A hybrid trade show necessitates more planning and collaboration in relation to the location. It is customary for the location to serve as the focal point for your on-site experience. However, with a hybrid trade show, in which attracting a simulated audience is critical to event performance, the venue plays a more important role in hosting secure and successful meetings and facilitating the technologies.
According to Cvent’s latest 2020 Q4 Planner Sentiment and Sourcing Study, more than two-thirds of planners turned to venues for the following: access, AV facilities, room design, and overall direction. The location is central to a well-run hybrid event experience for all audiences, from locating and organising accommodation for a secure in-person experience to ensuring the AV technology and service is in place to catch and share with your online attendees. After all, the future of activities is multifaceted. Let’s take a look at three reasons why a venue is important for hybrid events.
Considerations for Hybrid Event trade show safety
Let’s be honest: drawing in-person crowds to large-scale indoor activities in 2021 would be difficult. Residual health issues, along with stretched marketing and travel budgets, would push event promoters and advertisers to ensure that the on-site environment is as secure as possible. The safety precautions and procedures of prospective locations are the first thing many promoters – and attendees – would look at.
Common questions your attendees will ask you (and you can ask a possible venue) include:
- What sanitation and cleanliness procedures would the venue have in place, from the surface areas to the public spaces?
- What are the maintenance procedures in place for guest rooms?
- What are the venue’s social distancing policies for their indoor space?
- How is the location protecting the welfare of their employees and the employees who will work the event?
- What is the process for preparing and serving food and beverages?
Investigate Potential Locations
Make a point of asking these questions early in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Many venues, fortunately, post this material in some depth on their pages, but you can make sure you appreciate each of these policies when they apply to your case.
If you’ve decided on a venue and each of these elements for your case, convey these precautions early and prominently in your marketing efforts to give prospective in-person attendees assurance that their experience will be secure.
Considerations for Space Layout for the Event Venue
A hybrid trade show, especially one held in 2021, would need a new approach to managing and configuring the meeting room. To begin with, social distancing criteria necessitates the layout of everything from check-in kiosks and dining areas to session rooms, conference rooms, and display spaces in order to comply with safety guidelines. Rooms that may have held 100 people in the past may now only hold 50 percent of their capacity or less.
You will also need to configure some rooms to ensure that you have enough space for the cameras and other AV necessities that will be recording content for delivery to your simulated audience. As if that weren’t enough, travel constraints could require you to do all of this with little – if any – site visits.
Plan the Event Venue Using Technology
Venues and infrastructure vendors are assisting with the resolution of these issues. Most conference rooms have comprehensive schematics, and most venues are accustomed to collaborating with planning departments to configure spaces based on current social distancing guidelines and the planner’s AV specifications. Venue floor plans are being digitised and fed into space design applications in some cases, allowing designers to carry out comprehensive seating and space arrangement scenarios.
Planners will enter their spacing specifications (for example, 6ft apart) and even the position of tables, benches, and even AV equipment in a scale model of the room to ensure that everything is compliant and that site lines, etc. still operate. Any of these techniques also allow for three-dimensional renderings of the room, giving design teams a clear idea of how the spaces would look and feel. Although there is no replacement for an on-site tour, these resources will take a lot of the guesswork out of ensuring the room can offer a healthy on-site environment while still meeting any specific AV needs you might have to engage your virtual audience.
Audio Visual Considerations for a Hybrid Event Venue
In this context, a video camera on a tripod is required to record a hybrid trade show.
The consistency of their content experience will ultimately decide their event experience with an online-only audience. This may include live streaming marquee sessions, capturing material for later, on-demand use, or even holding live sessions or forums in on-site studios right at the venue. The possibilities are limitless, but there is no doubt that recording, producing, and distributing high-quality, entertaining content necessitates the proper AV infrastructure as well as cooperation from your venue and its partners.
What does it take to record, develop, and deliver high-quality content to your interactive audience? There are several models, and fundamentally, your solution would make sense depending on your demographics, the priorities of your case, and your budget. In a nutshell, it demands the proper technology and skills.
The following are the fundamental building blocks for generating event content:
- A place, typically a stage or a studio
- Multiple cameras to capture your speaker and their content, high-quality lighting and sound
- Editing and processing of material to ensure that it is dynamic and competent
- Distribution of livestreams
- Wi-Fi/Adequate bandwidth
During the planning process, consider both the in-person and virtual experiences.
Given all of the necessary materials, the significance of the location becomes apparent. Begin with a basic example, if you want to livestream the CEO’s keynote, you must ensure that the session room has the necessary equipment and setup to facilitate a livestream. In most scenarios, merely placing a camera in the back of the room and broadcasting to your simulated audience does not provide a good environment for your virtual attendees, and you are likely to lose their focus and interaction entirely.
Instead, try adding extra cameras in the room so you can cut from angle to angle, giving the online (and in-person) audience a more dynamic and more crafted feel. Space planning and design become critical, ensuring proper positioning of cameras as well as an adequate number and placement of power outlets and internet connections (ethernet preferred).
Professionally Produced Content Has a Higher Rate of Engagement
Event venue providers are rapidly providing the skills required to transform all live streamed and filmed content into professional-looking, immersive productions vital to reaching a remote audience. Like every video maker knows, there is an art to switching between camera angles at precisely the right time, choosing whether to zoom into a speaker’s face or pull back and reveal the slide he or she is referring to, and also determining what lower thirds (speaker name, title, venue, etc.) will be added to each shot to provide additional background to the online viewer. Many venues provide this expertise through collaborations with production firms, but some event technology companies are starting to offer it themselves.
Some larger theatres are now heavily investing in the facilities required to catch, create, and deliver content to virtual audiences, including the installation of permanent high-tech broadcast studios on-site with all the lighting, sound, and AV gear needed to livestream, film, and edit content. If the event manager needs a live crowd look and sound, each of these studios have seating for hundreds.
Choose which sessions to livestream with care.
Since live streaming sessions can be expensive, often event organisers reserve them for “marquee” content such as executive or external keynotes and new product announcements. Others are designating a small range of “livestream” rooms that will be outfitted with the required AV setup, and then scheduling select sessions in these rooms to be broadcast live to the virtual audience. Finally, the decision about what particular programming to stream to your simulated viewers must fit with the motivations and motives for attending your event.
Key Points for a Hybrid Event Venue
Venues are vital to the success of a hybrid gathering, as they not only have the context for a secure onsite experience, but also the technological resources and skills to power interactive content capture and distribution. Be sure your venue meets your room, protection, and AV needs early on in the process, and then work closely with them and their partners to help your team produce a fantastic event.
Choose a location with well-defined and well-documented protection precautions and policies. Your on-site occupancy will increase if your guests see the venue’s dedication to keeping them – and your event – secured.
Rethink the architecture and room requirements for your case. Use location diagramming tools to ensure that conference spaces and rooms follow safety standards as well as the hybrid AV specifications.
Understand the venue’s capabilities as well as their affiliate network, which can be used to help the virtual content capture and delivery requirements. Your venue will help you tap into the technology and skills to ensure your online audience enjoys quality content, from AV capability in your session rooms to dedicated studio facilities. To have the best experiences in arranging and managing a hybrid trade show, visit AladdinB2B and leave the rest to us.