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A Hybrid Approach: Inova Honors Fundraiser

Inova Health System

LAI Live worked hand-in-hand with the Inova Health Foundation to produce a hybrid version of their annual Inova Honors Dinner, a fundraiser gala which recognizes healthcare professionals. The goal of this year’s fundraiser was to not only raise money, but to also keep the program entertaining, endearing, and under an hour in length. And, oh yeah, we had under a month to pull it together!

Designing the Graphics

Starting with graphic design, we had the benefit of utilizing the event's paper invitation for our inspiration. We pulled the fonts, colors, and characters into our full-screen and keyable graphics that would be seen throughout the programming. We utilized the ID bug in the lower corner of the screen to showcase the Inova Honors logo for the majority of the show, and switched to sponsor recognition during a pin presentation and musical performances. 

Managing the Action-Packed Program

The Inova team came equipped with a developed run of show when we met for the kick-off meeting. The show featured a large mix of talent – co-hosts, co-chairs, MLB and NFL athletes who have received world-class care at Inova, and Broadway musicians – that would all be joining live, some in-person and some virtually. Our producer developed the cue sheets for this fast-paced programming so the team could get a holistic look at how the show would unfold through timing, content and graphics, talent blocking, and more. With so many moving parts and pieces, the final cue sheet for this 55-minute program was a whopping 12 pages long!

Setting the Hybrid Stage

It was important to the Inova team to feature their co-hosts and co-chairs in a formal, in-person setting. After identifying a location within their conference center, we were able to create a layout that would allow for proper 6’ spacing of the talent, as well as room for the AV set-up.  We arranged for a seated interview position and a standing position with only the co-hosts changing their location throughout the program. A local decorator provided light-colored pipe & drape, furniture, carpeting, and florals for a simplistic, yet elegant look that tied the two locations together.

Prepping a Broadcast-Quality Production

Broadcasting live from a healthcare conference center required multiple tech checks and coordination with the IT team to work through firewalls and other security measures. The LAI Live team coordinated our in-person AV team and our virtual broadcast studio team to make sure we had the appropriate equipment for each environment, and to ensure our in-person and virtual talent could see and hear each other during the program. Our final show crew was approximately 12 people, as we had lighting, two video engineers (one in-person, one virtual), robotic cameras, two audio engineers (one in-person, one virtual), a teleprompter operator, a graphics operator, and more. With all crew members communicating on headsets, the producer, also onsite, was able to call the show while also being with the client to communicate updates and changes.

Exceeding Donations with a Stand-Out Show

With the main switch coming through our virtual control room, the producer carefully structured the program with branded backgrounds, double boxes, and split screen keyable elements that allowed the talent to be on camera for the entirety of the program. Taking into consideration the amount of talent that was joining for the live program, we crafted the multi-person panel boxes and speaker inputs to make sure everyone understood when to join and what to expect during certain portions of the program. The final live program included interviews, video vignettes, images of the healthcare heroes in action, words of thanks from families benefiting from Inova's healthcare, musical performances, and more. During the show’s large call-to-action, we even incorporated a live donation thermometer on screen to build the excitement and showcase the names of those donating during the event. Not only did this event exceed Inova's expectations for virtual fundraising, it exceeded the previous year's donations as well!