As you may know I have published several articles discussing Hybrid events. For those of you new to the conversation a hybrid event is one in which virtual, or remote attendees interact with face to face attendees, utilizing some form of social technology.
Most often, in the hybrid meeting scenario, remote attendees watch a live video webcast of a keynote address, or an education session, in some sort of convention, or conference setting. To further engage the audience event organizers usually provide a back channel for conversation, in an application such as Twitter. Over the past 18 months or so, many organizations have been introducing hybrid elements into their meetings and conferences.
A New Breed of Hybrid Events
I’m one of those guys that gets really “amped” when I encounter something new, and innovative. This week, thanks to a company called The Expo Group (TEG) I had the distinct pleasure of attending a new breed of Hybrid Events, at the TS² Show (Total Solutions Marketing), in Boston, MA. What distinguished this one from others, , was it’s location in the middle of a trade-show environment, in an exhibit booth, rather than a meeting room. How cool is that?
Tagged as the “InZone Lounge and Networking Center” this area was designed, by TEG, to create a fun, innovative space on the show floor where all TS² on-site and virtual attendees could gather and interact with exhibitors, sponsors, speakers and press. Their featured event, called “Continuing the Conversation” was a series of 15 minute “talk show” style interviews with Social Media Thought Leaders, over a two-day period. (July 14 & 15)
A Hybrid Home Run!
I watched all but one of the interview segments on Wednesday, July 14. Unfortunately I was not able to participate on Thursday, due to other business commitments. In my opinion TEG hit a trade-show “home-run” with this event. It was flawlessly executed. I believe the following contributed to their success:
Great Vendor Partners — At every level the quality of this event was first class. As an attendee, I enjoyed every moment of this experience. TEG clearly selected the right vendors for the job.
Interviews were sharp, crisp, energetic, engaging and personable — Emilie Barta, as the event host/anchor, was outstanding. If you have not met this gifted events business professional, or seen her work, you need to!
Emilie is one of those people (unlike me) that makes the camera look good. Her video presence lights up a room, and she knows just how to capture and keep a viewer’s attention, whether virtual or face2face.. Equally important, Emilie also makes interviewees feel at ease. Thus the total experience flows smoothly.
Great Webcast Platform — Over the past year I have often been frustrated with certain aspects of many other webcasts I’ve seen. Digitell, the webcast provider for this event, really has one of the best webcast platforms I’ve seen. The video window is fully functional, and I especially liked the chat portal.
Since No slide decks were utilized I can not vouch for that piece, but I am guessing Digitell does a nice job with that component, when needed, as well. My only criticism was that, in the Twitter window, I was not able to post tweets. I still had to access an outside Twitter client to do that.
Great audio/video quality and coverage — pretty much “high definition” quality audio/video for these webcast events made them a pleasure to watch/hear. The Camera technician was “on the spot” with following the coverage of the interviews, including audience participation.
For more information regarding the content presented at the “Continuing the Conversation” event I would recommend reading Midori Connolly’s blog post. Midori, the owner and chief AV girl, for Pulse Staging & Events, was one of the thought leaders interviewed by Emilie at the “InZone.”
Question: What types of Hybrid events are you coming across in your event travels? What do you believe works well? What do you think of the scenario recapped in this article?