Recently, we had the pleasure of chatting with Martin Renaud, Head of Production at video production company Freedom Potential.
Specialising in live-streaming and hybrid events, Martin and his team have worked with some the most reputable speakers and educators in Australia, as well as several ASX listed companies like Citigold, The Motley Fool, and brands like BMW, Barry Plant and S-Force.
Check out what Martin had to say about the tech required for a quality hybrid or live-streamed event, video marketing for events, and how you can keep online attendees engaged and attentive.
Q: What are some best practices for hybrid event engagement? How can event organisers keep the balance and ensure online attendees get the same quality of experience?
There are some basics for the online components of hybrid events that need to be met to retain and engage the audience as long as possible on the livestream. We’ll call this the live-streaming etiquette:
- Stable internet connection! It is not enough to rely on one connection for any online event. If your event doesn’t plan for redundancy with a load balancing router, bonding modem or virtual service such as Speedify, you will experience connectivity issues!
- Sound issues… too low, noisy, choppy, echoey, scratchy? The audio routing in live-streaming can be tricky, especially if it’s also played live through the venue speakers and there are multiple sources going to the viewers online (lectern, handheld, headsets, lapel microphones, background music, video embedded in presentations and online participants). Hire a sound engineer or use a simple interface such as the Roland UVC02.
- Video inputs: one fixed camera at the back of the venue or worse: set up in the ceiling, doesn’t provide a satisfactory online experience. The best angle for an online event is a front-on American shot (where you can see the guns slings from Western movies) mid-hips, with little headroom. It’s a fairly tight shot where the hands gestures are visible and changes from the close-ups of the audience sitting in front of their laptops.
All the successful live events producers use techniques to keep the audience attention. The same amount of craft is required online and in hybrid scenarios. Make sure to have online moderators and contributors on your team during a live event to engage participants, especially if you are running a sales event! Then think of Q&A, polls, live chat, virtual hot seats, break out rooms and other techniques to keep it interactive. We’ve devised many effective techniques over the 250+ events we produced and we can help you select the freshest ideas, most appropriate for your event.
How can event organisers use video content to market their event and capture the attention of potential attendees?
Apart from the video funnels we create with ad content, FAQs, educational material and call to actions, we are very strong advocates of repurposing long form content. We are literally building the tools for that, as we are launching our automatic editing platform called Edit on the Spot. It will capture any livestream and repurpose its content while you are still recording with our AI models that create clips in multiple formats to share instantly during the event.
In the era on instant gratification the best way to market your event is to organise a campaign during the event! DMs, Reels, multicasts of certain segments of your events (while others are for registrars only), creates FOMO and increases your hip factor.
How can event organisers best use analytics to determine hybrid event success? What are the key analytics that should be tracked?
The best analytics for hybrid events are the ones for which objectives are set in preparation of the event and that help track the results expected for the event.
If it’s a sales event: how many sales calls have been booked? How much sales? Which items sold best?
If it’s an awareness campaign: How many shares? How many new subscribers? Concurrent viewers? How long did the online viewers remained engaged?
What are some of the key challenges of hybrid events, and what can organisers to do mitigate or overcome these challenges?
Apart from the technical challenges mentioned above, most of the challenges of hybrid events are elements that create friction with the audience, both live and online. Here are some examples:
- The registration system must be simple, intuitive and repetitive. The online booking option should be as easy to buy as the live tickets. Make sure the setup an email automation system with multiple reminders for the event (upon payment, one week before, one day, 1 hour, 10 min and when going live!) Each one with clear instructions on how to watch the stream and engage.
- For the speakers, dedicate specific times to address the live audience and the online audience. Create time or breaks to talk directly to the online audience while the live audience is occupied with an activity or tea/lunch. Keep the communication flow open and encourage participation.
- Keeping in sync with your international audience! When running an hybrid event you could be expecting International guests and speakers. It’s important to schedule your event across the timezones, which sometimes means to start early or end the online component early or stream replays for different audience in other timezones.
One thing we hear regularly from companies that are less experienced with hybrid events and are risk adverse, is that they hesitate to offer an online option by fear of not filling their venue. This is until they realise that when running a hybrid event, your livestream becomes an incredible marketing tools before, during and after the event. You can expect to increase your audience and impact by going hybrid!
Finally, tell us more about Freedom Potential
We are a video production company specialised is live streaming and hybrid events with turnkey solutions. We assist you along the entire process of producing your event, negotiating a venue and selecting A/V equipment/team, setup your campaign, impact strategies and delivering an impeccable production. We have captured over 250 events in the past 3 years from a 90 min presentation in a meeting room to a 9-days multi-stream hybrid conference and events in the largest ballrooms in Australia.