The emerging possibility in various markets to create safe hybrid events — events which combine both in-person and virtual elements — has allowed us to strategize with our clients as we redefine what “hybrid” means today and potentially for tomorrow. The most recent example is one of our favorite live events, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s “Brooklyn Black Tie Ball” which took place virtually for the first time last week. We partnered with The Conservancy to create a hybrid experience on a few different levels.
Contrary to popular belief we are seeing an approach to hybrid events with no centralized audience per se, but instead with a creative combo of smaller groups and unique twists on localized elements which bring a different vibe and take the experience beyond the screen. Here’s how Sequence & The Conservancy brought this Hybrid Gala to life:
A Walk in the Park
The live Ball has always focused on raising funds for, and awareness of, the Conservancy’s role in Brooklyn Bridge Park for both the local and wider NYC community. So, including some elements live (and simulive) from within the park was a must! We sent our masked and safely distant video crew to the park to capture moments only the Park could offer: our host in a kayak, a meaningful lantern prayer for the East River, “Man on the Street” style interviews with masked park goers, and other Park personalities. Blended with celebrity-provided cameos and a performance by Brooklyn musician Hamilton Leithauser, the meat of the presentation reflected and inflected the life of the Park.
Home Sweet Watch Party
The Conservancy wanted to support some smaller, safe watch parties hosted by Board & Committee members to create a unique event viewing experience in their homes. By partnering with local caterer Cobblestone and the at-home party decor service Social Studies, these watch parties added another layer to the hybrid experience. Guests selected their menu & decor concepts ahead of time, giving them a personalized experience, and everything was delivered on event day. The viewing parties (see below for how we virtually visited these locations during the after party!) provided a physical yet decentralized “venue” for the event to bring people together safely.
Dance Party: On (& Off) Location
Bringing it all together, we wove the watch parties above into a hybrid multi-location afterparty. Additionally, to bring in something familiar from the Park, we worked with the 1Hotel in Brooklyn Bridge Park to provide the iconic skyline backdrop for the afterparty too. The DJ, who has done the event for many years before, was on location at the 1Hotel. Our video crew again captured this safely live on-location. Our clients from The Conservancy were on the roof and were able to jump on camera to create a dance party moment as well. Throughout the 30-minute afterparty we toggled between the DJ live spinning, the various watch parties, solo viewers dancing who opted in, and the clients and skyline scene from the 1Hotel roof. The outcome was a super fun, safe and integrated hybrid-virtual party!