Hybrid events have gained currency, especially after the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020. In such events, the actual event like a wedding is live-streamed to participants who are not present physically in the venue. These events are not only a result of the pandemic but, because many people host weddings in various destinations that may not be accessible to all the near and dear ones. Hence, it is almost a requirement that wedding venues have hybrid events and hybrid conference platforms.
A 26-year- old who got hitched recently confessed “hybrid events are so convenient. It is like everyone I know and love can participate in my recent wedding in Italy without having to travel there. Of course, the experience is not the same. But, my 86-year-old grandma got to witness my special day. So, the emotion remains nonetheless.” This testimonial reveals how hybrid events have become an integral part of many weddings today simply because of their convenience. However, hosting a hybrid wedding isn’t always easy. There are many things to consider such as:
1. Designing a hybrid event platform:
Not every venue is suited for hybrid events. For instance, if the venue is in an outdoor space (a lake, garden, or beachside), various factors will hinder the hybrid conference platform. There is a higher risk of exposure to the whims of nature that can potentially rupture the hybrid event live streaming services. Hence, when designing a hybrid launch platform or hybrid meeting platform, the designers of the venue must keep in mind the location of the venue and accordingly design the hybrid live streaming services. There are specific videographers and hybrid events platforms that cancel out excess noise in the surroundings and skillfully focus on the event. Hence, remembering to design the hybrid event according to the location is key.
2. Having indoor space with a good seating plan:
Just because an event/ wedding is a hybrid, it doesn’t mean that people wouldn’t attend the physical event. But, in case, the location is highly suitable for hybrid weddings, there is another factor to ensure. The event planners and venue designers should ensure that they have a good indoor space with appropriate seating. Even if the weddings are outdoor, there is a high chance that people will prefer to have the “cocktail hour” or food stations inside as it is more hygienic. However, an important thing is to ensure that the seating doesn’t hinder the hybrid platform arrangements like a camera setup or mic sets.
3. Invest in professional teams:
There are many professional video graphing teams that are fully equipped with details, materials, and resources on hybrid events. By teaming up with them for the wedding, the clients need not worry about the venue or hiring process. If the venue came with a package or hybrid meeting platforms and professional teams, there is a higher likelihood that the venue will be preferred by the client. Also, it releases the pressure of managing the requirements of a hybrid conference platform from the venue managers.
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4. Guest count:
When conducting hybrid events be it weddings or meetings or conferences, an important element is the guest count. Typically, when a client asks for a hybrid set-up (especially during Covid times), they are expecting a low crowd in the physical space. Having a low number of people, the client due to the size of the crowd would also expect a better quality of service. Indian weddings can be huge, which is not exactly conducive for a hybrid exhibition platform as the quality of service can decrease disproportionately to the size of the crowd.
A newlywed couple testified that “We opted for a hybrid wedding because we wanted to have a greater quality of food, hospitality, and treatment, which is possible only for a small crowd.”So, the expectations of people tend to alter in hybrid settings. People would largely expect a better quality of service as the guest count is less.
5. Cyber Safety:
While a majority of events happened in a hybrid mode during the pandemic, the cyber security factor is still in question. Some clients may be hesitant simply because of the lack of privacy in many hybrid event platforms like Dreamcast. So, the host or the event organizer at the wedding should take proactive steps like allowing only authorized users into the streaming platform and sharing the link of the streaming-only to a restricted group of people.
Other people prefer to create a private website and share the live streaming link over there with the attendees. These are factors that each client will differ over but, the venue managing committee should prepare with every possible feature of privacy and safety to ensure the customer needs are met.
6. Quality of streaming:
While good quality live streams are available at ease, one cannot deny the importance of investing resources for a successful hybrid event. For example, a stable internet connection that allows heavy traffic (especially for a wedding), drone shots for an immersive experience, and pre-tested mics and the sound system goes a long way in improving quality.
One more interesting way to improve the quality of the streaming is having photographers and videographers who specialize in taking shots from various angles. Most couples prefer to hire a photographer with skills in portraits. However, in the case of live streaming, having photographers and videographers who can potentially take photos from various angles can transform the viewing experience. This has to be suggested by the venue planners.
Also, altering and manipulating lighting can really help to produce a good live stream. In case, a wedding is in a hybrid model, the venue can use softer lighting than using harsh LED lights that can wash out faces to enhance the viewing experience.
As mentioned before, hybrid events are a novel concept. Hybrid weddings are even more novel but are here to stay. Hence, venues need to keep a few requirements in mind to enhance their client’s and the audience’s viewing experience. These aforementioned requirements are some of the few important notes about hybrid events for potential wedding locations.
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