Getting everyone in on the action – Austria Center Vienna celebrates debut of innovative 360° Hybrid Circle event concept
As part of the After the Pandemic is Before the Pandemic panel discussion, Renée Gallo-Daniel (President of the Austrian Association of Vaccine Manufacturers) and Richard Gauss (Head of the City of Vienna’s Department of Health and Social Planning) discussed past and future challenges. During the event, the new 360° Hybrid Circle event concept made its successful debut.
Hybrid event formats have been in the ascendency for a number of years now, with the coronavirus pandemic elevating the trend to the new industry standard. But one common criticism is the palpable sense of disconnection between on-site and remote participants. Premiered at a discussion event, the Hybrid Circle is poised to put an end to this kind of two-tier gathering once and for all – using multiple cameras, eight screens and a circular style set-up.
Part of the action – and not just watching from the sidelines
“We wanted to offer a format that takes us away from a front-facing keynote and towards a genuine discussion. The idea is to break down conventional hierarchies and promote the involvement of the people who are physically present in the room as well as the numerous off-site participants,” explained Austria Center Vienna Managing Director Susanne Baumann-Söllner. To help achieve this, we teamed up with concept and production studio Media Apparat, event professionals Flave and the audiovisual experts from AV-Professional to develop a new concept from the ground up. Participants are seated next to one another around a circular discussion centre. The surrounding eight screens show the centrally-seated panelists alongside members of the extended on-site circle, as well as virtual attendees who are patched in remotely. The moderator team ensures that all participants are involved, and everyone is visible to everybody else.
“The event industry is currently going through a period of change, which is why we, as pioneers, want to show innovative ways of sharing the on-site experience as authentically as possible with participants all over the world – offering the best of both worlds, so to speak. Feedback from all those involved was overwhelmingly positive. The format is scalable – for anything from 20 to several hundred on-site participants. This makes it a meaningful addition to both future large-scale conferences and exclusive discussion formats with fewer participants,” Baumann-Söllner added