Welcome to AV Insights and Advice! My name is Gary Lagestee and today we are talking about hybrid events and associated costs. It’s so good to be back on AV Insights and Advice, my name is Brian Lagestee and we are so excited to dig right into the hybrid events and how much they cost relative to what your budget would have been in the past. Many of you have had live events back in 2019, many of you had virtual events in 2020 and now you are challenged with the task of doing hybrid events.
What is the difference in cost between a live event and a virtual event on the production side?
As much as we want to say that the event budget is going to stay the same for a virtual event as a hybrid or a live event as a hybrid, realistically, hybrid events are approximately 150% the amount of a 2019 live event budget.
What are the reasons for the cost going up in hybrid events?
As a planner, you want to look at your audience and understand you are going to have two unique audiences. You need to have your production on-site, which is going to be your screens, projectors, and the different elements of the production in that environment. You may have fewer people, but they may need to be spaced out more, so you are still going to end up with your large format screens, good audio systems, and all the different elements that you would have onsite.
You are also going to have your virtual production team, which is going to be handling your platform, handling the different elements that allow the content to be streamed to your virtual audience. While there is some overlap in your engineering and some overlap in the technology, there are two separate cost components associated with streaming your event virtually to a remote audience and also having the right production equipment in the space that you need for your live audience. That is the main driver as to why the cost is going to be higher than either one of those events on their own. There is some technology involved in that and some labor resources that have to be allocated to the two different types of events that are coming together.
How do you engage both audiences in hybrid events?
You have to look at it as two different audiences. If it's virtual, you need to own the fact that it’s virtual and create a whole new agenda and experience. A lot of people try to copy their live event agenda into the virtual space and in some cases, it may work, but in a lot of cases, it was better to rethink the agenda. In the hybrid experience, I would recommend the same thing. You have to think of how are you going to engage the live audience and how are you going to engage the virtual audience.
Now You Have Some Clarity!
Nothing takes the place of human engagement. Even though virtual events allow you to reach a larger number of people and maybe it’s more convenient for different people to consume content online, it doesn't replace the value of that live experience and what you can do with your brand, messaging, customers, and employees by bringing them together and sharing the different ideas and culture of your company.
Live events are still king for impactful, memorable experiences. Virtual events can be a helpful enhancement since they let those who can’t attend live still enjoy the event. There are some areas of events that need to be live and hopefully, we are moving there and some virtual attendees and parts of those events will be around for a little while. We really do see that moving into the next several months hybrid is going to be the ticket. There are a lot of discussions happening around hybrid, so we hope today that some of these tips and advice were helpful for you. Thanks so much for joining us for AV Insights & Advice and we will be back soon!