This blog offers opinion, advice and commentary on Hybrid Event Planning.
Driving income and enhancing business performance by bringing together on-line and off-line individuals through technology to encourage; the sharing of knowledge, learning and networking.
Paul Cook continues to explore & develop the area of hybrid events through his Speaking, Training and Research work.
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Sit in the Seat of Your Remote Attendee
Having attended a number of hybrid events as a remote attendee I have experienced some great events and then also some that were really just not that good.
If the event is truly hybrid, which for me is “bringing together a face to face and remote audience for a shared participatory experience in real time” – (Paul Cook 2012) then let me know just that. But, if the event is basically, a face to face event with some live streaming then tell me. But, please don’t call it a hybrid event.
One of my biggest frustrations attending as a remote participant on a hybrid event was to discover that the event wasn’t a hybrid. It was a live stream. I had no means of asking questions and basically all I could do was to watch the stream.
But, whether your event is a hybrid or is basically a live stream please don’t forget that all-important audience of remote attendees. For me, too often the remote audience can be easily overlooked (probably not on purpose) and this is a shame and also a failure for the event so please don’t let it happen to you as you plan your remote attendee experience.
Have a look at how the image will appear for the remote attendee. Exactly, how will the image look to someone working from their office/home?
Can the remote attendee look at their screen and see the speaker with their presentation or will they just see parts of the speaker or parts of the presentation? Anything that looks to be chopped off leads to a poor experience for the remote attendee.
The timetable or schedule/programme is another key factor that remote attendees need to be aware of right from the start. When are remote attendees able to join the event? Is it for the whole event or just a part? If just part then what times do they need to know to be able to join? Times of course should be across different time zones. Make it easy for people to be able to become involved.
Don’t just block out part of the programme either with some vague description for remote attendees. They will want to know how long the session(s) will be and what will be happening (basically the same as any face to face attendee would want) so don’t make it a mystery. They also need to know when they can leave for comfort and food/drink breaks. Having this information will really help plan their time.
If the event is a hybrid event, does the remote attendee understand how to interact? How do they send in their questions/comments? Is it via the platform being used or is it by some other means, maybe a twitter hashtag? But whatever it is please let people know well in advance so that they can become familiar with how it all works.
So the next time your are planning the programme for the remote attendee take the test, go and sit in their seat and imagine what the experience will be like from the start. Getting inside the head of the remote attendee will be bound to have benefits for the success of your event.