Technology has allowed the meetings and events industry to redefine what we are capable of when it comes to bringing people together. But going virtual has come with a learning curve for everyone. After all, we're used to dynamic in-person events that spark human connection. While we work our way from virtual back to fully face-to-face, hybrid formats are an essential component in bridging the space between being together physically and connecting virtually.
Understandably, there are a lot of questions and concerns for these types of events as they can be complex to execute and attendee safety is paramount. A strong and effective communications plan, high production value and flawless logistics are all needed to successfully bring a hybrid event to life and engage audiences. Recently, our teams in Asia Pacific have been seeing great success with this format. Here, we take a look at how our team in Singapore executed a Hybrid Event Showcase to demonstrate what the hybrid experience is like and help clients gain confidence with these types of meetings.
Bringing Hybrid to Life through Event Showcase
Clients are eager to begin moving towards in-person meetings, but may be hesitant on hybrid's viability. It's important to increase their confidence in moving back to some level of in-person events with a well thought-out plan that takes into account all safety protocols and processes needed, has the right technology in place that guarantees highly produced content, and finishes with impeccable execution.
An emphasis on experience
One of the best ways to gain client confidence is by giving them access to the behind-the-scenes logistics for these types of events so they can understand both the attendee and presenter experience. The Hybrid Event Showcase included informative demonstrations of the technology used, including how remote speakers can be integrated and the use of green screen set-ups. Further explanation of the run of show and safety measures in place for in-person attendees were also key in ensuring confidence.
Since content is key to any successful event, so is the quality of speakers. A hybrid event allows for both in-person and remote presenters to be featured. On-site at the Showcase, cameras were set up within the event space to allow a direct visual for remote speakers to see the audience, focusing in on those individuals asking questions in real-time.
Food & beverage is another crucial part of attendee experience that can still be accomplished in a safe manner. For the Showcase, sweet and savory snacks were distributed in individual boxes and beverages could be requested from the waitstaff. While the level of service isn't diminished, it's important to communicate the process to attendees so they walk in knowing what to expect.
Creating a safe space
Other safety procedures were put in place including a structured registration process where attendees were asked to pick up their own badges to eliminate unnecessary contact, temperature checks upon arrival and hand sanitizer was placed throughout the venue. Also, colored bracelets with corresponding seating areas helped to direct attendees to their socially distanced seats.
It was beneficial to have a dedicated project manager to ensure that the program followed the client's specific safety guidelines, which can differ from current local rules in place. For example, some companies may require increased social distancing spacing which can greatly affect elements of the program such as room set up and seating. Additionally, all of BCD M&E's Event Managers involved in the Showcase are certified and knowledgeable when it comes to safe management measures.
A successful outcome
We were excited by the client's interest in joining the Hybrid Event Showcase and are thrilled at the eagerness to host another to have the rest of the company experience a hybrid event for themselves. The teams enjoyed being back on-site and seeing clients in-person once again. Overall, the event helped to demystify the hybrid format and provide the confidence needed to get back to face-to-face events once again.
Learn more about hybrid events from BCD M&E's Manager Director of APAC, Sanjay Seth.