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What Is a Hybrid Event?

Learn more about hybrid event streaming at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Let's talk about, what exactly do we mean by hybrid events? How do each of you define a hybrid event? Dan, can we start with you and your thoughts on that?

Dan Swiney: Sure. I'll take a shot at it. I think one of the things that hybrid isn't--and Alex touched on this--it's not new. The concept isn't new; it's something that's been around. It's now about degrees, or sort of what levels you're bringing certain parts up and down. So within hybrid, I see it as having hybrid audiences, meaning remote folks and remote or on-prem talent. And then the production side of it, same thing. Production's been done remote for a long time. So there's sort of three main elements there. And again, right now, the tilt has been to go fully remote. I think back to when this all started, there was really no choice in terms of having people in a room. So now at LinkedIn we're at least starting to see a tilt back to on-prem, either on-prem studios for production, or we're talking about actual in-person events. So the tilt is happening. What I'm noticing is the expectations or the breadth is, is quite wide. Because now you can have something as simple as a Zoom call that's a webinar, all the way up to when we get back on-site, there will be expectation to go back to full production. So you now have a much larger area. If this is the area you work in, now you need to know everything from simple, fully remote to the most complex and even the most complex, fully remote to, to complex onsite. And so that, I think, is the challenge. How do you keep all those tools sharp as the tilt starts happening to go back to on-site?

Alex Lindsay: We define a hybrid event as, I have one person in the room in the audience, and one person online. It's a hybrid event. Again, you can keep on expanding that, but it's a very binary thing for us. If you're gonna put one person in the room, you're now going to have a hybrid event because they have to be taken care of as well as your online audience that needs to be taken care of. That's how we define it. As Dan said, there's lots of permutations of what that actually looks like.

Charlotte Copeman: I'd agree with Alex. We've got 15 years under our belt now of providing live and on-demand video experiences, and it encompasses all areas of hybrid. But like you say, if there's one person in the room and one person in a digital environment, then that's your hybrid. But I think it means a variety of things. Sometimes, it can mean an in-person core event with a series of virtual pre and post, such as training accreditation, and build up to many sessions to build up the excitement around the event. But also it can mean running two events, side by side, one set in person and one set virtual. There's so many different formats that it's important to have a flexible team that can lend itself to all of those experiences and quickly alternate if plans change. As Dan said, we're about to tilt again, and these tilts come and go. We've all seen huge events like NAB. It's supposed to go ahead and then is canceled very last minute. So it's having that ability to switch between the two. Exactly as you say, if your expectation is one person in person, and one in a virtual environment, then that that's hybrid already.

Blue Melnick: I think it's really interesting. As much as we try to define hybrid, I think our clientele are probably the ones actually defining it. And for a lot of people, especially those who have had success with virtual events and highly interactive virtual events, what they're thinking of is, "I want to keep a high level of engagement, be able to see my audience interact back and forth with them virtually. And at the same time, I want to have an in-person audience experience." That's what most of our clients are coming to us saying when they say "hybrid." That's what they mean, and like Charlie said, that's means having two events at the same time and it's a little bit challenging. What we see most is people actually defining hybrid a little bit more how it was pre-pandemic, where you had an in-person experience that was very interactive. And then you had a live stream going out to a virtual audience that was more a fly-on-the-wall experience. And I think that's what most people define hybrid as despite the fact I would disagree with that.

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