How to Meet the Technical Challenges of Virtual and Hybrid Events
Presenting virtual and hybrid events can pose many technical challenges, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and the resulting need to find new ways to quickly adapt to sudden changes to the in-person availability of event speakers and participants. Donald Guzauckas Jr., Vice President of HB Live, contends that the best approach is to be as fully prepared as possible for every conceivable type of issue that may come up during conferences in these unpredictable times.
“The biggest thing is the network,” Guzauckas says. Using public settings such as hotels for corporate events can pose security issues. But an even greater challenge is holding large events in places that were never intended for such purposes. “Especially with COVID, we've been doing corporate events in parks, for example, because they can get everybody outside and spread out and take their masks off.” In those cases, it is a matter of “relying on things like bonded cellular for carrying that network. So that's a huge part of it right off the bat, the next big challenge. And I don't have a good solution for that.”
The most prudent approach, Guzauckas believes, is to work as closely as possible with your technical team and to make sure that they are very well educated in the network requirements for the situation as far ahead of the event as possible. But even with the best possible network setup, high-quality video and audio are paramount. Since many of the attendees will be remote, Guzauckas says that poor video and audio quality risks completely undermining the entire conference, even for those who are physically in attendance.
Guzauckas provides a specific recent example of a situation where both good video and audio were essential to maintain a quality experience for attendees despite a last-minute change to the availability of a key speaker. HB Live was working with a university, and the president of the college tested positive for COVID right before they were scheduled to give their commencement address. They suddenly had to deliver their speech from their living room. “They had good video, fortunately,” Guzauckas says. “But we had to make sure they had a good microphone, so it could carry through to not only the live stream but to the people that were attending in person.” This further underscores the need to be as prepared as possible for every contingency. “The solution is to just really plan and be prepared for it,” Guzauckas says. “Put yourself in the perspective of the audience at every step along the way.”
Learn more about Hybrid Events at Streaming Media West 2022.
Watch full-session videos from Streaming Media East 2022.
LinkedIn's Dan Swiney and Lockheed Martin's Eric Hards discuss how their organizations' approach to events and internal meetings has evolved since the pandemic's start in this panel from Streaming Media West 2022.
Telestream's Scott Murray discusses how the Sherpa live event production technology Telestream acquired in 2021 has transformed its approach to internal meetings and corporate events and enabled new hybrid and virtual event production models for their clients as well in this talk from Streaming Media West 2022.
090 Media's Alex Lindsay discusses the challenges of engaging remote streaming audiences with hybrid events and the advantages of digital-first productions in this clip from Streaming Media West 2022.
Microsoft's Andy Beach and LiveX's Corey Behnke discuss best practices for delivering effective hybrid and virtual events using streaming technology in this clip from Streaming Media West 2022.
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.
Hosting a successful hybrid event means understanding how to create the best virtual and in-person event strategy while ensuring that event organizers prepare for all possible variables.
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
Some streaming pros say cloud production has made 5-10 years of progress in the two years since the pandemic shook live production to its core, but when will cloud offer the sort of no-latency communication, preview, and replay producers expect and rely on in on-prem workflows? And will it require a paradigm shift in the way producers think about hardware purchases and usage? Live X's Corey Behnke, CNN's Ben Ratner, LiveU's Mike Savello, and Signiant's Jon Finegold discuss the challenges of cloud migration and the current state of cloud in this clip from Streaming Media East 2022.
Cadmium SVP Monte Evans discusses how to make hybrid and virtual events as seamless, effective, and profitable as face-to-face events in this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media East 2022.
LiveU VP of Sales discusses how LiveU is enabling the evolving trend toward multicam mobile, REMI, and cloud production using bonding-based workflows in this interview with Streaming Media's Tim Siglin at Streaming Media East 2022.
Companies and Suppliers Mentioned