What To Look For In Seeking Help With Hybrid Meetings

In the spring of 2020, events that were in-person with some video recording tacked on needed to suddenly become fully virtual. Planners had to scramble to reserve virtual event platforms. Fortunately, that hysteria has died down and virtual event platforms have become ubiquitous and stable.  Now, a hybrid event – staging, video production and the best digital platforms – is the next step for most.

While it’s true that those who work for sourcing companies like HelmsBriscoe, Maritz Global Events, ConferenceDirect and other volume buyers such as American Express GBT or CWT Global Events may have a leg up on room block negotiation or securing physical meeting space, what’s as important today is asking whether your meeting pro has acquired the skills necessary to support hybrid meetings.

Already, major full-service event planning companies have risen to the challenge of producing hybrid meetings. This includes firms like Jack Morton, Freeman, McVeigh Global and women owned Meetings & Incentives Worldwide.

Many smaller event marketing and production firms have proven their grit in producing hybrid meetings and may offer more local knowledge – a big plus.

Since one goal of hybrid meetings is to replace less than professional video recordings done from home with more “Hollywood” type sessions, securing premium production support in the city(ies) where the recordings will take place is a top priority. Also, working with the hotels for necessary housing of staff, speakers and attendees and VIPs, and doing so safely requires someone who knows the local market. Sometimes selecting the right hotels within cities, within blocks even – can make the difference between positive and negative attendee feedback. If a hotel has a great staging, wifi and plenty of a/v support, but there are restrictions due to union’s safety concerns around Covid-19 – you should be the first one to know. 

Hotel sourcing considerations

Full-service planners will also help in the evaluation of the processes that hotels use to insure a safe meeting. To their credit, most hotel chains and convention centers have greatly improved their health and safety processes and protocols, steps that would take other locations years to develop,

Pre-made solutions

To help with the delivery of content, some venues have added staging to professional video services and standardized their offerings and include a virtual event platform to boot. See Hilton EventReady Hybrid Solutions as an example of a versatile event set-up created with its production partner Encore, who offers prepackaged hybrid solutions.

 
 

 Article by John Horchner Editor: John’s publishing experience started in college then continued at the Hearst Corporation, giving him a look at all facets of the business. Contact him via LinkedIn