Event production in 2024 is much more complex than it was, even just a few years ago. New budget and staffing limitations exist, the race for event space is incredibly competitive, and ROI pressures have reached new levels. Then, add new attendee expectations, and you've got a very challenging meeting and event environment.
This means that from venue selection to technology on-site while keeping a close eye on your virtual audience, there are more moving parts to consider than ever before. Because event production is such an important part of event planning, it requires organisers to carefully consider each and every planning step to ensure a successful outcome.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the nuances of event production, focusing on in-person and hybrid events, especially in the new world of digital-first face-to-face events and the rising expectations of your attendees.
What is event production?
Before diving into the specifics of event production, let's define what it means. Event production is the process of planning and executing an event. It includes everything from designing the event concept, selecting the venue, arranging catering, lighting, sound, and staging, on-site technology, and managing the event logistics. Event production aims to create a seamless experience for attendees while achieving your event’s objectives.
How the tech boom has impacted event production
The technology boom has significantly impacted in-person meetings and events for event organisers and attendees. With digital communication tools such as video conferencing, live streaming, and virtual reality, how we conduct and attend events has dramatically transformed.
Technology has made planning, organising, and executing events easier for event organisers. Online registration systems, event management software, and mobile apps have streamlined the event management process, from planning to promotion to execution. These tools have made it possible for organisers to track attendance, manage logistics, and collect feedback from attendees in real time, making it easier to create more engaging and interactive events.
Technology has also made it possible for organisers to reach a wider audience. Live streaming and video conferencing tools allow organisers to broadcast events to people worldwide, regardless of their location. This has enabled events to reach a global audience, increasing their impact and influence.
For event attendees technology has made it more convenient and accessible to attend events anywhere. With the option to attend events virtually, attendees no longer have to worry about travel expenses, time constraints, or scheduling conflicts. They can log in from their computer or mobile device and participate in the event from the comfort of their own home or office.
Moreover, technology has allowed attendees to engage with events in new and exciting ways. Mobile apps and social media platforms enable attendees to connect, share information, and provide feedback in real-time. This has created a more immersive and interactive experience for attendees, making events more engaging and memorable.
The facts are in: the technology boom has profoundly impacted in-person meetings and events for organisers and attendees. While it has made events more accessible, engaging, and efficient, it has also raised expectations around face-to-face interactions and personalization. As technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how it shapes the future of events and how organisers and attendees adapt to these changes.
Define the event's objectives
Before planning an event, it's essential to define the event's objectives. This will help you determine the type of event you'll be planning, the target audience, and the budget. Goals can range from increasing brand awareness to generating leads and providing attendees with an educational experience.
In-person events are the traditional form of events that most people are familiar with. These events occur in a physical location, such as a conference room, hotel ballroom, or outdoor space. The success of an in-person event depends on coordinating various aspects of event production. Here are some key elements to consider:
Choosing the right venue is critical for the success of an in-person event. The venue should be easily accessible, have enough space to accommodate the expected attendees, and have appropriate restrooms, parking, and catering services. It’s also important to consider the venue’s ambiance and how it aligns with the event’s theme.
Food and beverage are essential for any event, and choosing the right catering service is necessary. The catering company should be able to provide various menu options that cater to attendees’ dietary needs. It’s also important to consider the service style, such as buffet, plated, or family-style, and how it aligns with the event’s objectives.
Lighting and sound
Lighting and sound are often overlooked aspects of event production but can significantly impact the attendee experience. Proper lighting sets the mood and creates a welcoming environment, while sound can help convey the event’s message. Working with experienced professionals is vital to ensure the lighting and sound are appropriate for the event.
Staging and decor
Staging and decor can help create a visual impact and enhance the event’s theme. The stage should be designed to accommodate the event’s presenters and performers and with hybrid events in mind. Your onsite tech should have streaming capabilities that engage the virtual audience. The decor should align with the event’s branding and messaging. Working with experienced designers is important to create a cohesive look and feel.
Hybrid events are a combination of in-person and virtual elements. They allow attendees to participate in the event either in person or remotely. Hybrid events have become increasingly popular in recent years, and event planners must consider different aspects of event production when organising them.
Virtual platform selection
Choosing the right virtual platform is critical for the success of a hybrid event. The platform should be easy to use, reliable, and accommodate the expected number of attendees. It’s also important to consider the platform’s features, such as chat, Q&A, and polling, and how they can be leveraged to enhance attendee engagement.
Virtual production is an essential aspect of hybrid events. It includes everything from designing the virtual stage to coordinating the lighting and sound for remote attendees. Working with experienced professionals is essential to ensure the virtual production is seamless and enhances the attendee experience.
While the virtual component is critical for the success of a hybrid event, the in-person experience is equally important. Attendees who are physically present should have a memorable experience that aligns with the event’s objectives. Considering the same event production elements as an in-person event, such as venue selection, catering, lighting and sound, and staging and decor, it's important.
Engaging attendees in a hybrid event can be challenging, but there are many ways to do so. One effective way is to leverage the virtual platform’s features, such as chat and Q&A, to create an interactive experience for in-person and virtual attendees. Another way is to provide a unique experience for each attendee group, such as exclusive access to certain content or activities.
Event production is a critical aspect of event planning that requires careful consideration and planning. In-person and hybrid events have different nuances, and event planners must consider various aspects of event production to ensure a successful outcome.
By choosing the right venue, catering service, lighting, sound, staging and decor, virtual platform, and engaging attendees, event planners can create a seamless experience for attendees and achieve the event’s objectives.