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What’s Next: Hybrid Events

Category : How To
What’s Next: Hybrid Events

What’s Next: Hybrid Events

As COVID-19 vaccines roll out in the United States and across the world, what does this  mean for the business of hosting events? Where are our events headed?

This digital age is accelerating our power as a society to work and create virtually, and with it, we predict hybrid events will become the most popular choice in a vast majority of industries. It’s no surprise to find out that hybrid events can open up your network to more attendees and lead to more impact than traditional in-person events and virtual events combined!


What is a Hybrid Event?

You may be wondering what the future is going to look like this summer or next year. We believe the future are hybrid events; a combination of both in-person and remotely attended events. The in-person attendees may be the minimum necessary staff to enable an on-location live production or it may include VIP members, sponsors, and one day, a return to an in-person audience. Because attendees and presenters alike have discovered the convenience of attending events from home,  a remote viewing experience may always be a necessary option for your network.

Whether it be main stage theater, community celebration, company meeting, conference, or networking mixer, these events will continue to evolve in order to reach their audiences. We see these events being distributed live with more and more people being in attendance – retaining the added benefit of having your event attended by anyone, anywhere in the world!


What Will Events Look Like During Spring and Summer?

Precautions around Covid will probably be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future. In anticipating how to move forward, events should be designed to be fully Covid-compliant. Our upcoming packages will include Location Design, Crowd-Control, and COVID Compliant Event Guidelines.  For hybrid events, clients will need a blueprint of the venue with movement directions on how things will be set up in physical space for proper Covid precautions, including but not limited to: where the audience/staff parks, checks-in, travels to their seat, and dines. Creating these documents may require drone operation and authoring documents in professional software such Vectorworks.


Our Best Advice for Struggling Businesses

Think about what you do in your business and what tasks your event is requiring of you.  Ask yourself what results your event may achieve for your business and consider the cost of an in-person event. Insecurity is a respectable reason to back away from a big business move, but you don’t have to learn the hardware and software necessary to do it on your own. Do what you love and hire others to do what they love.


Should I Hire a Pro?

If you hire a professional, you don’t have to become one. The question among business owners, big and small, is whether to learn the skills required to handle a production on their own (“in-house”), or hire a pro. As the business owner, your events should be executed on-brand and on-point for the best potential for impact. The pro you hire has been through the mistakes already to develop their creative standards. This means that when this new team joins your staff, you’ll achieve the best creative and technical standards available. Events are costly but temporary. Consider your live event video team a replacement expense for your venue costs. In as little as one Development Meeting, your video team can create your registration web page and be prepared for a successful live presentation.

So far, we have seen our clients actually have more success with virtual/hybrid events because they are able to reach a bigger audience. When someone signs up for their event, they become registered in their system, so regardless if they attend, they’re able to continue marketing to them.


What is the Process of Hiring House of 8 Media?

Our first step is to schedule a free 3o-minute to 1-hr free Development Meeting. It will be a natural discovery process to determine if House of 8 Media is a good match for your production. By breaking your event down into the 4 production phases (set up, preparation, management, and post event.) we can evaluate if each phase is simple, moderate or complex. Based on this assessment, we will be able to provide you a fair and accurate cost breakdown of your project in 24-48 hours. After we each sign the proposal and you make your first payment, your production is secured. We offer single production packages or a monthly subscription-based package to fulfill a regular number of events each month. Bulk discounts are available.

Process outline of hiring House of 8 Media


What Tools Do We Use?

We use a variety of broadcasting technology tailored to the specific needs of your event. Zoom is great for connection-driven presentations to interact face to face with the audience. However, when your content is one-way, Zoom is inadequate. It can be frustrating to have to ask people to turn off their camera or mute themselves, to not have control of the size or position of each presenter’s thumbnail image on the screen, among other limitations such as the lack of a registration process.


A better solution in most instances is Vimeo Live. This subscription is expensive but the cost is on us. Our premium plan allows us to stream your live event from Vimeo itself, Facebook Live, or YouTube. Vimeo is perfect for a live OR pre-recorded event because of it’s content-driven software that allows your audience to interact with the Host and Presenters through the chat box, answer polls, receive .pdfs, and even click-through to additional websites in the chat all while keeping the main focus on the content of the presentation. Plus, the software works right in the web browser so their’s no app to download, plugin to install, or additional software of any kind for your attendees to sign up for.


When our clients want their event attendees to interact face to face with the presenter or each other but they also want complete control of the stage, these events tend to fall into the category of a virtual conference. For broadcasts like these, we’ve choose for it’s robust networking features, session scheduling tools (think planned breakout rooms). Among its great features are Expo Booths which act as separate stages where people can visit with a moderator for a private, branded discussion.


When our clients want to sell tickets for a profit, or even simplify the process and organization for a free event, we turn to VBO Tickets. It offers a true box office solution with the option for your attendees to receive their tickets by email, at will-call, or by mail. The platform makes it easy to assign specific seating like you would commonly see at a concert venue or allow for general admission. Anything from virtual benefits, symposiums, live webinars, town hall meetings, celebrations, and paid events can be run through VBO Tickets. We handle all the programming and operation for our clients so there is one less thing you have to worry about for your event!

Getting Started

When we work together, it’s a relief to have a pro take your direction at every step of the process. We design your event from start to finish; registration, live event management, and replay distribution. As experienced video professionals, we can edit a 100% pre-recorded event or conduct a completely live production. We offer an on-site broadcast location for 3 guests or less in our downtown Carmel studio or we can go on-location to setup a multi-camera wireless live event video production. We can create your master show slides or your event marketing graphics for you, or we’re happy to utilize what you provide.

Mike Buffo in the production process for House of 8 Media


The Lens of the New Peninsula

Since 2014, House of 8 Media has been a live event video company with live streaming capabilities. Once the pandemic hit, our clients had to cancel or translate what they were doing into a remotely-attended or “virtual” space. We adapted with our clients, and we have done more events now than we ever have in the past. We will continue to evolve in order to meet the needs of the community we serve throughout the Monterey Peninsula and beyond.

Your Remote Producer,

Mike Buffo

About Your Producer

Mike Buffo

Mike is an alternative-education pioneer, visual & performing arts curriculum-author, successful motion picture producer with 10+ years in arts, entertainment, and education, is a mission-driven member of the Mankind Project, Rotary International, and a vital Carmel community contributor. Proud husband to Brittney Buffo and father of three boys.