At first glance, planning a hybrid event might seem like a walk in the park. All you have to do is connect a digital livestream to your in-person event, right? Well, not exactly. A hybrid event is the culmination of dozens of moving parts, all meeting together at the right place at the right time. More than anything, a hybrid event is a team effort.
As a live event, virtual event, and hybrid event emcee, I can tell you that it truly takes a village to carry out a successful hybrid event. I have already dished the latest details on how to let a professional emcee help you plan the best live event. Now it’s time to fill you in on how to plan an awesome hybrid event — because yes, the two processes will differ!
Let’s take a look at the key players you want on your team in this ultimate hybrid event checklist.
But First, Let’s Master the Meaning of Hybrid Events
Before jumping straight into planning mode, it’s important to take a step back and think about what type of hybrid event you want to produce. At its core, a hybrid event is the marriage of a live show and a virtual experience. Your virtual audience should have an unbridled view of what your live audience experiences and your live audience should be able to interact with your digital viewers.
So, that tentative plan to simply livestream your in-person event? That’s not going to cut it. Instead, you need to find a way to make the event a truly immersive experience for all parties involved, no matter where they’re tuning in from. And to do that, you can’t rely on just your own two hands and wit — while they might be strong! — to do all of the planning and producing for you.
How is Planning a Hybrid Event Different Than a Live or Virtual Event?
With both a live event and virtual event, you’ll likely delegate different aspects of the planning process to different individuals. For instance, while an event prof might secure the venue for a live event, a production team might perfect the acoustics behind the scenes. At a virtual event, you might tag in a developer to keep the process running smoothly.
When planning a hybrid event, you will need a team of professionals who each specialize in one of the above technicalities. Rather than have your event prof set up the chat software or your developer monitor the lighting situation, tag in a team of experts who can each manage their own specialty. While it’s key that these individuals work together seamlessly, it’s even more important that each person can hold their own weight.
Hybrid Event Emcee-Approved Team Checklist
So, what rockstar professionals need to be included in your hybrid event team? For a hybrid event that goes off without a hitch, you’ll want an experienced hybrid event emcee (like me!), as well as someone who can tackle audio and visual needs, lighting, technical specs, and a producer to tie it all together.
Let’s take a deeper look at what each individual brings to the team in this hybrid event checklist.
1. Experienced Professional Emcee
A professional emcee is short for a Master of Ceremonies. This is the individual who brings the personality and the pizazz to your hybrid event. They’re responsible for kicking off the event, handling the more tedious details like housekeeping, and segueing between event speakers or activities.
A professional event emcee will not only engage with live audience members but will also interact with virtual attendees in the chat room. It’s their job to bridge the gap between all event members, no matter what the distance is between them. When looking for a hybrid event emcee, I recommend you look no further than where you’re at right now.
With more than a decade of live shows under my belt and a 10-year run as a Headliner with Caesars Entertainment, it’s no secret that I love being on stage as a live event emcee. However, I’ve also completed more than 200 virtual events since the start of the pandemic. I’ve even helped transition my nonprofit, Win-Win Entertainment, to include virtual shows!
When looking for a hybrid event emcee, why not reach out to the guy that has a massive amount of experience in both live and virtual events — and tons of hybrid event expertise? With your first checklist team member taken care of, learn more about the other individuals you want onboard.
An audio and visual technician is the key to a professional live event as well as a high-quality virtual event. This individual helps set up and manage all of your audiovisual equipment, to ensure all audience members can see and hear the action clearly. So, it goes without saying that a hybrid event — which combines the best of both in-person and digital — will need an AV master on hand.
Your AV master will tackle all elements of the hybrid event, including:
- In-ceiling speakers
- Flat-panel TVs
- And more!
An audiovisual technician will also monitor any maintenance and technical issues with recording or sound equipment throughout production, to guarantee that your hybrid event runs smoothly for either audience.
3. Lighting Pro
For both live and virtual events, lighting is key — which means that a lighting pro is a must-have for a hybrid event as well. Your lighting pro will make sure that your stage is bright enough for the audience at home without not blinding the individuals sitting in the crowd. They’ll also ensure that elements such as colors, textures, or individual faces can be seen clearly over a livestream.
A lighting pro is especially important for accessibility purposes. If you expect to have a ton of signage throughout your event, you need to ensure that any audience member (in-person or at home) can see it. Good lighting will not only make your event welcoming to all groups but will guarantee that your set-up looks professional at all times.
4. Technical Wizard
Your technical wizard is the individual who will handle all of the logistics behind the scene. This is the person who will make sure that your “livestream” is actually live, and not experiencing lags or delays. They will hook up the video capabilities of your hybrid event to the chat features of your event, so virtual attendees can communicate freely.
Remember, a well-functioning chat room is essentially the only way the audience at home can have their voice heard inside of the ballroom or conference room. So, you must have a technical whiz on hand to ensure that no software or WiFi glitches interrupt that connection for your audience at home.
5. Trusted Producer
Last but not least, safeguard your hybrid event from any unexpected hiccups with a trusted producer. A producer is an individual who will oversee all of the above individuals, including the professional emcee, the AV master, the lighting pro, and the technical wizard. While all of these team members are talented in their own right, the producer will keep the team on the same page.
Simplify the Process with a Hybrid Event Emcee
If all of the components of a hybrid event have your head spinning, it’s time to call in an expert. As a long-time professional entertainer and hybrid event emcee, I know exactly what it takes to help your event succeed. Plus, I come equipped with my own virtual event production company, so you don’t even have to worry about sourcing the other rockstars on this checklist.
Reach out today to get your hybrid event in motion. I’m confident that together, we can knock your event out of the park!