One of the biggest challenges we have seen our clients face over the last two years has been turning historically in-person events to virtual or hybrid. This rang true for Bottom Line, a Chicago nonprofit organization, when it came time to plan ‘Rise Up,’ their annual gala with us. If you are experiencing the same challenges, we are here to ease your fears. BlackOak Technical Productions will be with you every step of the way so you can achieve your event goals. Below, Meredith Oliver, a senior technical producer at BlackOak, shares how we took her client’s annual gala hybrid for the first time.
Q&A with Meredith Oliver, Senior Producer
ALL RIGHT LET’S TALK. WHAT WAS THIS PROJECT?
This project was a hybrid event for Bottom Line, taking their normally in-person event and turning it into a virtual space while also having a partially in-person component to it.
HOW DID THE CLIENT HEAR ABOUT US?
Another organization that we partner with frequently, NAMI Chicago, hosts their annual gala at The Geraghty. They did their virtual event with us, and the client, Bottom Line, saw it and decided to check us out.
THAT’S GREAT. WHERE DID THIS EVENT TAKE PLACE?
The venue for this event was Black Oak Technical Production’s Studio in The Geraghty. This studio was purpose built for virtual and hybrid events with a TV studio style set and a technical production system configured for both remote presenters and in-studio talent streaming out to various virtual event platforms.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE INITIAL CHALLENGES THAT THE CLIENT BROUGHT TO US ON THIS PROJECT?
A large fear they had going into this was that no one would attend their virtual event, and no one would log in to a platform that wasn’t specifically branded. That is one of the things that we helped to create for them. Additionally, the initial challenge the client was concerned about was taking a historically in-person event and turning it into a virtual space while also making their donors and sponsors feel special.
TELL US ABOUT THE ROADMAP THAT WE WORKED THROUGH WITH THE CLIENT DURING THE PLANNING PROCESS?
We really helped guide them from the start. The roadmap for this event included checkpoints as far as how many people are you having in the venue? What does the program look like for them? What does the program look like for your virtual audience? It’s a lot of decisions up front. Where is the virtual audience going in order to watch your program? What is that experience for them? Once we got through all of those aspects, it was more of, What do you want the set to look like? What do your graphics look like? How do you want your guests to experience the in-person? Do they sit at a table, or do they sit theater style? There were lots of different points that we mapped out at the beginning, and they were able to choose from.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS THAT WE HELPED THEM KEEP THEIR AUDIENCE ENGAGED DURING THE PROGRAM?
We helped keep their audience engaged during their virtual program by producing visually impactful graphics and camera angles through our studio. Our team also developed a polished program that included a live panel to educate, inspire, and spark the audience’s curiosity.
VERY COOL. HOW DID THEY DECIDE TO TAKE THIS EVENT HYBRID?
They decided to take this event hybrid because they needed a way to make their sponsors and their large event donors feel special. They did that by offering an in-studio experience to those 50 people.
WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME? WHAT DID THE CLIENT THINK?
After the event, the client was ecstatic. It was a smashing success, so they have already decided to come back with us for next year. Their initial feedback was that it was so great to be able to turn over the program wheel to BlackOak Technical Productions so that we could just take their event and make it happen.
To check out more details on this particular hybrid event you can view our portfolio page by clicking on the link below:
What have you been thinking about with your event?
firstname.lastname@example.org | 872.281.7700Tags: Audio Visual, BlackOak Technical Productions, Chicago, Event Production, Event Professionals, Events, Lighting, Technical Producer