The COVID Series: Super Hybrid Events

Malcolm Wallace Hybrid Event

My learning curve over the past few months has been immense, and my vocabulary must have grown 100-fold with virtual conference jargon terms alone. Nevertheless, I learnt a new one this week, super-hybrid event.

It sounds amazing, although adding the word super to most things elevates it anyway; superwoman, superman to name just two! I know what a hybrid event is, but super hybrid? Having now hyped a simple term, the actual meaning is going to seem quite mundane, but it actually goes some way to solving our current meeting restrictions.

Simply expand the hybrid event solution into several locations simultaneously. Across the UK, for example, choose a venue in London, Manchester, Dublin and Edinburgh that can accommodate up to, say, 50 people in each venue safely. Anyone who cannot travel easily or safely to the venues chooses to join virtually. This can easily be expanded regionally by choosing venues across Europe or the United States.

You can have some fun with the whole idea. Hyatt, for instance, sent food ingredients to a number of venues and their chef based in Kuala Lumpur led the dinner cooking so that everyone shared the same meal despite being in different countries.

One common issue for international events is the different time zones, making it difficult for someone from Australia to join a virtual event taking place in Europe, but why not have a rolling hybrid event starting in one time zone and travelling around the world?

Each time zone would have their own presenters live, with the content becoming on demand for the next zone until finally the hybrid returns to the starting point with all presentations on demand.

Now that is what I call a super, super hybrid and another new term for your vocabulary!

Until next time,

Malcolm

Malcolm Wallace, Managing Director at Dynamic Conferences & Events Ltd

Top Tips – Researching a Venue

Researching venues top tips

When researching a venue what factors do you need to consider?

Start early

Good venues get booked early, especially in the current climate when many events have been postponed to next year – start your research as soon as possible.

Location, location, location

A central location with good transport links and restaurants / hotels nearby is vital. Transport can be expensive so a few local venues in walking distance makes all the difference.

Budget

Is there a venue hire charge? What does the venue hire include? Is there a minimum Food & Beverage spend? Is Wi-Fi included in the cost? Also, very important to remember to ask about taxes and how to calculate them.

Size and capacity

How many delegates in your group? What is the room capacity? Will your client need a stage for speeches? What is the staff to guest ratio? The room needs to be the right fit for your group size to help create the right atmosphere.

Local knowledge

Check for national holidays or local events happening in the local area. Does your client have a local firm or contact the local tourist board – recommendations are invaluable.

The little things matter

Lighting, ceiling height, acoustics, layout, toilets, outdoor space, time of year – average temperatures, do they cater for all dietary requirements?

Coronavirus

In the current climate another key factor which must be considered is Health & Safety. What procedures has the venue got in place? How will they ensure social distancing? What happens if there is another spike in cases? What are the cancellation Terms & Conditions?

All the above listed factors play a huge role when considering a venue, but the key and our number one piece of advice would be to have a SITE VISIT. You need to see the venue for yourself, meet the staff, see the space, ensure the photos you have seen are current and not taken 10 years ago.

If you need help with your next event, give us a call on 01797 223626 or contact us here.

The COVID Series: What a difference a month makes!

Malcolm Wallace, COVID Series, Conference, Events, Management
COVID Series, Malcolm Wallace, Live Events

A growing number of companies and organisations are realising that, in the short term at least, they will have to bite the virtual bullet and so we are seeing a record number of enquiries for demos of virtual platforms.

Last week alone saw us signing 6 new clients for virtual events, as revenue managers try to stimulate income growth and comms managers stimulate their teams after weeks/months of furlough.

Despite this, the demand for live events is growing and we are signing contracts for events through 2021 and 2022, and of course, being event managers, we are planning how to keep our delegates safe just in case the promised vaccines don’t arrive or are not as efficacious as they should be!

So, what should you be considering and what is available to keep delegates safe enough to give you the confidence to hold your next live event:

  • A huge increase in cleaning and disinfection, probably the easiest item to implement. Most venues already have this in hand but as organisers we need to ensure that it is being carried out frequently and thoroughly enough.
  • Automated hand sanitising and disinfecting wipes at primary entrances and high traffic areas such as lifts
  • Thermal imaging cameras to measure temperature
  • Enabling social distancing by reducing capacities, managing queues, identifying potential bottle necks or congestion points, grab and go food etc
  • As much as possible go digital such as room keys, removing pens and paper, contactless check-in
  • Room seals so you know nobody has entered since cleaning
  • Innovative disinfection technologies:
    • Electrostatic sprayers, with electrostatically charged disinfecting mist
    • Ultraviolet light to sanitise surfaces and objects

There are many other options and considerations, each venue is different and will present different problems to be overcome, but hopefully these may form the basis to help instil some confidence in organising your next live event.

If you wish to learn more or need some assistance with your next live event contact my team on 01797 223626 or email me at [email protected]

Until next time,

Malcolm