To Hybrid or Not To Hybrid?
A Case Study On WAEF's Hybrid Fundraising Events

GFS Events provided event management and logistical support to Washington Apple Education Foundation for two hybrid luncheons that took place on Monday July 26 at the Wenatchee Convention Center and Monday August 2nd at the Yakima Convention Center. These were two very complicated hybrid events that offered two live streams, an in-person component with workshops as well as some other fun elements to engage our audience. We also designed and created all the graphics for these two events.


Two Hybrid Events in Two Different Cities

Wenatchee Workshops and Luncheon

The Wenatchee Event and Luncheon took place at the Wenatchee Convention Center. We used Sound Advice to provide our in-person audio-visual as well as our two live streams, one in English and one in Spanish. We held workshops in the morning for current scholarship recipients. At each workshop, leaders in the fruit and produce industry spoke about the challenges facing students.

We provided headshots for all students so they could update their portfolios and Linked In profiles. We coordinated the 300 person luncheon, included set-up and tear down for the tables, and communicated all needs with the convention center staff.  For each of the livestreams, we had GFS team members moderating and answering questions in the livestream chat. In addition, we provided a Spanish translator in the room, and parents of students had headsets so they could listen to the translation in real time.  It was a moving and very engaging experience for both those at home and in the room.


Yakima Workshops and Luncheon

The Yakima Event and Luncheon took place at the Yakima Convention Center. We used Roy’s Audio Visual to provide our in-person audio-visual as well as our two live streams, one in English and one in Spanish. We had all the same components for the Yakima event as we did for the Wenatchee one: morning workshops, headshots for students, 400 person in-person luncheon, set-up and tear-down, and in-room Spanish translator. However, for this event, we had a few hiccups with the livestream component and the in-room AV component. Due to new wiring at the Yakima Convention Center, the AV team faced many technical challenges on how to provide the best experience for those in the room and joining us online.  One of the videos didn’t play in the correct order and the livestream component needed to be tweaked in order to keep the quality consistent throughout the program. The GFS Events team kept a cool head and the program went off without any detectable hitches. For those watching at home, they never knew there was an initial issue with the live stream.






So, the ultimate question still remains, to hybrid or not to hybrid? The reality is that a hybrid event with a livestream offers a larger audience and further reach for a nonprofit. The key is if the costs, time, and logistical support required for a hybrid event will bring back the return on the investment required to make a livestream affordable. In this case, the answer was yes. The client needed the ability to reach those students and parents who could not easily attend either event in-person. We needed the ability to stream in a completely different language and to make it as accessible as possible for the entire community. Making the event hybrid was the only way to accomplish all of our goals. 

To find out if a hybrid event is right for your organization’s next event, set up a 30-minute consultation today!