Why you need to rehearse a hybrid event

May 11, 2021
Encore Research

The importance of rehearsing for Hybrid Events: How, Why & Watch-Outs!

The secret to a seamless hybrid event is rehearsing! Encore shares top tips for event planners on how to have an effective rehearsal to get the best results.

 

If there’s something 2020 has taught us it’s that we can never be too prepared. Rehearsals are one of the most important elements for hybrid events to ensure a seamless, professional result that delivers your message.

Even the most experienced presenter needs to learn additional skills for a hybrid event which considers both the in-room and online audience. Here are our top tips for event planners to make the most out of rehearsals for a seamless result.

Rehearsing ensures remote studios are event ready

Many remote presenters are recording or live-streaming from their home offices. They will need essential technology such as a laptop with a camera and a strong internet connection. Effective rehearsals ensure your presenters are comfortable and have the required technical know-how prior to the event, and you both have a plan in case things go array. Prior planning ensures they know how to turn the camera and sound on, play videos, administer polls, and advance slides.

Other tips and instructions you can give presenters prior to the event to ensure a professional result include:

  • Not wearing striped or busy shirts as these ‘scramble’ the vision
  • Make the room is well lit
  • Ensure the audio or mic works well
  • And what to do if they need immediate technical support
  • Make sure the presenter’s background is acceptable – no messy desks
 

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

Rehearsals reduce anxiety for both the planner and remote presenters

Planning an event is stressful enough. A great way to increase those levels even more is to forego rehearsals.

Experienced presenters may say they don’t need to rehearse, or are better going on stage ‘fresh’. Don’t give in. 

Make sure you plan a rehearsal in your production schedule. Your hybrid event production team will insist on this so allow for it as it could be the most beneficial decision you make in your event planning.

Making sure they rehearse everything before the big day reduces the stress not only for them but for you and your production team as well. Practice makes perfect and will ease the minds of everyone involved.

Plan and practice how you're going to engage your attendees

Without being physically there in the room, virtual presenters and speakers need to consider how they plan on engaging their audience and importantly, keeping them engaged.  There are many ways to engage audiences such as live polling and Q&A’s asking them to respond in some way to a question or even posing for a group photo online. Doing research live enables you to show data from your audience in real time on the screen in the room or online.

The key to managing engagement successfully and confidently is by rehearsing it. It may feel embarrassing the first time round, but your speakers will feel so much more at ease than doing it live for the first time with hundreds or thousands of eyeballs watching you, potentially becoming witnesses to the internet’s next big fail. 

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Rehearsing these elements prior to the event are vital to ensure they’re delivered without a hitch.

Using online engagement platforms requires planning in advance for what and how you will measure, as well as how you will display the results. Rehearsals mean you can practice these things and ensure they run smoothly.

In smaller groups, the chat feature can be used to gather and respond to questions in real-time. If you choose to use the chat option, make sure you have someone on hand to monitor it so your presenter can focus on delivering the content. This again requires practice, so your presenter knows when and how to pose the question, how long to wait for results and how they will be delivered.

Practice presenting to the camera

Your presenter may be very used to presenting to a large or small audience, but presenting to a camera feels different.

Effective rehearsals enable them to practice talking to a camera with no feedback from a live audience. You may be using multiple cameras for a professional result and the presenter needs to learn how to work with this set up prior to the event.

Importance of rehearsals for the hybrid production team

It’s not just the presenters that benefit from rehearsals, they’re vital for your technical team too. This talented crew of experts run the show and essentially ensure that everything goes smoothly. The team ensure all technical aspects work seamlessly, switch between presenters, play video and enable engagement like live polling and show results live on screen. Imagine juggling all those elements without prior practice. Plus the presenters and production team need to know exactly what to do if things go array as well as what they need to factor in.

Take it from us – an event production company with years of expertise – even though we do this all the time, there are unique variables for every event. Rehearsing before the event gives the production team the chance to go over every single aspect and ensure that all elements and moving parts of the experience are executed flawlessly.

Virtual Event Production Rehearsal

Ensure a seamless hybrid event with an effective rehearsal by the experts

Just as you would plan sound checks and presentation reviews for your live, in-person events, you will need to do the same for hybrid – and probably more! With the right preparation and planning, even less-experienced event planners can deliver a first-class virtual event without any issues