With the current uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic Church House Westminster has swiftly adapted its in-house event technology to help event organisers combine the benefits of both face-to-face and virtual events, in the form of hybrid events.
Using the best of in-person and virtual event worlds, new event technology at Church House delivers hybrid events to ensure that online participants have exactly the same real-time user experience as live audiences.
This is important to event organisers as we prepare for a post-COVID events world where physical and live in-person audiences might be limited due to social distancing guidelines. Applying new modern event technology, physical barriers are effectively removed to reach a wider audience with no geographical limitations and the ability to host remote keynote speakers. This means that one event can then cover an entire audience which in turn increases ROI for events and its cost-effectiveness.
The key to successful hybrid events is to offer both physical and virtual audiences the same immersive and interactive event experiences in real-time. At Church House, the in-house audio-visual team has a vast experience in running all kinds of hybrid events. The expert AV team can manage the virtual platform to ensure seamless integration of the physical environment and other virtual elements. In addition, event organisers can rely on the AV team’s expert know-how to manage event production across a variety of platforms. They'd be able to advise on multiple streams, camera and microphone requirements, and how to incorporate interactive networking, polling and Q&A.
For event organisers, the opportunity to host hybrid events means that their events will have a lower carbon footprint and be a more sustainable event by avoiding delegate travel more than a set amount of miles from the physical venue. This can be communicated as guidelines in pre-event information. Other information to be included should mention accessibility relating to both the physical venue and the virtual platform.
Audience engagement can not only be tracked but also be enhanced by utilising personalised event platforms. Depending on the event objectives it should allow for
- online sponsor and exhibitor booths,
- live polling and Q&A,
- on-demand content,
- a wide choice of sessions including virtual labs and fireside chats to join,
- interactive networking with instant chat, and
- social teambuilding for both the physical and the online audience, in real-time, guided by the attendees’ pre-selected interests.
Bradley Hill, Audio-Visual Manager of Church House Westminster, commented: "From our recent conversations with event planners we realised that only pushing events online in the current climate is one-dimensional and to an extent, so are traditional events on its own. With hybrid events, a physical event can also be a live event virtual online. Some delegates will be physically attending and joined by a virtual audience, with both groups participating in a number of online interactive components at the same time. This event technology can bring to life a number of hybrid events, including product launches, exhibitions, lectures, conferences, meetings workshops, training seminars and team-building.".