How to Add Interactivity to Hybrid Events
Learn more about hybrid event streaming at Streaming Media East 2022.
Read the complete transcript of this clip:
Blue Melnick: When you're thinking about hybrid and what format to choose, it really dependent on the outcome that you're trying to achieve. If it's a product announcement, you don't need interactivity. Apple has proven this time and again over the course of the last 18 months. You don't need interactivity with an in-person audience in order to create a really cool product announcement experience.
But if you're doing education and you do need to interact with your audience, then you really need to put a lot of time and effort into it. We recently did a hybrid event and essentially ran two stages virtually simultaneously. All of the interaction with the audience when it came to do an exercise or turn to the person next to you and have that conversation. We've all been in rooms where the host or the speaker says something along those lines, all of that stuff was managed for the virtual audience on a separate stage (actually just backstage).
In this particular case, the virtual audience got a better experience than the in-person audience, because we put so much of an emphasis on it. They had a different MC. That person introduced the room and introduced the event and essentially cut to the main stage for content. But anytime it went to--in some cases--Q & A, but also that interactivity component, it came back to the backstage area. And then speakers, as they came off stage, were pulled into the virtual area where they could interact with the virtual audience.
So again, they actually, in many ways, had a better experience than the in-person audience. Now the in-person audience could go down to the bar and have a cocktail with each other and get to know each other, but there's a lot of different things that you can do with virtual at that point. There's a lot there.
We really ran two events simultaneously and--talk about adding an extra layer of complexity. Now we're running two stages in the same ballroom. Audio became really, really important as did video, and making sure that the backstage video didn't go to the front stage people. There's a lot to manage there--way more staff, way more complexity, and so on.
With the rise of TikTok and even premium content companies like Netflix embracing gamification, interactive media and gaming are on the ascent in streaming video, as Roku's Eric Smith, 47 Games Inc. Founder Ben Hoyt, and Chris Pfaff of Chris Pfaff Tech Media discuss at Streaming Media West 2022
What are some of the biggest issues encountered when handling interactive streaming at scale? The widespread increase of highly interactive streaming such as auctions, sports betting, and gaming has put pressure on networks while increasing the need to integrate interactivity into more traditional methods of OTT content delivery.
What are the newest engagement and interactive opportunities for both live in-person and virtual event audiences? Finding ways to bridge the gap between in-person and virtual audiences and create experiences that cater to their specific needs is now essential, according to Beth Norber of Mainstream Media, as audiences have grown more sophisticated and expect high-quality interactive presentations.
Virtual event platforms must ensure that virtual audiences don't encounter network and access issues, and one key solution for events with a large number of attendees is staggering entry times, along with adding early arrival incentives such as pre-show content
Advances in Low-Latency DASH and HLS will allow for greater scalability and interactivity for better live streaming experiences, while AVOD and FAST viewing continue to grow
With Streaming Media East and NAB right around the corner, we surveyed our readers to find out how they were feeling about returning to trade shows and conferences. The results aren't surprising, but they're encouraging for the future of industry events.
090 Media Head of Operations discusses the value of the viewing experience for remote viewers of hybrid live events, the challenges of serving both in-person and off-site live audiences effectively, and what it means for the future of hybrid live events as currently constituted in this clip from Streaming Media West Connect 2021.
LinkedIn's Dan Swiney, 090 Media's Alex Lindsay, Kaltura's Charlotte Copeman, and Sage Event Management's Blue Melnick offer definitions of hybrid events and what it means to produce content effectively for in-person and online live audiences simultaneously in this clip from Streaming Media West 2021.