Five Minutes With… Tom Mahon, Co-founder of London Filmed
Glisser’s chief evangelist Vanessa Lovatt interviewed Tom Mahon to learn more about the production essentials needed to deliver successful hybrid events.
Vanessa Lovatt, November 15, 2021
Glisser recently worked with London Filmed to produce a pop-up hybrid event from our booth at Event Tech Live. Vanessa Lovatt spoke to co-founder Tom Mahon during the pre-recorded session for Hybrid 101, to discuss 'Production Essentials for Hybrid Events'.
What are the most common requests around hybrid events that you’re currently seeing?
"Currently, it feels like a period of ‘sounding out’ as clients try to establish the best way to make hybrid work and where it fits within their events programme. We get asked a lot to do live streams and advise on in-room formats. Many of the hybrid events we see currently have small in-person capacities of around 30 people, with much bigger audiences online. I think that will balance out over the next 12 months as confidence returns to attending live."
How can organisers improve their briefs for production companies?
"Start with the objectives. Currently, planners are asking for hybrid but they’re not really sure why. This makes our life more challenging as we’re not able to follow a strict set of objectives. Establishing goals from the outset helps us to help shape the event format and to determine production priorities. Secondly, build in enough time for set-up, testing and rehearsals. And finally, consider what digital assets you’ll need creating, including lower thirds, holding cards, video, stings, animation etc. These all help to enhance the event experience so it’s super important that they’re briefed in early and we know who is going to be creating and owning those."
What is the number one production must-have to ensure hybrid success?
"Technical know-how and the right kit is vital when partnering with a production supplier. Ensure you ask about the breadth of a technical supplier’s experience in this space as they’ll need to be able to troubleshoot and deal with any issues on the day. Partnering with companies that have explored new technologies and already overcome common challenges around hybrid is vital to your event’s success."
To watch all the interviews with event professionals from Hybrid 101 (recorded during Event Tech Live London 2021) on-demand, register here.
Are there any specific bits of technology that planners just can’t do without?
"There’s actually lots. When we’ve executed hybrid or even just live streaming, clients have been surprised by the amount of kit required. Must-haves included encoders, portable production units, and mixing desks to manage the different streams coming into the event."
What is the biggest potential risk for a hybrid event?
"Firewalls and network issues. You can have all the right kit, manage the speakers and source the right venue but sometimes, you just can’t account for what security measures an organisation may have in place that prevents you from streaming out or bringing in content.
We recently worked with a major financial services client and we asked multiple people several times to guarantee that our technology was white-listed and that we had the necessary security access. But when we turned up on the day of the event, it was immediately apparent that we didn’t have the security clearance. It’s crucial therefore that suppliers understand who the people are within a client organisation that can quickly solve any security and access issues."
What’s been the best hybrid event you’ve experienced to date?
"We’ve been working with an architecture firm in central London on a series of hybrid events. They featured a three-person panel live and a three-person panel online, with speakers from Australia and Barcelona. They just got better and more popular. The last one we did saw full capacity within the in-person space and a 250-strong audience online, which far surpassed the expectations of the client."
Prepping your industry and other non-professional speakers is crucial for your event’s success. Hybrid and virtual platforms have major similarities and differences for speakers, planners and producers. Here’s part one of my network’s best ideas.