Turning Your Hybrid Meeting Into a Success
As the world slowly returns to the way it was before the pandemic, organizations continue to innovate and adapt to the changes that came with working remotely for two years. Many organizations are already reimagining their workplace structure, with an emphasis on safety and flexibility for employees. This hybrid work model allows workers to either be in the office or work from home, which while convenient, is a stress test on effective communication for organizations.
Whether we like it or not, hybrid organizations are here to stay. A report from Microsoft found that 73% of surveyed employees desire flexible remote work options. With more people working flexibly, the need for hybrid meetings and events is on the rise.
What’s a Hybrid Meeting?
A hybrid meeting is a meeting that combines in-person attendees and virtual attendees. This requires the organization to host virtual meetings combined with an in-office audience so everyone can participate in the meeting. The growing expectation is that employees will be attending more meetings that are hosted both in person and virtually, so organizations need to be prepared for the challenges that come with this shift.
Ineffective Hybrid Events and Ways to Avoid Them
An ineffective meeting will undercut your influence and bring projects to a halt as people hit a communication wall. A meeting that doesn’t meet the needs of the attendees opens the door to distractions, boredom or frustration. But you can avoid all of that with the right preparation, setup and execution of your next hybrid meeting.
A Balanced and Prepared Hybrid Meeting
Have you ever participated in an online meeting with an in-person speaker and over 100 remote participants? It can be a madhouse, with constant feedback, murmurs and computer microphones popping off. The bigger the crowd, the more you’ll have the speaker asking people to mute their computers or worse.
Smaller meetings are easier to manage and help everyone stay focused. Hybrid meetings are already difficult to balance without adding the struggle of listeners trying to hear everyone speak at once or jump into the discussion themselves. Keep your meeting small and record it so attendees and non-attendees can view and share it at their leisure.
You also want to prepare beforehand. Write down the major talking points and keep your conversation on track to keep the audience engaged. After all, if someone leaves your meeting feeling like it was a waste of time or could have been an email, you’ve lost.
The Early Bird Controls the Meeting Room
Nobody wants to wait around for a meeting to start late, especially a virtual audience. So be the first in the room. Open your virtual meeting platform early, and give people a chance to trickle in, just as your in-person attendees do. Make sure your agenda is ready to go. And then start on time.
Keep the meeting short, sweet and to the point if it can be helped. People have short attention spans and your meeting attendees are here to give you their time for roughly 30 minutes to an hour. But the shorter the better. Short meetings challenge the audience to listen closely and reinforce your message. A concise agenda will ensure the meeting stays on track and doesn’t meander, which could eat up precious time that your attendees could be using for other projects.
Control Hybrid Meetings With Technology
Once you have the floor, lay down the ground rules for how the meeting will go and when questions can be asked. Let your remote attendees know they can use the online chat platform for questions that can be queued for the question-and-answer segment.
Use technology to engage with your audience in ways that a simple slideshow can’t. Project the meeting so in-person attendees remember the presence and participation of online members. If you can’t project, have everyone bring their computer and join the remote meeting so everyone can see and engage with each other, as long as people in person mute themselves accordingly.
Hybrid Event Speaking Tips
Your meeting will flow smoothly as long as you control the conversation. You’re running the event, so guide the conversation between yourself and those that wish to speak. If people speak up too often, be sure to let them know that you’ll come back around to their thoughts as soon as you or the current speaker are finished sharing.
Don’t forget about your audience. If they aren’t interjecting, they may just be sitting there. Check in with them every few minutes by asking members to contribute or if they have questions. It’s easy for people to slip through the cracks in online meetings and get away with minimal interaction, just like people are often hesitant to speak at in-person events because speaking in front of a crowd is tough. By keeping the audience engaged and feeling welcome to share their insights and questions, you’ll keep the meeting running smoothly and keep the audience enraptured.
Finally, end on a strong note with final thoughts and invitations for the audience to join in with questions or their own thoughts on the subject. Recap the discussion to reinforce what the meeting accomplished and so everyone leaves feeling like the meeting was a success.
Simplified Hybrid Meeting Solutions
There are so many elements to hosting a successful hybrid meeting that managing the platform or presentation can get lost in the setup. A professional who understands the importance of hybrid meetings and knows how to use the tools at their disposal to enhance the experience can make each meeting feel memorable.
When was the last time you were excited to attend a video conference? Have you ever been one of the virtual attendees at a meeting that fell short of expectations? Event organizers are only human, so it’s inevitable that you’ve encountered a virtual event that wasn’t perfect. The best professionals can keep everything contained in the meeting and running smoothly. They can manage everything from the virtual environment to the presentation to the video conferencing platform.
Rest assured, if there is anything that you’re uncertain about, there is a professional out there willing to assist. At Spot Content Studio, we’re video marketing professionals that have hosted our fair share of hybrid events. We’ve seen what it takes to run a successful meeting and if you need assistance making your next meeting a hit, contact us today.
And don’t forget, if you need help with those Monster Projects on your calendar, we are always eager to lend a hand.