The cover of the Being Hybrid Summary - a cheap and easy guide to hybrid events
The cover of Being Hybrid: A cheap and easy guide to hybrid events, with the CRIPtic Arts and Spread the Word logos

The Being Hybrid Summary is written in Plain English. It talks about the importance of making events accessible online and offline. We wrote this as clearly and simply as possible.

You can download this guide as a formatted pdf (link), word document, and as a captioned audio file (link) . You can also read the full Plain English guide below on this page.

The full guide is available here, and a short guide is available here.

Listen to the audio guide

Being Hybrid Summary

Being Hybrid is a guide to how to run an event that is online and in person at the same time. This is called a ‘hybrid event’. 

Event organisers often say that it is too expensive and too difficult to turn an in-person event into a hybrid event. Actually, it is cheap and easy to do this.

This is a summary of the full guide. It is written in plain English. This is to make it easier to understand.

Contents:

Language

Advantages to running a hybrid event

What kind of events are easy to make hybrid

Marketing the event

Platforms for the event

Technology for the event

Making the event accessible

Language

This section tells you what we mean by some of the things we say:

  • A hybrid event is an event happening in-person and online at the same time.
  • People speaking in the room are people who are physically at the event and are speaking to the audience.
  • The audience in the room is the audience physically present in the room where the event is happening.
  • Virtual speakers are people who are speaking to the audience but who are not in the room. They are joining the event online
  • The virtual audience is the people that are watching the event online. They are not present in the room.

Advantages to running a hybrid event

There are a lot of advantages to turning an in-person event into a hybrid event. Some of these advantages are:

  • People from anywhere in the world can watch your event.
  • People from anywhere in the world can speak at your event.
  • Running a hybrid event shows you care about people who couldn’t physically come. These people might be disabled people, parents, carers, people who cannot afford to travel, or people who live too far away to travel.
  • More people can come to your event.
  • If you are selling tickets to the event, you can sell more tickets without needing a bigger room.

What kind of events are easy to make hybrid?

It is easy to make a talk hybrid. If there are only one or two speakers then you can point a webcam and microphone at the people speaking. The more people there are speaking, the harder it will be for you to make that part of your event hybrid. 

We think this is the order of how easy it is to make certain events work as hybrid events:

  • Single person talks
  • Single person readings
  • A conversation between two people
  • A conversation between more than two people
  • Round-table discussions with a chair
  • Creative workshops
  • Staged performances

If you don’t have enough time to make the whole event into a hybrid event you should pick the easiest things. You could also pick the most popular parts of your event.

Marketing the event

If people do not know that the event is hybrid they will not come. This means you need to market the event. There are lots of things you can do to tell people about your event.

  • You can write on your website that the event will be hybrid.
  • You can write that the event is hybrid in your marketing materials.
  • You can use Eventbrite so people can book tickets to the online part of your event.
  • You can share the link for the online part of your event so people can find it.
  • You can write to disability arts organisations and ask them to advertise your event.

Platforms for the event

Most people are used to Zoom. Because of this, we think Zoom is where you should run your event. Zoom is not free, but you can sometimes buy it for a month. This means you are not paying for it all year round.

Technology for the event

For the in-person speakers and audiences you will need:

  • A computer at the event connected to a webcam, microphone, projector (or large TV screen), and speakers
    • You need to point the webcam and microphone at any in-person speakers so digital audiences can see and hear them
    • A TV or projector screen and speakers set up so people at the event in-person can see and hear digital speakers and audience questions
  • If you have a BSL interpreter, you will need to have a second computer and webcam (not connected to audio) pointing at the interpreter. This is so digital audiences can also see the interpreter. 
  • If you have a captioner, they will be able to make their captions available online
  • A person managing the technology – setting it up, providing technical support, answering questions, sharing speaker slides, and monitoring the chat on the digital platform

Your digital speakers and audiences will need: 

  • A device with a webcam, microphone, screen, and speakers or headphones (either using a computer, or a tablet or phone)

Making the event accessible

The online part of your hybrid event should be accessible to deaf and disabled people. There are lots of things you can do to make the event accessible.

  • Have regular breaks. Make sure everyone knows what time these breaks will be.
  • Tell people if someone is going to talk about a topic that might be upsetting, like abuse or grief. This is called a content note.
  • Book a British Sign Language interpreter. They translate what is being said into British Sign Language for deaf people. If you do this, you should have a webcam pointed at them all the time so they are visible online as well as in the room.
  • Book a palantypist. They type everything that is said for deaf and hard of hearing people, people who have difficulty processing sound, and other people. What they type should be visible both in the room and online.
  • If you do not have a palantypist you can use automatic captions but these are not high quality. This means they are not suitable for most events.
  • Send anything the speakers are showing the audience (like slides) to the audience before the event.
  • Ask people to say who they are before they speak.

Conclusion

As you see, it is easy to make your event hybrid. While making a complicated and professional event hybrid takes longer, it is worth it if you have the time. 

If you would like advice on making a hybrid event, email us at contact@cripticarts.org

Accessing the full guide

There are lots of different ways you can access Being Hybrid. These are linked below:

Plain English summary of the guide

Shorter version of the full guide

Full length guide

Access formats

We apologise that at this time the Full Guide is not available in BSL or audio formats. As the guide was not funded, we were limited in the range of accessible versions we could provide. Many thanks to Spread the Word for funding the British Sign Language translation. If you need an accessible version that is not currently available, please email contact@cripticarts.org and we will do our best to create it.