Building an experience that is engaging for your live attendees and your remote audience can seem like an insurmountable task when you first start out. You want to make sure you give both of your audiences the attention they need and keep them connected, entertained and immersed in an experience.
How is this achieved? Using the right people, the right AV technology and the right process, you can create a dynamic experience for both your audiences.
There are some essential roles you need to have on your AV team to make your hybrid event successful. As the remote audience will be watching on a screen, having a professional video production team on-site at your event will be critical. What roles do you need on your team?
Having a separate broadcast producer will allow you to have a dedicated team member to concentrate on leading the creative direction and production of the live stream component of your hybrid event.
Their main role is to manage the process staff and operators focussd on the video production elements of your event while keeping a keen eye on the details of the content to be streamed out.
The camera director is your key position to make sure every frame of video is shot to the highest standards of your production. They are experts in composition, camera framing and leadership for your camera crew. In tandem with your show caller or event producer, they will lead the capture of your video footage and make sure you get the very best video and audio quality.
A shader is a position that works in tandem with the Camera Director to ensure your cameras and footage are colour balanced and look their best. They use specialized equipment to adjust camera exposure, colour balance and resolution.
The audio in the live venue will be handled by your live operator, but you should also have a broadcast audio operator as part of your team. They will take a feed from the main audio console and remix and rebalance it for your broadcast. Similar to a monitor tech for a concert, this needs to be a separate position from your front of house audio operator as the balance and audio mix will be different for your online audience.
You may already have a camera operator as part of your team dedicated to IMAG (Image Magnification) but consider that a static shot of your speaker on the screen will be less engaging to an online attendee watching remotely. Adding at least two more camera operators and cameras to your production will give you plentiful options for an engaging and dynamic view of your event on screen.
Rounding out your team on your hybrid event should be your production engineer. This position is in charge of integrating broadcast technology with your live event technology. They will make sure all the connections are made between the live audio and video while keeping an eye out for signal problems and technology needs.
The Production Engineer will lead the logistics and design of the specific technology you need to make a successful hybrid event broadcast, working with your AV team to balance lighting for the camera, advise on staging for the optimal look and feel and create the broadcast system you need.
Having people watch what is happening in the room only will make your event a live broadcast, but to make it truly a hybrid, two way experience, adding remote speakers and contributors to your event will take it to the next level. Whether because of travel arrangements or simply because of logistics challenges, planning how you will integrate remote contributors to your event will be an important step.
Having a dedicated team member as a contributor producer will coordinate your remote presenters, and prep them for being live on air and on stage. Their main role is to schedule, coordinate and act as the main point of contact for your contributors. In tandem with your Broadcast Producer, their focus is on making sure the remote speakers have the right support and tools to look their best when you have them join your event, making sure they look their best.
The more understanding event planners have about their AV teams, the better their events will be.
Matthew Byrne is founder and president of Byrne Production Services, which provides production services for hybrid, virtual and live events.