The pandemic has turned the whole world upside down, especially the events industry. The main trend of the last two years has, of course, been hybrid events, and we expect they are here to stay. What are the best practices for organizing hybrid events? How do you support high numbers of online attendees? What are some secrets to surpass your goals and avoid common pitfalls? The founders of the audio visual production company, Rent For Event, will help us answer these questions.
-Great to see you! What changes has your company faced due to covid restrictions?
Thanks, great to connect. Our lives have certainly changed, but not as drastically as you might think. We have supported online events for quite some time, so we were ready for the changes that have taken place in the world. Of course, with the pandemic, there have been more and more requests for events in a hybrid format. Plus, there is the added benefit of reaching an even larger audience through online events and that’s something we expect to continue.
-Can you break down the fundamentals of what defines a “hybrid” for us?
The hybrid event format essentially refers to a live event that also has an online program with “virtual” participants at the same time. What’s important to note is that the online viewers are not just observers, but full, interactive participants. To make this possible, you need the right technical resources and solid preparation. Rent For Event has tons of experience here, from providing high-quality lighting, sound, video, stable Wi-Fi infrastructure—everything that event organizers need to ensure performance at the highest level, without any technical failures or unforeseen complications.
-You mentioned that the full participation of online viewers is important. How do you make this happen?
We use various interactive tools: videoconferencing, online voting, social networks, mobile applications, etc. We have a variety of specialists available to support any type of online engagement.
-What kind of equipment is necessary to put on a hybrid event?
You should have high-quality cameras, even better sound and, of course, solid Wi-Fi in order to be able to livestream successfully. We help our clients sidestep the many complications associated with putting on these types of events by guaranteeing stable, high-quality streaming, as well as counteracting blocks or restrictions due to issues with copyright or licenses. Simply put, we provide our clients access to global networks quickly, efficiently and without any hiccups.
-What are some of the unique advantages of hybrid events?
First, new technology always gets lots of attention, especially from young people. So, with this organic influx of interest from the public, plus legal access to user data, event organizers have a lot of opportunities for growth right now. For that reason, it’s really important to earn the audience’s loyalty with high-quality online events to fully capitalize on the beginning of this new era.
Second, from an ROI perspective, the return on participants of hybrid events is much higher. You get a much more active and engaged audience who will help build and sustain buzz via social media and relevant apps.
-What are the most important aspects of producing a quality, hybrid event?
“Hybrids” require a lot of diverse equipment: high-quality lighting and sound, presentation screens, video, video editing software—sometimes this can even mean VR helmets and robots. In addition, you need to understand the specifics of your on-site Wi-Fi infrastructure as well as ensure the proper power levels for all of your equipment.
Often, we come across locations that don’t have robust enough electrical systems to power our gear. This can potentially lead to major technical failures right in the middle of the event. To avoid these types of problems, we supply our own generators and also establish independent Wi-Fi networks, ensuring our customers’ peace of mind.
Also, tracking audience communication and engagement is key. You need to build two-way conversations and ensure that all attendees can participate in real time. Doing so successfully will prevent the sense of two divided, parallel events, where the whole essence of “hybrid” is lost.
-Digging in again on cost savings—could it be argued that for a savvy event producer, sometimes it’s easier to do everything yourself, not to mention, cheaper?
This is an interesting question, and one that really can only be answered through real-world experience. Simply put, we have seen this argument backfire too many times to count. Production and streaming technology is complex and when it goes wrong, it can lower the quality of the event as a whole or even disrupt it entirely. Trusting professionals saves time, money and everyone’s sanity!
–How much does it cost to hire your company to partner on an event, such as a conference?
We offer a wide range of pricing, it all depends on the scale, urgency and specific needs of the client. Small events tend to start at around $3,000-$10,000. NFT exhibitions, for example, tend to go for approximately $5,000-$10,000. Conferences can go from $10,000-$50,000.
-Do you have any other success secrets you can share with us?
The answer is simple: quality. That’s what we offer our clients, who include companies such as Netflix, Nike, NBC and more. When they come back to us time and time again, we know we are on the right track. If folks are interested in learning more about our clients, we have the full list on our website, www.rentforevent.com , or they can check out our YouTube channel. Currently, we have been supporting around 100 events per month and can handle about 15 events per day, simultaneously. We are constantly developing, growing, expanding the team and upping our quality – we never get complacent and I think that is the key to our success.
Are you based in Los Angeles? Do you work outside the city as well?
We are based in Los Angeles, but we work all over the US. We have done events in Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Los Angeles and more. We also have partners in each state and enough equipment to support several events a day, in multiple regions of the country. We also work fast and take on urgent projects. We have a “Same day” option where clients can call and receive a quote immediately. Plus, we can even get our professionals on-site the same day.
-Wow, that’s impressive! Thanks for your time, we wish you continued success.
Thanks, same to you! I hope this encourages your readers to stick with hiring professionals and to continue producing high-quality events!