It is crucial: For Tech & Data Week 2021, a setting lived up to both the motto "The New Together" and the demands of a festival. On-site, many were delighted to meet in person finally (certainly after 2G-Plus) after a year and a half. Most of the more than 900 guests joined in via video stream, from Europe to the USA and Asia. They, too, were to get the feeling of being there and not just watching. The Main Stage, with its video wall and powerful visuals, was the central point and interaction area at the same time. It was not only the stage presentation that mattered but, above all, those who were on stage. Here, personalities were presented who carried away the audience with their manner, gestures, and voice: the fabulous Amiaz Habtu, known among others from the TV show "Die Höhle der Löwen", and our colleague Niki Kalkanova, Director Employer Branding & Talent Acquisition at Bertelsmann. Both interacted with the audience, creating dynamics and emotions. They deliberately involved the remote guests. Niki was available for questions, moderated the chat and surveys, took music requests, and motivated everyone to join the virtual workshop sessions after a presentation. Hardly anyone left the event at this potentially critical transition. DJ Cooper from Berlin provided the appropriate musical ambiance time and again.
So providing an authentic conference atmosphere was essential for success. It is clear that not every hybrid event has a budget to hire top presenters - but it is also not mandatory. There is undoubtedly someone in your company who is very good at moderating and would be happy to take on a challenge of this kind.