Let’s get right to the point, one of the most important aspects of a hybrid event is going to be the venue. It’s the place most responsible for ensuring that everyone; the people attending in-person, the people on the stage, and the people on their laptops — all feel like they are part of the same conversation. No small task. Luckily, venues across the country now have the technology, and planning, to create quality experiences for all types of in-person and virtual attendees. From the couch to the convention hall, it’s all the same event! Well, maybe not the exact same — but still fun. To give you an idea of what’s out there, here’s our 2021 hybrid event venue round-up!
Bespoke and Mountain View Staging
Bespoke, a collection of tech-forward event spaces, and Mountain View Staging, a full service event production company, teamed up to create San Francisco’s premier hybrid event venue. The space features studio broadcast capabilities, interactive displays, customizable layouts to accommodate social distancing, and a rooftop for open air events. (After these last few months inside, we’re totally up for a venue that’s thinking outdoors.) These spaces also incorporate a unique, lounge-feel, making them the perfect place to spark in-person conversation. If there’s one thing Hybrid events goers will be looking for in the next few months, it’s comfortable places to hangout and chat in real life, and Bespoke is the spot to do that.
The TCF Convention Center in Detroit partnered with Premier Event Technology LLC to create cutting edge hybrid event spaces for their local industries. The venues can combine live performers, presenters, and audiences, with technologies such as green screens, VR technology, Extended Reality LED sets (kinda like what they use to film the Mandalorian), and of course, solid audio and visual production. TCF’s Eventcast initiative aims to meet the needs of live and virtual audiences in equal measure, while also offering some fairly large event spaces — up to 8,000 square feet, with multiple 1000 square feet breakout rooms. If you’re looking to create something big, in terms of both tech, scale, and innovation, TCF is a good place to start.
The OLC Education and Conference Center in Chicago is one of the only hybrid event venues purposely designed with the needs of advanced technical education in mind. The Center comes to hybrid events with years of experience creating event spaces for medical professionals, corporate gatherings, and association professionals of all kinds. The Center can provide the production equipment, and crew, needed to stream close-up technical demonstrations, all in HD, broadcasted anywhere in the world. Planners will be able to customize nearly the 14,000 square feet of space to meet their needs, and make use of the OLC’s 100 percent outside air HVAC, and Electrostatic Disinfectant. All good stuff to have when we start meeting in person again.
OCCC Executive Studio
The Orange County Convention Center Executive Studio offers three unique and fully featured hybrid event venues. The first is a lecture hall style space — good for a classroom style event, with question and answers sessions. The second is a 35,000 square foot amphitheater that gives you tons of room to socially distance, but still have a good sized in-person audience in attendance. The third space is a lounge area with a robust virtual command center. Think of this last area as a space where presenters and attendees hang out and interact while the event streams live. Just like in person events, not all hybrid events have the same needs.
Long Beach Live
Long Beach Live, at the Long Beach Entertainment and Convention Center, offers turn-key hybrid event spaces that connect the IRL (In Real Life), and IRT (In Real time, AKA a live virtual experience). The concept was created using the LBECC’s experiences hosting Twitch and TED Talk events, which required developing the best ways to connect live streams with in-person and virtual audiences. To complement this space, LBECC has also created an executive level position, the Director of Creative Initiatives, to help guide organizers through the hybrid process. If you’re looking for a venue that is putting audience interaction and event innovation first, and pushing the limit creatively — and you need some sun — then Long Beach Live might just be the space for you!
San Diego Convention Center
The San Diego Convention Center boasts a range of highly unique services that will make it easier for planners to host and market hybrid events. Their On Site tech team can provide audio and video equipment, a streaming platform, content creation, technical direction, musical licensing, pre-event recording, sponsorships, and more. Basically, anything that you could possibly need to host a virtual event, the SDCC can help make it happen. This venue is also the only one we’ve found that advertises content creation and graphic design on site. These kinds of services can add incredible value to your marketing and social media posts. The ability to create content from your event, before, during, and after it goes live is sure to get you some likes!
Look for the venue that works for you.
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that there is no one size fits all venue for a hybrid event. When deciding on a space, think about what you need most for your event. Do you need more room for in-person attendance? Or do you need to focus on a technically advanced virtual experience. Or is it 50/50. Will you have your own content team? Or do you need a venue that can cut videos on the spot? There’s a lot of options out there, but once you know what you need, you’ll know when you find the perfect spot!
If you are looking for more information on not just where to plan your next hybrid event, but also how to plan it, register for our free virtual event ‘How to Hybrid: The Mysteries Unraveled’. Join us for a deep dive discussion to answer all of your questions on what’s going on in the hybrid event landscape. Happening live on March 24, at 1PM CT.