The Covid-19 pandemic brought in-person events to a screeching halt in accordance with government restrictions and lockdowns. As a result, there was a demand for virtual and hybrid events, which hasn’t yet diminished. In fact, these events are anticipated to expand by 21.4% from 2023 to 2030.
A virtual event takes place entirely online and may be accomplished through live streaming or recorded video presentations, while a hybrid event is one that uses a combination of in-person and digital elements, or an in-person event that is made available via live streaming. Both options have a great deal of technical needs to ensure everything looks and sounds as it should while keeping guests engaged when they may not be physically in the same room.
Hybrid events are an ideal way to offer flexibility to your guests who may be far away or have other challenges to attending in-person conferences or events, while still providing that valuable in-person experience to those who attend on-site.
We’ve made an easy to reference virtual & hybrid event planning checklist with an emphasis on the technical considerations that will set your event up for success.
Let’s assume you’ve already done the following:
Now you’re ready to get down to the technical logistics that will power your virtual or hybrid event.
With your content plan set, determine your technical needs. Will you need to livestream, pre-record videos, or use a hybrid of the two for your event?
Here are important factors to consider when choosing your technology:
At St. Bonavenue, we know strong audio, video and lighting equipment can really elevate an event. Our offerings are always expanding to include the latest and greatest in A/V technology. Whether you require video cameras, wireless microphones, podium packages or more, we are here to help you create an A/V package around your unique needs. Plus, our on-site technician will be available during your event to ensure everything is going off without a hitch.
There are many services that can handle your specific technical needs and host your event online. The most important thing is to choose a reliable and user-friendly virtual event platform that supports various devices and operating systems. Here are a few different platforms for live streaming or pre-recorded videos: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Webex Events.
TIP: Select a reputable virtual event platform with a strong track record of uptime and reliability. Have a backup plan in case of platform issues, such as pre-recorded content that can be played during downtime.
Both a virtual or hybrid event can really benefit from a physical venue rental. It can be a much needed homebase that is fully equipped with all the video, audio and tools needed to create a professional virtual presentation.
At St. Bonavenue, we offer over 25 venues on campus. From lecture halls to collegiate classrooms, we have highly visual spaces that look great in-person or online – whether you need a single room as your virtual event hub or a collection of rooms to accommodate multiple sessions.
Every event needs an agenda! It helps keep everyone on track and avoids wasting time. Your agenda should arrange your speakers and any other presentations, including introductions, breaks and meal times. Be sure to indicate which events will be live streamed or recorded so your virtual guests can follow along.
There’s Google Forms, Eventbrite, Cvent, Brown Paper Tickets and more. Choose an interface that you think would work best for your target audience. You may want to consider the process fees, which can add to the overall ticket price though.
This platform will also help you collect information on where attendees are participating from as well as any accessibility needs that should be accommodated for.
Make sure your venue is prepped in advance. Run a live demo to show your speakers around beforehand and help them get familiar with the layout and equipment. Then schedule a full-scale run-through a few days before the live event.
When you choose an all-inclusive venue with St. Bonavanue, we can manage all rehearsals with your speakers. We will ensure they understand the A/V basics: enabling microphone and camera permissions, playing videos, presenting a slide deck, launching polls, sharing resources, etc.
For an event with an online component, you may want to market online as well, including:
Even if your virtual platforms are easy to use, send attendees a Know Before You Go email detailing how to navigate the event, what they may need to download to launch meetings and how to make the most of their time.
Take 15 minutes to make sure everything is ready for a given session. Have the speaker join the session early to ensure they know how to use the platform and its features.
Remember: St. Bonavenue offers an on-site technician that can handle all tech rehearsals so you can focus on other last minute details before your event is live.
TIP: Show presenters how to share their screens effectively. Encourage them to use compatible file formats.
With virtual attendees, it’s more important than ever to engage attendees during sessions. You should consider adding live polling, Q&A, gamification and social media. Make sure attendees always have a way to interact with the content and each other.
TIP: Ensure that chat functions and interactive features are intuitive and user-friendly. Have technical support personnel monitor chats for questions and issues.
Some of your participants may have to miss certain sessions, or might be interested in multiple sessions happening at the same. It’s a good idea to record all live sessions so you have the option to share or upload them to your virtual event platform later.
Within your virtual platform, capture session attendance, how long attendees engage with sessions and more. This data can help you better cater content for future events.
A feedback survey will allow you to measure event success. Make sure it’s simple to complete so you can collect data soon after the event.
You already have data and your fingertips, now use it! Reference your event goals, sort through the data to see how well your event stacked up against your set goals.
Celebrate your successes with key stakeholders by presenting the results in an easily understood way.
If this virtual & hybrid event planning checklist seems like a lot of responsibility, that’s because it is! But St. Bonavenue is here to help! Our dedicated event management team can guide you every step of the way. We also offer advanced A/V services, including dynamic lighting, microphones, video conferencing and much more! Plus, you can always count on an on-site technician to ensure everything looks and sounds as it should during your event.
Talk to us today! We will work hard to bring your unique taste, style and budget together for an event that leaves a lasting impression on your guests.
Download “Your Virtual & Hybrid Event Checklist” as a PDF for easy reference or printing.Download PDF