Going hybrid? How to think like a TV producer

by | Jul 18, 2022 | News, views and insights

Going hybrid? How to think like a TV producer

by | Jul 18, 2022 | News, views and insights

Going hybrid? How to think like a TV producer

by Emma
18 July, 2022

With a surge in hybrid events since the pandemic, what makes them successful? In the first in our series of posts on how thinking like a TV Producer can help your hybrid event, we share our insights and top tips on how to best utilise your content and engagement.

10-15 minute time slots for content

It’s easier to engage with participants at in-person events. But when you have a digital audience, you need to think less like an event organiser and more like a TV producer. The more traditional format of the ‘single’ channel in-person event does not readily convert into a successful digital multi-channel event.

When you start planning, think about:

  • content: this should be short, easily digestible chunks (each a maximum of 15 minutes)
  • taking breaks between sessions, letting the audience breathe
  • communicating break times and durations so attendees know when breaks are coming
  • arrange optional activities or gamification during breaks
  • formatting: think talk shows, newscasts, on-location interviews etc

How to keep the momentum

Introduce new formats such as bullet point sessions: this is when each speaker presents 3 bullet points for 3 minutes, 3 slides, 1 minute per slide with only actionable advice. With 5 speakers, your audience gets so much practical advice in 15 minutes.

Remove the predictability – let the audience decide

As a digital participant, it is easy to plan to leave your desk/the platform during presentations you deem not to be relevant or interesting. Psychologically we are more inclined to follow the crowd. So, use polls to allow the audience to decide. This can be on what topic the next speaker should present on or what question they should answer. Giving control to your audience will keep engagement levels high. If you planned to leave an event early in the in-person environment, could you walk by a packed seminar room without wanting to see who the speaker was and what they were talking about?  Fear of missing out can be a strong pull… weave this into your format.

Give a voice to the audience

Try the ‘empty chair’ on the panel: there is an empty chair on stage which represents the voice of the audience. Whether live or virtual, a member of the audience is selected to come and join the panel and share their opinion.

If you like these top tips on content and engagement, check out the next in our series ‘Going Hybrid’ – plan with your audience at the heart. This series of articles is thanks to the shared insights and collaborations between Emma Wellstead and her fellow MPI Chapter colleague, Brian Hand (Eventcomms Consulting).

With grateful thanks to Arne Olav Gurvin Fredriksen for his fantastic hybrid Figgle. Check out his other hybrid animals on Instagram.

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