Virtual and hybrid events have become quite popular in Ireland and globally for many organisations this year due to Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings and social distancing. If like me, you weren’t particularly familiar with virtual events or had even heard of a hybrid event experience up until a few months ago, we’ll go through what each of them mean and how they work in some detail. We’ll also provide with you some ideas and options from venues that could assist with your next event should you wish to host virtual or hybrid event in Ireland.
A virtual event is simply an event which takes place online, over the web, rather than meeting in person at a physical location or venue. Virtual events may be short in duration or spread over a number of days but often feature multiple online sessions such as webinars, networking and training. Given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in this year, they’re quickly becoming a very useful tool to enable trade shows, conferences, meetings, training sessions and team building activities to go ahead, whilst allowing people to attend the event online instead.
Hybrid events are events that combine a ‘live’ in-person event (e.g. standard meeting, trade show, conference/seminar) at a specific location, but also include elements of a virtual event. In simple terms they allow for face-to-face, in-person attendance at a particular venue but additionally they are setup to encourage attendees to gather, experience and interact with the event online.
Host your next conference, webinar or trade show from one of Ireland’s most prestigious and historic venues; The Round Room at the Mansion House in Dublin 2. The grandeur of this timeless 19th century setting combined with recent restoration and cutting-edge technology guarantees a lasting impression on your delegates. Their virtual events package includes an interactive Q&A, live streaming of the event to a Facebook or YouTube page, setup of the venue tailored to your requirements and choice, as well as a high-end lighting & AV production package. A crew of technicians with specialities in AV, lighting, camera and web streaming will ensure your event runs smoothly, allowing you to focus on the content of your event and engaging with attendees.
The team at Croke Park in Dublin 3, have always been at the forefront of combining premium spaces and technology to host corporate meetings and events. As such we would have expected nothing less from them when they announced they had developed a stunning virtual event studio, perfect for live streaming webinars, presentations and award ceremonies. Working with their onsite technology specialists AVCOM they are sure to be leaders in delivering these new digital types of experience for events and attendees. Presenters host the event from this stunning Croke Park studio, with all broadcasts output in full HD and their team will work with you to develop a highly engaging live event every step of the way, whether globally or privately within individual companies. Showcase your brand, while seamlessly incorporating easy-to-use live engagement tools such as live Q&A sessions, audience polls and chat.
O’Reilly Hall at UCD in Dublin 4 is one of Ireland’s most prestigious conference and events venues, offering first-class facilities at an internationally recognised and renowned destination. Their fantastic events team have recently added a brand new LED Experience Broadcast Studio to the hall, offering live streaming facilities in full high definition, perfect for virtual conferences, webinars, concerts and other online events. Whether it’s a virtual or hybrid setup, their professional AV partner AVCOM will ensure that all of the technical and audio-visual segments of your event are flawlessly delivered, creating an unforgettable experience for your audience. Smaller, light filled studio rooms are also available on the second floor of the UCD University Club, providing the perfect backdrop looking out over the lake, ideal for virtual & TV interviews, discussion panels and more.
The RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 is one of Ireland’s most renowned and largest venues for hosting conferences, trade shows and events. They have two virtual event studios, with one in the Concert Hall and one in Serpentine Hall. This platform allows you to stream your event alongside a presenter where you can encourage the audience to engage by posting questions which can be answered by your MC or presenter(s). CT Ireland, the RDS’s in house AV specialists will help to design your presentation, content and any virtual backdrops required, giving your event a polished and professional look. Half day and full day packages are available.
Virtual events don’t necessarily have to be only for conferences or presentations, Teeling Whiskey Distillery are offering fantastic at home masterclass tasting experiences. These make for the perfect fun, team building activity for when meeting up in person is not ideal. The masterclasses are carried out live online via Zoom by a Teeling brand ambassador with mini whiskey gift packs, nosing glasses and tasting mats sent out to participants in advance of the classes, providing for an extremely entertaining and interactive way to bring colleagues together.
Virtual events can be hosted and broadcast to a much larger audience with barriers to people attending (such as travel, accommodation costs, capacity limits or social distancing requirements) totally removed.
With many virtual events incorporating digital online engagement tools such as live chat, Q&A sessions and live polls, attendees can participate arguably even more in a virtual environment from the comfort of their home or office. They also create an opportunity to collect contact information and data more easily to allow for further engagement and follow up after the event or for future events.
Costs can be kept lower due to the fact that no printed material, catering etc. is required and the majority of your budget can be spent on creating beautiful content and promoting the virtual event online.
Virtual events have the power to put your brand in front of new audiences quickly. Being able to adapt to new technology and changes will only work to enhance the image of your brand in the long run.
What do you think? Have you attended any virtual or hybrid events yet? If you’re thinking about hosting a virtual / hybrid event in Ireland please feel free to contact as firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know, we’d love to hear from you and can help you plan. As these are a relatively new, but popular type of event at the moment we’ll be updating this article with any further venues that we feel will be a good fit for virtual conferences, meetings and lots more. Although Covid-19 has scuppered many in-person events it’s great to see Irish companies and venues coming up with innovative solutions to help get the country moving again. #supportlocal
Thank you for reading 🙂
This article was updated on 30th November 2020