Audio and video problems, technical difficulties, leaving out remote participants—hybrid meetings can present a hotbed of challenges. Many of these obstacles arose from band-aid solutions in the face of a pandemic, as businesses cobbled together tech to accommodate remote work. Now, 71% of companies are actively planning for a future of hybrid work, which creates a higher demand for innovation.
So, what are the challenges of hybrid events and meetings? And how can organizations overcome these issues to create meaningful hybrid presentations and workshops? Let’s take a look at some of the common problems with hybrid meetings.
What Are Some Obstacles to Conducting Hybrid Meetings and Events?
In our new world of conducting meetings and events with combined online and in-person attendees, here are four significant problems to anticipate—with a few tips on how to overcome them.
1. Dealing with Audio Issues
Frequent audio hiccups caused by technology errors during virtual meetings are now second nature to attendees. With the rise of hybrid events and meetings, businesses face new difficulties in trying to get several microphones and speakers working in sync. Audio issues cause irritating feedback like echoes, which distract participants, take up valuable meeting time, and make it challenging to follow the conversation.
To avoid this issue, you should have one central source for outgoing sound for the in-person setting, preferably through a high-quality conference speakerphone (laptop mics just don’t cut it). If you’re hosting hybrid meetings with more of a speaker-audience setup, position one microphone near the speaker and another in the audience to pick up participant questions and responses. This setup will ensure your remote attendees can hear every valuable moment of the meeting.
2. Managing Video and Visuals
When planning a hybrid meeting, consider what remote attendees will need to see to participate fully. Of course, they will want to see the faces of in-person participants, but what about content? Will there be a presentation or printed materials? Will a whiteboard be used for brainstorming?
All of these various focal points create a twofold problem. You need in-person and remote folks to be able to see each other and all content. To solve the first issue, set up a camera or two facing the in-person group, and have a large screen display the remote folks. A camera arrangement like this will give remote participants the feeling of being in the room while also freeing in-person attendees from logging into their personal devices.
For the second issue, consider using a collaboration platform like Alleo. Alleo is a virtual visual canvas that makes it easy for hybrid teams to view the same presentation or share content during a meeting. For example, you can present a spreadsheet and embedded video while having a live video feed of remote participants on the same screen.
3. Leaving Out Remote Participants
Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index found that 43% of remote workers do not feel included in hybrid meetings. If you’ve squared away your audio and visual solutions as described above, you’re already well on your way to supporting remote participants—but more must be done. To be inclusive of your remote participants, you can:
- Start with an icebreaker to get your remote attendees in on that pre-meeting chatter. What’s the most unique food you’ve eaten? How do you stay productive? What weird fashion trend should die and never return? Allow time for everyone to respond.
- Purposefully request feedback from remote folks only at various points in the meeting to ensure in-person discussion isn’t dominating the conversation.
- Use a virtual whiteboard that allows remote attendees to express their ideas by writing or drawing.
- Provide a chat channel for remote participants to use.
- Assign a facilitator to monitor those attending remotely, watching for virtual hand raises, chats, or someone unmuting themselves to speak.
- Request feedback after the meeting via email to allow everyone a chance to have their voice heard.
4. Choosing a Quality Meeting Platform
While you can stick to run-of-the-mill video conferencing platforms, they likely won’t create a memorable experience for your hybrid meeting participants. Many also fail to integrate various meeting needs, forcing teams to flip-flop between multiple applications and waste time.
This is why Alleo is the best solution for hybrid presentations and workshops. We firmly believe that hybrid meetings are here to stay, so we’ve set a new standard with customizable, interactive, virtual presentations and webinars.
How does it work? Alleo gathers your content and live video onto a virtual browser-based canvas, equipping you with tools for both creation and collaboration. You’ll see hybrid meeting productivity sky rocket by allowing teams to actively share content, make real-time edits, live chat, screenshare, and more in one browser. No more switching back and forth between applications during your hybrid meetings. Alleo widgets such as games and polls can be used to boost meeting engagement, morale, and unify your hybrid audience!
There’s a reason why Fortune 500 companies choose Alleo to create beautifully orchestrated hybrid experiences that impress team members, prospects, and clients alike. Learn more here.