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Nacho Mamas Deep Fried Hybrid Event on A Stick

If Hybrid Events had fun recipe names, then the Event Camp Twin Cities hybrid event recipe would be called Nacho Mamas Deep Fried Hybrid Event On a Stick.


Because it sounds unhealthy, irresistible and something that you should try at least once! I imagine it just like the photo below.

Fried Snickers Bar on a Stick. Photo credit: linksmanjd

Why should you try Nacho Mamas?

Good question. Has anyone ever said this about a virtual event that you have organized?

At 6:00 pm when the camera stopped rolling and the event closed down, I realized for the first time I was alone in my office.  I looked around and wondered where the 174 people had gone.

Or what about this:

It blew me away. For the first time ever, this was officially a hybrid event that works.  It was the whole package. I got way more than I expected. If I had to pay for it – I would have.

If you aren’t getting that kind of feedback, then maybe this recipe is the kick start that you need. It is tasty, irresistible and keeps people coming back for more.

Here is the recipe, so you can go out and create your own Deep Fried Hybrid Event on A Stick. See the finished product.


Team Roles

1 Virtual Event Design Consultant / Project Manager

1 Virtual Emcee: The Host of the Remote Broadcast

1 Tech Director: Calls the show, video camera shots and switches

1 Twitter Moderator: Captures questions, comments and ideas from the audience

1 Soundbyte Tweeter: Tweets Out Speaker highlights under the event’s Twitter ID

1 Main Session Cameraman

1 Studio Cameraman

1 Mediasite Tech: Manages video, audio and VGA feeds going into Mediasite system

1 A/V Tech: Manages the House signals

1 A/V Tech: Manges the Video and Audio Switches for Remote Audience

Equipment and Technology

2 Cameras: One for the main room and a second for the studio

2 Camera Tripods

1 Riser – to make the tripod sit over everyone’s head

2 Studio Microphones (These are linked to webcast – but not house sound.)

3 House Sound Microphones

1 Media Site Player (this is the webcasting gear)

1 Video Switcher

1 Interview Studio (Table, Chairs Backdrop, Professional Lighting)

1 Twitter Hashtag

1 Event Twitter Account

1 Webcast Player (Mediasite provides this – but can be configured)

1 Intefy System (Virtual Front Door that shows video, schedule plus twitter streams

1 Hosting Server for Storing and Hosting Streaming Video

3 Laptops for Virtual Emcee, Twitter Moderator and Fact Based Tweeter (if not the same person)

Various and sundry cables to connect and power everything


Create A Virtual Agenda

Take your event agenda and mix in a virtual introduction, virtual shows and planned interviews. With your rolling pin, neatly roll out the virtual conference agenda until it integrates nicely with your regular event agenda. Be sure that most of the breaks and meals are filled with lively content for the virtual audience.

Next, chop the agenda up into a run schedule and add in different points for group time. Take those chopped up elements and sprinkle in various people (virtual emcee, twitter moderator) and places (Studio, main room and man on the street).

Put the programming in the refrigerator to gel for a few days.

Design the Virtual Experience

Next, sketch out the virtual experience. Sketch out the sights, sounds and mouse clicks that people will experience while moving from your Virtual Front Door into your Event’s Virtual Living Room. There may be several steps and screens – understand them all. Be sure to look at experience, performance, usability and intuitive interface when choosing vendors.

Plan & Equip Your Physical Spaces

Now, you need to assemble the elements that will go into your studio, main room, etc – the tech, decor and people. Be sure that you compare these pieces to your agenda to make sure that you have not forgot anything — you want the flavors to gel together when you deep fry it. If they don’t match you could be in trouble. Then, go find your vendors to execute.

Assemble and Deep Fry

Wrap your virtual emcee, virtual experience pieces and physical on-site elements together in your programming. Insert a stick to make sure that your solution is fully portable (that you can embed it on other websites).

Now, Deep Fry that Bad boy for 60 seconds. Let it sit for 20 seconds (the webcast delay), then serve with a big smile and a group of social sharing buttons.

This recipe serves 550.

If you are making a double batch, consider adding two different twitter moderators. The first is a twitter moderator that responds to comments. The second is a twitter moderator that only tweets out speaker highlights from the main event into retweetable soundbytes.

Bottom Line

There were many people, processes and technologies that went into creating and implementing the Event Camp Twin Cities virtual experience. It was the combination of all of these elements – along with compelling content – that got people to engage in the event.

If your hybrid or virtual event or technology or process had a cool food name, what would it be? and why?

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is the Managing Director of Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC. He wakes up every morning to save the world from stuffing attendees in chairs for hours on end at events. Oh, and he has small children who usually want some breakfast.