The hybrid presenting model: part two
January 11, 2021
By Gena T. Buhler, Head of New Business Development, North America
Part one of this series discussed at a high level why
presenters need to look towards building long-term hybrid presenting models and
strategy. You should not be afraid of offering streaming content—it will help
you reach new audiences, continue relationships with loyal supporters, and
increase revenues that will make your organization more sustainable. But just
as not every show is right for every audience, there’s also no “one size fits
all” model for all presenters, so we offer a few considerations to help you
develop your own, tailored hybrid model.
- Quality Production
Elements: Quality is key—a lesson that all programmers know well. Engaging
virtually allows us to see and hear elements in a less forgiving way. You’ll
need to evaluate what your production team needs to ensure content is produced
at a quality that supports your brand and audience expectations. And, if streamed
content is being produced in tandem with a live event, you’ll need to assess how
new production elements, like cameras, avoid having a negative impact on the
in-person experience. Do you have a local director that can direct a live
multi-camera broadcast, or should you outsource this? Consider how many cameras
you will need for your size venue, too.
- Resources: Are
you limited with your ability to produce, so need to rely on outsourcing
content that allows you to share in the revenue but doesn’t require you to
produce locally? One option is to collaborate with a local film and media college
program to supply the necessary broadcast equipment and labor. Consult with your
marketing team find out how easily they can support a dual marketing plan for
in-person and virtual sales, or whether you will need to split focus between
which shows are produced for in-person sales and which shows are presented
- Technology: Can
you invest in technology upgrades, such as fixed point PTZ cameras, which will
allow for an elegant application of the technology, requiring little to no
extra labor costs once installed? If so, consider if they will be controlled
and directed by an internal or external source—and make sure you have adequate
bandwidth to support a live event broadcast. Now’s also a great time to check
if your ticketing system can integrate with an online platform, and whether that
platform allows for integration of other revenue streams, too.
- Experience: Consider
what experience you want for your audience. Will they want to stream the same
live show that can also be experienced in-venue, or would they prefer to engage
virtually with unique content—such as a concert version of a musical or opera,
or a dress rehearsal with artist-audience interaction? You’ll need to work with
artists to design an experience that will engage and connect with the virtual
audience, while also appealing to both performers and viewers.
- Brand: You may
now reach audiences on a national and international scale. We recommend finding
ways to educate your audience and support your brand as a part of the experience—perhaps
using pre-recorded video content that “sets the stage” for their experience
across the world.
A hybrid presenting model allows you to break through the
typical barriers to entry and reach new audiences. Who might these new audience
- Under-served Populations:Barriers exist that can be both logistical and financial for a community that
wants to engage in your programming but has never been allowed the opportunity
in the past. Others may just simply not feel comfortable in the venue setting. From
work schedules, to drive times and traffic, babysitters, and homework, streaming
your show breaks those “excuse” barriers, while the average price to engage
through streaming is much more affordable for many with financial barriers,
- Senior & Disabled
Community: This is a community that was most likely very engaged in your
programming earlier in their lives. Now, they’re no longer able to attend in
person but would benefit greatly from the experience. The positive impacts of
music therapy and cultural activity engagement in the senior care setting have
been proven to be great, and it is also beneficial to those who are disabled or
have mobility challenges living on their own but who have a barrier to
attending in person. Streaming content
to senior living facilities also allows you to continue to connect with
audience members who may support you in planned giving. Contact local care homes
to ask if they’d allow you to stream your programming directly to their
residents—or consider collaborating with a streaming partner that has already
incorporated this into their services nationally.
- Youth: Budget
cuts and differing school district priorities have impacted the traditional
“bus-in” educational programs. Can you inspire and connect with the next
generation of artists and audiences in a better and more consistent way by
offering online and streaming programs to schools, after-school programs, programs
for students with learning disabilities, and other community programs? Streaming
allows the content to reach them and can also be interactive in a way that the
in-venue programs struggled to do based on logistical and timing constraints. Streaming
can also bring programming into a more accessible classroom setting.
- Global reach: Organizations
can struggle to adequately sell mission-based programming in a sustainable way.
Can you reach a more targeted audience outside of your local region and, in
turn, support your mission-based programming and artists?
In selecting your streaming platform partner, consider which
elements need to be seamlessly integrated to support your revenue goals across
- Fundraising: Making
an emotional connection with your streaming audience can lead to easy
grassroots-level support through one or two easy clicks. Consider a platform
with an integrated “donate now” panel or button that allows the viewer to make
an easy and quick donation before, during, or after a streamed event.
- Sponsorship:Inevitably, people will be waiting for your livestream to start. Instead of
having a blank or static welcome screen, use this as an opportunity to sell
sponsorship ads and activations.
- Merchandise: Consider
this when making deals with artists and agencies to support additional revenue
for both your organization and the tour. Be sure to review who will be
responsible for inventory, shipping, and customer service if you are selling
merchandise on behalf of an artist/show.
- Ease of Access: Be
sure that your platform of choice can integrate with your ticketing system,
CRM, and website so that long term you are maintaining one central database,
owning your data, and can track your audience across all experiences.
- Resources: If
you have limited resources, find a streaming partner that can support you—from
local camera crews, off site director services, to ticket sales. Remember that
you are providing content for their platform, so don’t be afraid to ask for
their help when it makes sense for you.