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 In DeSouza Associates tips, Hybird Events

Since the pandemic hit, corporate events have been run either virtually or as hybrid events, the good news is that live events are coming back but in the meantime….

Venue Finders and Event Companies, such as DeSouza Associates, have found themselves adapting to this new way of working, alongside the venues, enabling events to go ahead as planned.

A hybrid event doesn’t necessarily mean running an event for 100’s of people, it may only be a small boardroom style meeting but you also connect with a team in another part of the country or perhaps in another country!

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Planning

Here is a quick reminder of the key technical points to consider when choosing a venue for a hybrid event:

Internet Connection

An obvious point but a critical one! Without a strong internet connection, a hybrid event doesn’t happen. Yes all venues offer Wi-Fi as standard but to run a hybrid event efficiently, you need to have strong Wi-Fi if you are not using a purpose built studio room.

Equipment on site

Venues often include some equipment but you need to know exactly what you need so that you can hire in the additional AV and technical staff which will be required eg for static cameras, mics, screens etc.

Our advice would be to ensure that the venue can offer technical support as the last thing you want when you are trying to run an event is to have an issue with the technology and no one is able to assist you.

Adequate power supply

It’s always worth checking that there are enough power outlets for all the equipment and that there are enough extension leads – something that is easily forgotten.

Check if there is a back-up power source too.

Venue size

Ensure that there is enough space in the meeting room for the additional equipment required for a hybrid event. You may need an additional room for the control room.

In House support

If you don’t have your own AV/hybrid support team then it is always worth using a venue which has its own support team – after all no one knows the venue better than they do.

We also work with tried and trusted suppliers who can help – so please ask us too!

There are a number of options available when running a hybrid event and in this blog we would like to highlight a selection of London venues that can help you with a hybrid event in different formats.

Broadway House, Westminster

Broadway House is a modern venue located in Westminster with 20 conference rooms set across five floors, and can accommodate events from 2 to 120 delegates.

This venue offers a simple plug & play system for their hybrid events which can be cost effective if you are not looking for an ‘all singing and dancing’ event.

Broadway House plug in

Plug & Play can simply be connected to your laptop, USB or HDD.

There is no limit to how many delegates are to attend your meeting, and no place too far that they can join from – as long as they have Wi-Fi!

This video explains how it can be used; https://streamable.com/eo5a68

Cavendish Venues

We have worked with Cavendish Venues for many, many years and they provide a great experience for our clients. Their six venues all based in London offer a variety of event space and style. They can run hybrid events at three of their venues: Cavendish, Hallam and America Square Conference Centres.

Cavendish Venues aim to offer the best next generation hybrid conference experience as they believe that hybrid conference should only be called “hybrid” if the online version matches the physical version. They believe they should offer guests quality networking facilities and other services resembling the actual conference with all its benefits.

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Their hybrid solution provides a fully interactive conference experience. Using a specialist platform which allows delegates from both audiences network with other delegates and speakers; watch and listen to presentations, ask questions, participate in voting polls, attend breakout sessions, participate in group discussions etc.

Delegates can also visit exhibition stands, exchange contact information and much more! The only difference is that one audience would be based in a physical location and the other online.

Their preferred platform offers possibilities of custom branding, virtual sponsor tables, polling integration, breakout rooms and group sessions, Q&A on stage – where guests can ask questions via video and not just by text – and most importantly a networking facility!  It is important your virtual guests should be able to network with speakers and guests during breaks just the same as they would in the venue and their platform offers just that – your virtual networking suite where guests can network in groups via video chat.

Kimpton Fitzroy London Hotel, Bloomsbury

The building was originally designed in 1898 but with this hotel, grand architecture meets modern design. There are eight meeting and event spaces plus the listed ballroom which has natural daylight and original architectural features, state of the art AV facilities, including green screen technology. The eight function rooms located on the lower ground floor can accommodate events from 8 to 80.

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During the first lockdown the Hotel installed a green screening room, which they launched in Autumn 2020. Towards the summer this year, with the increase of live events they decided to ‘take the room back’. This shows that they know these changes can happen and within a reasonable time frame, upon request, they can adapt as necessary.

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Our view

We think this shows that venues can adapt quickly if things change (& they certainly do as we have all learned to our cost) to ensure an event can take place.

It is important to note that thanks to hybrid you can still run that event and get your message across to your teams or clients, whatever your budget.

Here is a reminder of the advantages of running a hybrid event:

  • It can add value to your event by reaching unlimited people – the sky’s the limit!
  • A hybrid event can bring your remote delegates as close to the experience as possible so they don’t feel they are missing out.
  • They are also a greener option bringing your team or clients together whilst reducing the environmental damage.

This is only a selection - we know many more London venues offering hybrid faciliites

We explain more on our hybrid page and we have also written a blog on how to run a successful hybrid event.

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