TEMPTING TRAVELLERS TO … Hybrid and Virtual meetings


Fiona Knight Consulting Services has been in business for over twenty-seven years and specializes in project management which includes special events, media launches, conferences, workshops, focus groups, festivals, tours, outside broadcasts, anything that needs an expert hand to guide technical implementation, keeping on track, on time and on budget.

Changes, I’ve seen a few.

More hybrid events –Hybrid events are live, face-to-face events that also offer virtual components, providing audiences with the opportunity to participate, learn, and engage even if they can’t attend in person. Contact us today for help planning your next hybrid event! Fiona Knight Consulting Services produced one of the first in the world in 1999 with the AntEye.com launch through six satellite locations beaming Canadian rockers Danko Jones from Lee’s Palace in Toronto across North America to a global audience. Audience interaction remains a key ingredient in everything we do and whether a global sports audience or a local cultural award, we continue to highlight what we do best – bringing people together to celebrate!

The latest i-meet Planner Confidence Index survey showed over 60% of planners intend to use hybrid meetings in the near term (an onsite meeting with a virtual online component).


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One thing about the future of meetings and events is clear: Going forward, there will be a virtual component according to eventmanagerblog.com.

At first, planners may be looking at fully virtual events, but even after the crisis of Covid-19, a hybrid element will remain. Cost may be a factor moving forward in financially uncertain times. Hybrid meetings can help cut costs associated with face-to-face events and may even boost your audience who may not have previously attended due to cost considerations. In a post-Covid world onsite events may have limited attendance and hybrid becomes the more widely attended option.

We go to hybrid meetings all the time, they are called sporting events FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympics are hybrid events. There are limited seats available onsite, but millions of fans want to see the event and so most view it online. Yet all attend the same event, it fits the definition of a hybrid meeting.

Here are some comparisons from Mark Stevens at Learning Luminaries to use for all of our meetings, big and small:

1 –  Teams – Two separate teams work the meeting. The onsite crew is the same as usual, but we also have an online production team.  Event Producers approach the hybrid meeting like the television crew of a sporting event. The onsite team may include a host, a director, commentators, videographers, roving reports and QA chats to involve the audience. In a smaller meeting, the planner may have to play all the roles. Either way it’s important to think about the online portion as a separate entity from the onsite.

2 – Value – Should it be recorded and rebroadcast? It is an event, a happening and each has unique value. Attending a sporting event live is an experience. But the online version has factors not seen onsite. Expert commentary, graphics and sideline interviews are not seen by the stadium crowd.  An event producer can add earlier taped interviews of both online and onsite audiences. Tours, interactive chats and video montages of portions of the offsite events can be added for the online audience. Regardless of the size of the gathering there are many ways to add value online.

3 – Equipment – Broadcast online may require more online speed and large server space. Most of us now have a TV studio in our pocket, it’s called a smart phone. There is no end to the creativity that will unleash. Potentially there are as many camera operators at the event onsite and online to feed the production. Smaller meetings are not exempt. The same thinking applies but scaled down.

4 –  Audience  – Engagement is the product. How the two audiences interact is critical. Zoom, FaceTime, Tweets and instant messaging can be used.  The smartphone is the ultimate engagement device with endless uses both onsite and online. Polling the audience keeps a level of engagement and allowa onsite and online interraction even with fans in the stands.

Think like an event producer and have fun because hybrid meetings, like sports events without onsite fans, are the New Normal in our world.

Fiona Knight Consulting Services will continue to prioritize diversity, technology, innovation, psychological wellness, and geo-political and economic trends as we approach our third decade in business. We wish you all well!

Fiona Knight on Linked In, or follow @fknightevents on twitterpinterest or instagramLook for my Tempting Travellers To… blog at  https://i-meet.com/members/fknight/profile/ or


Fiona Knight Consulting Services in business for over twenty-five years. specializes in project management which includes special events, media launches, conferences, workshops, focus groups, festivals, tours, outside broadcasts, anything that needs an expert hand to guide technical implementation, keeping on track; on time and on budget Look for my Tempting Travellers To... blog at http://i-meet.com/pages/Profiles/MyBlogs.aspx or https://www.facebook.com/TemptingTravellersto or follow on twitter or Instagram @fknightevents


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