Hybrid Event Costs: 6 Fast Facts That Impact Budgets
Closing the gap between in-person only and virtual-only events can take many forms. Since hybrid events involve various combinations of both in-person and virtual audiences for the same event, AV planning has become a lot more complicated. While live streaming events to a remote audience has long been part of our world at Seamless, many others first experienced what it takes to live stream an event during the pandemic.
As we head into 2022, live streaming has become a standard discussion point for those planning events.
Whether you’re a seasoned event planner or someone in charge of planning your organization’s annual or special event, our overview message is the same: AV needs for standard live in-person events differ from socially distant in-person, hybrid, or virtual events!
Right now, the almost universal question we hear is:
“How much does a hybrid event cost compared to an in-person event?”
Here’s the answer from the AV side: “That depends.”
We promise we’re not trying to frustrate you! But since every element of your event can influence cost, an AV solutions provider can’t quote you a firm price without taking the time to discuss your event’s needs.
Below, you’ll find six key AV components that will impact your hybrid event budget.
Our Featured FAQ:
What quality-driven factors impact a hybrid event’s AV budget?
Having hardline internet (Ethernet) in every room that has a streaming component.
“Streaming” includes sending out an in-person signal or receiving a remote signal from a presenter or attendee. A hardline connection avoids connectivity issues on the host side, enhances speed and quality, and reduces latency lags.
Placing an experienced AV tech in every room to quickly troubleshoot issues affecting remote attendees.
Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to fall into familiar habits when presenters, MCs, and in-person attendees get together — and those habits can impair the experience of remote participants.
Though a floating tech may work well for in-person-only events, hybrid events need to prevent an “out of sight, out of mind” mindset. The best way to do this is to have advocates for the online experience in each room. Quickly responding to chat requests for help, among other things, helps make remote attendees feel valued versus an afterthought.
Having the capacity to switch video between streams — including streams of in-person presenters, remote presenters, slide views, and multimedia presentations.
Keeping both your in-person and remote attendees engaged is one of the challenges of hybrids, and why many planners now claim they feel like TV producers as much as planners. This is where you can lean on a good AV partner for a successful event.
Determining your production value, also known as level of polish.
Creating consensus with your decision makers early in the process matters, as expectations around audience engagement and interaction, technical execution, and production value impact costs. While multiple camera angles and graphical treatments add engagement, they also add to the budget.
When it comes to polish, some events have more flexibility than others — others demand a high level of production, period.
As Seamless client Farin Salahuddin (Director, PastForward Conference at NTHP) said, “Being the National Trust for Historic Preservation means that we need to show we know what we’re doing. If we were to have a glitchy presentation or it did not look polished in some way, attendees would lose faith in us being a thoughtful and forward organization.”
Making your event more inclusive.
Ensuring the needs of those living with disabilities are met is something every planner anticipates and accommodates at an in-person event. Virtual audiences need the same considerations for providing access accommodations and using specific strategies to address their needs as well.
Opting to hold specific experiences for just your remote audience.
As an example, you may have a presenter do an exclusive, online fireside chat while your in-person attendees are engaged in a happy hour or networking.
One reason I turn to Seamless is that Laurel’s communicative approach is very valuable to me.
I know if I tell her what capabilities I need at the event and how my clients are going to be utilizing the space that she’ll put a proposal together that paints a picture of what I need.
She won’t leave things out because she’s not listening or I didn’t ask for it.”
— Jennifer Saliba
President, Rhino Consulting
Need help to make sure you’re paying for AV that maps to your goals?
For hybrid or virtual events, your AV team needs to be a true collaborative partner. As experienced, full-service AV solutions providers we’ll help you deliver the highest quality hybrid event experience your budget will allow, and are happy to provide a free consultation and price quote.
Here is some additional Hybrid Event content you may find helpful: