ūüöÄ The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

ūüöÄ The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

A virtual event checklist being discussed by a group of people in a meeting room.

Hybrid Meetings: What They Are and How to Make Them Work

A hybrid meeting combines in-person and virtual participation, allowing attendees to join from anywhere. It offers flexibility, ensuring inclusivity for those unable to attend physically, and is becoming a popular choice in the modern workplace.

Meetings come in all shapes and sizes today. 

From quick daily standups to week-long conferences, meetings make a big impact on getting work done. 

But not all meetings are created equal. With remote and hybrid work on the rise, organizations today adapt how they conduct meetings to be more flexible and inclusive. 

Hybrid meetings bridge the gap between traditional in-person and remote attendees.

The Evolution of Hybrid Meetings

Before looking at what hybrid meetings are today, let’s discuss their origins. 

The Early Days of Remote Meetings

For decades, organizations looked for ways to connect in-person and remote audiences during meetings and events.

In the early days, hybrid meetings involved manually editing video feeds of on-site presentations and sharing recordings online afterward. 

Later came rudimentary webcasting technology. 

A single live video streamed to remote viewers.

While innovations like video editing and webcasting laid a foundation, they needed more true interaction between remote participants and those on-site. 

The technology left much to be desired regarding video and audio quality. 

A Leap in Technology

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Over time, virtual meeting platforms advanced by leaps and bounds to enable real-time, bidirectional conferencing at an enterprise scale. 

High-definition cameras and microphones bridged the gap between physical and virtual rooms.

This evolution culminated in the hybrid meeting formats we see today – fully integrating in-person and remote attendees under one seamless umbrella.

Today’s Hybrid Meeting

So what exactly are hybrid meetings, and how do they unite distributed teams today?

Simply put, a hybrid meeting allows both in-person and remote attendees to participate equally. 

Hybrid meetings integrate virtual and physical rooms to bring distributed teams together. 

Participants join face-to-face in a meeting room or dial in remotely.

Our virtual meeting experts here at We & Goliath have seen it first-hand: hybrid meetings are one of the most efficient and effective ways of bringing people together and facilitating flexibility and inclusiveness today.

What are the Key Benefits of Hybrid Meetings?

Hybrid meetings offer a variety of advantages over purely in-person or remote meetings:

Increase Flexibility

A woman is happily participating in a hybrid meeting.

With hybrid meetings, participants choose whether to join in-person or remotely based on their location and daily preferences. 

There’s no need to battle traffic for an on-site meeting or feel left out joining remotely. 

Hybrid alleviates scheduling and coordination headaches while giving attendees options.

Embrace Inclusivity

Hybrid meetings help distributed teams stay connected regardless of location. 

They prevent remote workers from feeling isolated. Everyone has an equal opportunity to participate.

Not only can remote participants attend hybrid meetings, but they can also actively engage via tools like polls, Q&A, reactions, and chats. 

This inclusive communal experience brings virtual attendees and those in the room into the moment.

Blending in-person and remote experiences builds an inclusive environment.

Save on Cost

With hybrid meetings, participants choose whether to join in-person or remotely based on their location and daily preferences. 

There’s no need to battle traffic for an on-site meeting or feel left out joining remotely. Hybrid alleviates scheduling and coordination headaches while giving attendees options.

As our experts like to say: Hybrid meetings allow organizations to optimize their budgets perfectly. Stretch dollars far compared to purely virtual or in-person events.

Produce So Much More

In-person collaboration boosts productivity, innovation, and job satisfaction. 

Hybrid meetings give attendees these benefits, while remote participants avoid commuting. 

Fuel a massive increase in worker productivity.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Hybrid meetings minimize unnecessary travel and commutes. 

Remote attendees shrink organizations’ carbon footprints. 

Green benefits will only grow as virtual meeting technology improves.

Key Components of Effective Hybrid Meetings

Creating a seamless hybrid meeting experience takes thought and preparation. 

Many elements work together to engage both local and remote participants. 

Here are some key components:

Reliable, High-quality AV Technology

AV technology enables hybrid meetings, from microphones and speakers to webcams and projectors. 

Prioritize enterprise-grade equipment with noise cancellation, HD video, and intuitive controls. 

Invest in devices to make audio, video, and content sharing flawless.

Robust Internet Connectivity

A screen shot of a fast internet page displaying information about hybrid meetings.

With fast, reliable internet, virtual attendees connect easily. Upgrade bandwidth and work with IT for hybrid meetings. 

Guarantee ample speed and WiFi coverage in meeting rooms. 

Test connections thoroughly beforehand. Have wired backup options ready.

Thoughtful Room Layout

In-person attendees naturally draw focus in hybrid meetings. Carefully arrange seating and cameras to keep remote participants from feeling sidelined. 

Make sure mics pick up audio from around the room, not just near speakers.

Engaging Event Platforms

Specialized hybrid meeting platforms seamlessly unite virtual and in-person rooms. 

To keep everyone engaged, look for interactive features like polls, Q&A, digital whiteboards, and breakout sessions. 

Enable private and public chat channels.

Inclusive Facilitators

In hybrid meetings, remote attendees easily feel disconnected. 

Facilitators should invite remote participants to speak, share visuals, ask questions, and give feedback. 

Periodically check in on virtual attendees.

Follow Best Practices

Set meeting rules like keeping cameras on, introducing yourself before speaking, and providing remote access to materials. 

Train on best practices for hybrid facilitation, presentation skills, and technical protocols. Consistency creates a vibrant collaborative culture.

Pre-Meeting Tech Checks

Nothing derails hybrid meetings faster than audio feedback, dropped calls, and pixelated video. 

Mandate that presenters join 10-15 minutes early to test their connections. 

Confirm speakers and microphones work properly on both ends.

Easy starting packages ‚ÄĘ Advanced options ‚ÄĘ Proven results

9 Tips for Running Successful Hybrid Meetings

Adopting the right technology, protocols, and mindset takes hybrid meetings to the next level. Here are 9 professional tips from We & Goliath:

  1. Treat remote attendees as equal participants: Facilitators should engage virtual participants like in-person attendees. Encourage a welcoming, inclusive environment.
  2. Limit prolonged in-person conversations:¬†It’s easy for remote participants to feel left out when rooms chat before or after the meeting. Keep side talk to a minimum.
  3.  Share materials in advance: Give remote participants access to documents and visuals beforehand so everyone can follow along. Briefly recap important points.
  4. Spotlight speakers: When someone speaks, quickly zoom the camera in. Virtual attendees will experience real-time facial expressions and body language, enhancing their online experience.
  5. Manage side conversations: Gently remind in-person attendees to speak one at a time and repeat questions so remote participants can follow along.
  6. Preview A/V setups: Run a trial to confirm projector feeds, video, and audio cleanly transmit to remote participants using the meeting tech.
  7. Test connectivity: At the meeting start time, have remote participants confirm they can see, hear, and be heard clearly. Check again after breaks.
  8. Record meetings: Recording hybrid meetings allows remote participants to rewatch and catch anything they may have missed.
  9. Gather feedback: Ask both in-person and virtual participants after meetings what worked well and what needs improvement. Make improvements based on their input.

The Future of Hybrid Meetings

Running hybrid meetings takes preparation, practice, and patience as teams adapt to new tools and norms. 

But the collective benefits are definitely worth the effort. 

Hybrid meetings represent the future of inclusive, flexible, engaging meetings in the new, exciting hybrid work era.

What do you need to keep in mind when running your next hybrid meeting?

  • Invest in reliable AV equipment and robust internet
  • Optimize room layouts and seating arrangements
  • Standardize protocols¬†
  • Train your team on best practices
  • Prioritize engaging virtual attendees
  • Minimize side conversations and distractions
  • Record meetings
  • Always solicit feedback from attendees
  • Improve future meetings based on participant suggestions
  • How are Hybrid Meetings Reshaping the Future of Work?

    Hybrid meetings are a catalyst for workforce transformation. 

    They enable organizations to reimagine not just meetings but how to structure teams, offices, and business travel most productively. 

    Hybrid meetings underpin the entire hybrid work model. 

    The disruptive impact of hybrid meetings will only accelerate. 

    Progressive organizations recognize meetings as a strategic lever to compete for talent, reduce costs, strengthen culture, and speed growth in the new hybrid era of work.

    Elevate Your Hybrid Event with We & Goliath

    Struggling to bridge the gap between in-person and remote attendees? Make hybrid meetings inclusive and impactful with We & Goliath. 

    For over 20 years, our experts have pioneered virtual and hybrid events that shatter attendance records and deliver ROI. 

    But we know it takes more than technology alone. Lean into our battle-tested playbook for flawless hybrid meeting facilitation, production, and engagement. 

    Let We & Goliath help you foster the flexibility and collaboration your team craves. Schedule a strategy session now and unlock our proven tactics to take your hybrid meetings to the next level. 

    Together with We & Goliath, unite your distributed workforce and create shared moments that resonate. The time for hybrid meetings done right is now.

    We & Goliath

    We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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