A hybrid event venue with a collage of people with laptops in front of a stage.

What makes a great hybrid event venue

During the pandemic, weddings and events took on a new look – socially distanced, smaller scale, and often virtual. And while we’re now able to gather in large numbers, there are still occasions that benefit by going hybrid – a combination of real life and virtual. Learn what makes a great hybrid event venue, what to consider when going hybrid, and the benefits – especially on the corporate side.

Adapting to a new reality – hybrid events

During the pandemic, in-person gatherings were either canceled or severely limited in size. But people still wanted to connect. Virtual events became an industry unto itself, everything from online registration platforms and mobile event apps to content development and streaming providers.

Now that we’re back to in-person occasions, planners are finding hybrid events offer the best of both worlds. And going hybrid can work for a variety of occasions, whether it’s for a wedding and you want to connect far-flung loved ones or for a world-wide town hall.

“A hybrid event allows people to connect in person if they want that human connection experience while also giving individuals who cannot attend in person the flexibility to engage virtually. The goal is to make the experience equally riveting for both groups.” (CVent)

Millennium Center and hybrid events

Exterior of Millennium Center at night.

The Millennium Center in Winston-Salem provides a full-service experience for hybrid events.

We’ve been doing hybrid events for about three years now. It started when weddings had limited attendance at churches and in our venue due to Covid. We often streamed ceremonies to our venue where guests were able to watch on large screens and later had small receptions with social distancing. 

Our ability to livestream is still important to our wedding couples with families around the world, especially those in the South Asian community. Our state-of-the-art technology ensures that guests can virtually enjoy all the wedding festivities. 

Millennium Center has also hosted hybrid meetings for corporations over the last few years. We’ve significantly invested in dedicated fiber internet, high end access points, professional sound, stage, backdrops, lighting, cameras, splitters, and computers – and we have trained in-house technicians to operate it all. It’s this commitment that sets us apart as the ideal hybrid event venue in Winston-Salem and The Triad region.

One event, but two experiences

In the corporate event world, this is especially true. Savvy planners know virtual attendees won’t stick around long if the event is merely live streaming speeches. Virtual attendees want to engage in the conversation just like those in person. 

This is why Q&A sessions and chats are a vital part of the virtual experience, along with some exclusive experiences with keynote speakers. Virtual attendees not only want content, they want community. They want the opportunity to engage with other attendees – whether they are also on line or attending in person. 

4 people wearing t-shirts

With in-house hybrid events, you can bring your team members together in-person as well as virtually.

Many corporations and nonprofit organizations have increased audiences and awareness by ramping up their hybrid events. Trade shows, conferences, and sales kick-offs are prime examples of external corporate events that lend themselves well to being hybrids. And if your employees or donors are located around the country – or even the world – hybrid events are an important way to connect your teams.

Whether it’s for consumers or employees and stakeholders, an important part of hybrid event success is partnering with the right venue.

What to look for in a hybrid event venue

While there are additional costs associated with a hybrid event, for the corporate world the upside is greater audience reach, more ticket sales, and increased event sponsorship value and opportunities. While you’ll need a venue that provides for your in-person guests and activities, you’ll also need a space that seamlessly accommodates virtual productions.

Venue capacity, space, and aesthetics: Capacity is the number of attendees allowed based on the type of event while space is physical dimension and attributes. In addition to primary meeting space, you’ll also want to look for holding areas for speakers and breakout rooms for special sessions and Q&As. And don’t forget the aesthetics of the venue. Do they suit the occasion? The venue should be appealing both in person and on screen.

Keynote speaker at Fine Wine of NC Competition held at Winston-Salem Millennium Center

A great hybrid event venue provides the right atmosphere for in-person guests and the tech needed for online attendees.

Strong internet connection: Lagging is the enemy when it comes to virtual engagement. Look for a venue with top capability. And think about your on-site attendees and their internet usage.

Sight and Sound: A great hybrid event venue offers state-of-the-art sound and audio/video equipment, saving the need for rentals. The same goes for proper lighting and staging.

Power: Hybrid events require multiple access points to electricity. Make sure the venue has what you need to run all of your equipment.

Loading and storage: Depending on the event and what the venue provides, you’ll want a place that makes it easy for equipment to be brought in and securely stored.

In-house support: Along with all the components of producing a virtual event, you’ll want professionals who are well versed in their areas of expertise, can offer collaboration and solutions to problems and will handle any issues that might arise.

Request more info and schedule your tour

Millennium Center’s commitment to technology, live streaming, and hybrid events, is all part of our desire to be a truly full service venue. We also offer three unique levels of space, an in-house decorator, event planning assistance, and full service catering. Fill out our contact form to learn more about our weddings or corporate events, call (336)723-3700 or email us to schedule your tour.

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