The first hybrid event to be hosted at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, saw guests join from all over the UK as well as the United States last week.
‘You Are the Media Online/Offline’ was the next-level progression for the Poole-based marketing and media training and learning community, You Are The Media, created by marketing professional Mark Masters.
Guests were socially distanced in the Theatre and first floor bar for the community’s first in-person event since March 2020, having moved online when the country went into lockdown. But members in other geographical areas – as far afield as New York and North Carolina – also attended remotely by via Zoom.
“Thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund Lighthouse has been able to invest in the technology and advanced training that makes innovative events like this possible,” says Tom Shallaker, Lighthouse Fundraising Manager.
“Hosting a hybrid event with such an energetic and progressive community as You Are the Media was the ideal first opportunity to demonstrate this new capability to a group of people who represent a wide range of business and corporate interests.”
One of the themes of the afternoon event was an examination of how people and organisations had changed as a result of Covid. Like many of those present Lighthouse moved quickly in lockdown to take its work online, embrace new ways of doing things, support artists where it could and keep staff members connected and informed.
Organiser, Mark Masters adds: “Naturally it is a risk to deliver something that hasn’t been done before in the UK, in terms of a simultaneous offline and online event. We now have something to progress and become our ongoing format. It would be wrong for people and businesses to forget how we have lived our lives and how we use live video to keep in contact, but then forget as soon as we can deliver live events again. What people can now do is effectively create in-person events, where video platforms have a role to play and become similar to a TV channel. We’ve proved it can work and venues such as Lighthouse have such an important role to play for the business community.”
Laura Killeen, MD of London-based theatre company Degenerate Fox, told how the pandemic had forced her to take her practice online. A theatre maker who was unable to be in a theatre, she explored new ways of performing to an audience.
“We found we were in touch with audiences that would otherwise have been unable to go to the theatre – from single parents to people in other areas and countries,” she explains. “Now of course we’re loving the prospect of being back in a theatre with a live audience but we don’t want to lose touch with those online audiences so it’s really interesting to see how hybrid events can work.”
‘You Are The Media Online/Offline’ will be part of the autumn schedule of business events at Lighthouse as it actively seeks to work more closely with the business community in sponsorship, partnership and with hosting events from training and product launches to seminars and multi-room conferencing.
To find out how Lighthouse can help take your business presentation to the next level, please contact Commercial Sales and Events Manager Tom Holmes on 01202 781309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.