestions:

  • Have the presenter sitting without too much going on in the background (most virtual services offer preset backgrounds if need be)
  • Find a location where light is focused on the front of the presenter
  • Do not trust natural lighting. Your lighting will change as the weather changes throughout the presentation.

Sound Suggestions:

  • Have presenters connected to microphones if your budget allows
  • Sit in a location where there is not a lot of background noise or chances of interruption
  • For hybrid events, test the sound throughout the room as well as virtually

5. Do a test run!

When you begin planning, schedule in your test date at the beginning so you have a date to work towards. Doing a test run will help you work out any kinks that could happen prior to the event date. This is the opportunity to test out your lighting and sound and adjust as needed so that you know how to setup for the day of. Tip: Encourage all presenters and anyone involved in hosting the event to be present at your test run.

For more tips from our Brock University Conference and Events team or to get a quote on your upcoming event, email conference@brocku.ca

Happy Planning!

 

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