How Virtual Events Work
Bringing EVERYONE Together
After experiencing the loss of a loved one, celebrating their life together is one of the most meaningful things you can do with your community. Yet, even as spring weather allows for outdoor events and COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely available, concerns about how guests from different households interact and travel limitations mean that traditional event planning still doesn’t allow for everyone to be included.
That’s why hybrid events—those where guests attend in-person AND virtually—are especially meaningful right now.
What is a hybrid memorial?
A hybrid memorial funeral offers guests the option to attend an event in person or online. Though in-person capacity may be limited, unlimited guests can attend an event virtually. This allows everyone the opportunity to participate without geographical boundaries and to give and receive the support they need.
Unlike a one-way livestream, interactive hybrid events allow online guests to be active participants as eulogists, musicians, or by simply chatting with in-person guests. There are endless ways to be creative and customize a hybrid celebration of life.
A hybrid service is much more than an imitation of a physical event. It combines creative, inclusive elements from an online event with a physical event experience that can be even more meaningful than a traditional event.
A hybrid funeral helps loved ones gather — no matter what
Beyond COVID-19 limitations, travel costs and timing have always been obstacles preventing communities from gathering for a funeral, wake, or memorial service.
Some friends and family may live far away, or can’t afford to travel or get there in time. Others may have a tight work schedule, pre-existing obligations or medical conditions that make long trips impossible. Hybrid funerals remove the obstacles that stand in their way and bring your community together to support each other. Enabling friends and family to show up, even from far away is meaningful to you and them, as you begin the grieving process.
You don’t have to do it alone
To coordinate a hybrid event, you need multiple people working on a team together. Anyone who has ever planned an event—big or small—knows it’s nearly impossible to be present at the event and manage it simultaneously.
In a hybrid event, organizers are responsible for managing two separate experiences.
Audiovisual elements must be thoughtfully planned and executed to ensure a seamless online and in-person event experience. For example, if the in-person event is outside, noise from wind can make it hard to hear people speaking if the technology isn’t set up correctly. Even when the event is inside, the sound systems in most venues are not set up to work for an online experience without additional support.
There are lots of other technical details to consider. How are the camera angles for the online audience? Are they going to be able to see? Leaving a camera stationary could result in the speakers moving off screen or someone standing up and suddenly blocking the shot.
GatheringUs helps bridge the online and offline experience by planning the technical aspects and program details ahead of time. Experienced planners help organize the event to integrate remote guests in ways that feel most meaningful onscreen (and vice versa) and run rehearsals together onsite and online to make sure everything works ahead of time. During the event, the team stands ready to troubleshoot technical difficulties for virtual guests and the in-person group.
Planning events and grieving feels like it has never been so complicated. However you choose to celebrate a loved one’s life, outsourcing the work allows you and your guests to be with your community and experience this meaningful event.
Celebrate a life