The Open Network User Group hosts 2 conferences a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. This year, our team traveled to Secaucus, New Jersey in the spring and New York, New York in the fall to…
Tyler and Kyle describe what the experience was like at the spring conference in our video case study.
Both the spring and fall events had the same set up: there was a main stage where keynotes and panels took place, a side stage where the hosts and emcees of the event sat, and there were 3-4 breakout rooms where concurrent sessions would take place. Not only were all of these available to the in-person audience, but they were all live streamed out to a virtual audience as well. And that’s where we came in. We live streamed a 2 camera show for the main and side stages, and ran streams through the online platform StreamYard using a one camera set up in the breakout rooms.
We spent the majority of our time at the conference live streaming the events taking place on the main stage, which included keynotes and panel discussions.
This event was truly hybrid, meaning that not only did we have virtual attendees, but there were virtual guests as well! Part of our job was to make sure that we brought in these remote presenters in a seamless way so that they could hear and see their fellow presenters and fully participate in their presentation or panel.
During the lulls in between main stage events, we would turn the audience’s attention to the side stage. This was a great way to fill down time, which is critical when you’re hosting any event, but especially a hybrid event. Having down time gives your at home audience the chance to step away or switch tabs. By filling that time with conversations on the side stage, it gave the in-person and virtual audiences additional content to consume. The hosts could talk about what they had picked up on from the previous keynote or tease what’s coming up in the next panel. It was also a good opportunity to grab attendees or sponsors and bring them up on the side stage to conduct interviews in longer periods of downtime.
From a technical standpoint, it was easy for us to get a camera on both stages. We set up 2 cameras in a way that they could easily swing from one stage to the next, which saves space, time and manpower.
In the breakout rooms, we had one camera set up pointing at the presenter and a TV running through a laptop to stream through StreamYard. We had one team member stationed in each room, 3 in the spring and 4 in the fall, to make sure everything ran smoothly. Similarly to the main stage, there were remote presenters in the breakout rooms from time to time. Our job was to help welcome them in and make sure they could hear and see the room. And on the flip side, we had to make sure that the room could see and hear them! Once everything with the presenters (remote or in-person) was squared away, we would hit “Go Live” and give the presenters a thumbs up so they could hit the ground running with their session.
The conference in the fall presented a unique issue, though. When we were in Secaucus in the spring, we were in a big convention center with air walled break out rooms. In the fall however, we were in New York City in an old H&M building. That meant we had way less space than we did in the spring and no walls in between breakout rooms. Therefore, the ONUG staff had to come up with a creative solution to this problem: creating a silent disco.
This was also a great opportunity for ONUG to capture testimonials from their attendees and sponsors. We were already there with cameras and microphones, why not record some additional content.
Hosting an event like this means that all of your thought leaders are all in one place. It’s important to take advantage of that opportunity and record some great sound bites from presenters, attendees or sponsors talking about why your event is important and how their experience has been. This allows you as an event organizer to create content from your event that can live on past the day of the actual event.
Another way that ONUG is making their event live on is by sharing content on their social media channels from their spring and fall events. Posting short, easily digestible content from your big wig keynote or insightful panels is a great way to keep your audience engaged, and spark their interest further to attend your next event, renew their membership, etc.
Want to learn more?
Listen to Bill Sell talk more about how they executed both the fall and spring ONUG conferences with both the in-person and virtual audience in mind when he was in the studio for our webinar Beyond the Stage.
And listen to Kyle, David & Brooklyn talk about their trip to the ONUG fall Conference in an episode of the Create Smarter Podcast.