Hybrid Venues: The Best of Both Worlds

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As lockdown lifts and events begin to return, organisers who are practiced in the virtual world can expect bigger audiences. That’s the spoils of hybrid thinking.

Venues have been equally quick to react, providing designer studios as restrictions lifted last summer, along with tech, atmosphere and identity in equal measure. 

In this feature, we’re looking at some of the best; those equipped to provide a hybrid theatre for audiences on location or in the kitchen/in the office. Among them Showcase AVi, Aventri, BMA House and Carlton Terrace House.

All have reached beyond the Covid cliché of complacent ‘new normal’ to design, develop and deliver answers to safely accommodating physical numbers while providing the full picture for greater numbers at home and abroad, through livestream and catch up.

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Showcase’s Virtual Event Venue

Imagine an event space transformed into a website and you’ve basically understood how Showcase is producing its clients’ hybrid and virtual events.

To use the word website doesn’t seem to do their technology justice, but in a nutshell that’s what it is, it just happens to be a very clever and more importantly flexible nutshell. On top of this technology Showcase applies all its event production and organisational skills to use on a screen.

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Partnership between Pixl Evolution and John Henry’s Ltd. Supercharges Virtual Events

It’s no secret that the global pandemic has had a transformative effect on the live events industry, forever changing the way we meet and communicate. When events began to cancel and postpone in 2020, Pixl Evolution, a leading global technology solutions and services provider, used their expertise to quickly pivot into virtual broadcasting, partnering with John Henry’s Ltd. in Central London to offer a wide array of virtual studio capabilities.

“We eagerly sought this strategic partnership with John Henry’s, an iconic musical landmark with a rich history, to help us bring the virtual studio to life,” says Lee Spencer, Pixl’s Managing Director. Established in 1976 by John Henry, the venue became the birthplace of a uniquely portable stage riser system for touring artists. This first location provided clients with a space as well as equipment to rehearse for performances through 1982.

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BMA House places itself as a leading London hybrid venue

Home to the British Medical Association since 1925, the sustainable venue boasts 22 unique and versatile spaces for up to 320, including 11 purpose-built meeting rooms, all fitted with cutting edge AV technology.

As part of ongoing investment in the services most needed by clients, BMA’s expert technicians have created a range of hybrid and digital event packages that reflect ongoing changes in the corporate and association meeting industry. These upgrades will ensure BMA House’s place as a leading London hybrid venue.

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10-11 Carlton House Terrace creates Carlton Virtual Studio

10-11 Carlton House Terrace have ensured they stay ahead of the curve with their newly built, state-of-the-art virtual events studio in London’s heart.

Carlton Virtual Studio has been created in collaboration with event production specialists, Oxygen Events, and is an exciting addition to one of the most impressive conference venues central London has to offer. The historic venue provides a sleek and luxurious backdrop well-suited to all kinds of virtual and hybrid events, including panel discussions, major presentations, and educational talks.

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Ensure the show can still go on with Sterling Studio

In March 2020, Sterling Studio was created to ensure that the show could still go on. Our purpose-built studio spaces offer clients the ability to continue communicating and connecting with their audiences during a time when live events just aren’t possible in their usual form.

Whilst the rise and extended use of platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting and Teams, have offered up a somewhat alternative medium for ‘meetings’ on a smaller scale, we also understand that these can often lack certain production values and engagement rates. ​With this in mind, we set out to create a safe environment that encompassed the high production values and set design that our clients have come to expect from us in our AV support for their live events.

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The Studio @ Croke Park

With people around the world in various degrees of lockdown, we remain in the largest workplace experiment ever. Whether engaging with weekly MS Teams meetings or larger global conferences, the challenge of engaging remotely with colleagues, customers and far-flung audiences remains.

While we don’t have any choice about the situation in which we find ourselves, we have adapted and learned what works in the world of virtual meetings and events.  When used properly and judiciously, virtual meeting platforms are highly effective ways of communicating, motivating, and rallying the troops.  However, for larger meetings and events, it has become increasingly necessary to raise the bar and approach the event like a TV production. We now expect slick sophistication from what we consume via screens and, naturally, we transfer this expectation to work related virtual meetings. If we want work colleagues, clients or other attendees to be actively engaged with large scale virtual meetings and events, then we may need to consider a virtual studio and the production options these bring. 

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Pioneering technological longevity for live and hybrid events at IET London: Savoy Place

Pictured: SP Kelvin Lecture Theatre

With innovation at its core, an endless digital aptitude at IET London: Savoy Place transforms live, virtual and hybrid events with personalised branding, cinematic capabilities and special sound and lighting effects.

Used as a centre that celebrates a revolutionary past and a pioneering future, Savoy Place has been well-versed in the streamlined delivery of technical AV long before COVID-19 forced the events world to be propelled into this new digital direction. In recent weeks, the approach of the AV team has been to refute the concept of online streaming as an interim makeshift solution for live events, and endorse the elevated importance of interaction through the use of the very best technology.

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The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD)
Safe and Flexible Event Solutions

We have always been proud to be a place that brings people from all over the world together. While the world adapts to new social distancing norms across all areas of life, hybrid and virtual events ensure conferences and meetings can continue to cross international borders.

Hybrid events – merging the virtual and physical

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Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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