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The first big question is of course – what do we mean by hybrid?

Back before the dark days of March 2020 descended, live streaming was a well understood process and a fairly regular standard practice particularly for those events with high demand and a need for extended reach.

No one talked of‘hybrid’ back then it was simply an event being streamed live to an online audience. Or recorded and made available ‘on demand’ after the live event had finished or both. On demand or as we now call it ‘catch up’ is pretty standard stuff.

Hybrid was a huge live events discussion topic through 2020 and 2021 but I don’t really feel that, as an industry, we fully realised and defined what was meant by hybrid.

There were some really exciting discussions taking place. We talked of ‘one event two experiences’ ,of the boundless opportunity to engage with and grow new audiences that had previously been beyond the reach of the in-person event. We needed to tailor specific event experiences for those joining in a virtual capacity and sending pre-event packs out to those joining remotely to enhance the involvement and engagement of the online audience.

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The possibilities appeared so enticing and then inevitably someone mentioned cost! Two experiences – two budgets!

This largely proved to be true but those fired up by the opportunity argued that the commercial attractiveness of these extended audiences and that sponsors and exhibitors that would defray the additional costs of delivering a high quality experience to our online audiences.

Sadly, in spite of the huge strides made by the technology innovators developing online platforms, online environments and apps it seems that the development period wasn’t quite long enough.

We should also mention arguably one of the mainstays of the live events industry. The AV / technical productions companies who shifted quickly using their live streaming expertise and large warehouse spaces into creating broadcast quality studios which sparked the imagination and interest of a good number of agencies and end user clients.      

It is undoubtedly true that the live events industry demonstrated a fantastic and professional response to embrace and exploit online technologies to keep clients and audiences engaged.  To maintain face to face communication even though the in person experience was prohibited.

As we embark on the year 2024 our sense is that the hybrid debates are now settling back into what we previously understood to be live streaming and on demand, and it could be said that the opportunity to embrace hybrid has been missed.

Blackberry Events - Meet The Team


Blackberry Events - Meet The Team


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