With virtual events dominating in recent memory, it’s been a while since you booked your last in-person venue. But events don’t look like they did pre-pandemic. They’ll be hybrid—a face-to-face experience with a significant virtual component.
The new era of events means new opportunities, but new challenges, too. You’ll need to follow a different set of considerations when selecting the perfect hybrid event venue. Today, we’ll cover some of the most important factors to keep in mind.
There’s no doubt about it: your audience will be bigger when you adopt a hybrid format. But that doesn’t mean your venue needs to be bigger. In fact, you may want it to be smaller.
From now on, a majority of your audience could be virtual. As enticing as the in-person experience is, you can’t deny the convenience of virtual attendance.
Before picking a venue, get an estimate of what your in-person attendance will be. Surveys are your friend for this. Then, pick a space that matches your estimated face-to-face turn-out.
Hybrid events are your opportunity to embrace smaller, more intimate venues. A space that dwarfs your face-to-face audience could be uncomfortable. With one exception….
Health and Safety
We hope this point won’t stay relevant for too long. But the fact remains that safety will be a concern for some at in-person events for the foreseeable future.
This is an exception to the rule we discussed above. Small venues simply aren’t conducive to social distancing. Don’t be afraid to book a larger space where people can spread out, depending on the situation with COVID-19.
But the size of the space is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the safety of a venue. Here are some other considerations to take into account:
- Sanitation stations
- Ceiling height and ventilation
- Touchless check-in
- Clear signage
For a deeper dive, check out our guide to safety in a hybrid event venue.
If you thought pre-pandemic events were tech-heavy, you wait until you see them now. Venues need a little technical oomph to accommodate hybrid event technology—and maybe even space, too.
First thing’s first: you’ll need a strong internet connection. Wi-Fi has been a standard at event venues for some time. But the internet is absolutely indispensable to ensuring a successful event in the hybrid format.
You’ll need a wired, ethernet connection with a minimum of 10 Mbps in upload and download speeds to ensure an enjoyable experience for your virtual audience.
Of course, power is a necessity, too. There should be plenty of outlets to accommodate all this tech. As always, we need to expect the unexpected; make sure there’s a backup power supply, just in case.
Your A/V company should provide the rest of the tech: lights, cameras, microphones, and so forth. Keep in mind the venue you should be large enough for all this gear, too.
A Virtual Venue, Too
We normally think of a “venue” as a physical space. But the viewing experience of your virtual audience is just as important to the success of your event.
When searching for the perfect hybrid event venue, we urge equal thought to the virtual platform of your choice, too.
The virtual extension of your hybrid event should be more than just a livestream. Your remote audience deserves an experience every bit as special as the in-person one.
In your quest for the perfect hybrid event platform, keep these three ideals in mind:
- Design. For a virtual platform or a physical one, appearances matter. Canned hybrid event solutions tend look bland, and don’t give your audience the one-of-a-kind, branded experience they deserve.
- Service. The best hybrid event platforms are more than just platforms. They come with service, too. You want your software provider to have a hand in your hybrid event. Opt for a company who becomes an extension of your team through managed services.
- Engagement. For an impactful virtual experience, interaction needs to flow in both directions—not just one. Make sure the platform you choose lets your virtual audience engage with speakers and fellow attendees, through polling, Q&A, and one-on-one chat.
For your virtual audience, “good enough” isn’t good enough. You need to select a virtual venue that gives them an experience they won’t forget.
Get in Touch with CommPartners
Looking to broaden your reach and revenue with hybrid events? We can help. Whatever your need might be, we have the solution for you.
We offer hybrid event management services, as well as a state-of-the-art livestreaming platform in MedicaCenter 2.0. Pair your event with our award-winning Elevate LMS, and it becomes a perpetual source of revenue for you, and knowledge for your attendees.