We can all agree that remote work is here to stay. According to reports released by data scientists at Ladders, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. Ladders also stated that remote opportunities are projected to increase throughout 2023 as well. In addition to fully-remote positions, many organizations are choosing a flexible work model. This flexible, or hybrid, approach supports a blend of in-office and remote workers allowing people to choose the work style that most benefits their productivity.
But even with a flexible work model, there is still a temptation to make meetings completely virtual. Although this is certainly a simple tactic, many workers are beginning to tire of the same old virtual meetings and are calling for a more innovative approach.
For many, hybrid presentations or mixed onsite virtual meetings are the perfect solution to satisfy both remote and in-person work preferences.
However, problems with hybrid meetings can and will occur if the meeting is not sufficiently planned or if technological issues arise. With these concerns in mind, we’ve created this short guide to hybrid meetings best practices and hybrid meeting technology.
It’s time to say goodbye to boring meetings, and hello to a more productive work atmosphere. Let’s dive in.
How Do Hybrid Meetings Work?
So, what makes a good hybrid meeting? Let’s take a look at some best practices surrounding inclusivity and hybrid meeting etiquette:
How Do You Make the Meeting Inclusive?
With hybrid meetings and events, the presenters are required to consider the needs of two separate audiences—in-person attendees and virtual attendees. Of course, everyone in attendance should be made to feel included and engaged. But this can be challenging when your audiences are in different locations. Here are a few tips for creating a meeting that is welcoming and appealing to all:
Before throwing a gathering on the calendar, be sure to determine the value of the information you want to present. Sometimes meetings aren’t the answer. In fact, many Americans believe they are in too many meetings. This means you need to be extremely purposeful before putting anything on your team’s calendars. This concept is especially important to hybrid events because of the amount of preparation involved with running a meeting in a hybrid setting. You shouldn’t have to do all of that prep for nothing! Before committing to creating a meeting, ask the following questions:
- Could this information be condensed into an email?
- What do everyone’s schedules look like?
- Do I have enough time to prepare?
- Who would benefit most from this meeting?
- How urgent is this information?
Choose the Right Space and Set Up.
Whichever meeting room you choose, you need to be sure that it is organized to accommodate your two audiences. Here are the three main components needed to set up the perfect hybrid conference room:
Use The Right Visuals
Ensure that your screen and other displays are tailored to the needs of in-person and remote audiences. This means two things:
- Your screen or other displays need to be large enough for the audience at home to see. Additionally, these visuals should also not be obstructed by any other features in the room. Regarding your actual presentation, you need interesting, interactive, and legible visual aids that will engage everyone in attendance. To help with this, Alleo’s templates for hybrid workshops and presentations allow you to create a well-choreographed experience perfect for any topic and audience.
- You will have to use multiple cameras. Not only should remote audiences be able to view the presenter, but they should be able to see the in-person attendees as well. This is especially critical when people who are physically present ask questions, or when they engage with a remote viewer during the meeting. For this you could use a second computer camera or even a phone camera. For example, when choosing a phone as your secondary camera you simply set up a tripod and face the phone towards the audience so virtual attendees can see everyone.
Don’t Forget About Your Audio
- Choose the right type of audio equipment and test out its efficiency beforehand. To get the best results, you will need a combination microphone and speaker. The microphone component allows you to capture all of the voices in the room, while the speaker functionality projects remote participants’ contributions. As an additional tip, Bluetooth microphone speakers are specifically recommended for presentations because they allow the presenter to move around with ease.
What Etiquette Should You Follow for a Virtual Meeting?
As is the case with all types of meetings, there is some protocol involved when creating a hybrid meeting. Although every situation is different, here are a few general hybrid rules:
- Outline an agenda and send it weeks in advance, allowing time for inquiries.
- Send a copy of your meeting slides or presentation to everyone.
- Establish a conversation policy that allows remote viewers to ask their questions and make their statements first.
- Encourage ice breakers and small talk to allow virtual and in-person attendees to bond before the meeting.
- Discourage multitasking and encourage everyone to keep their cameras on; this creates a more engaged atmosphere.
- Explicitly state the meeting’s purpose before the meeting begins, and outline goals and objectives clearly after the meeting is over.
- Factor in time for questions and discussion.
What Technology Is Needed for a Hybrid Meeting?
Aside from great audio and visuals, there are additional tools available to help you create the best hybrid meeting experience. At Alleo creating inclusive and engaging meetings is our bread and butter. Our platform is a fully customizable virtual workspace, designed for delivering highly interactive hybrid presentations and workshops.
Regarding functionality, Alleo brings together multiple forms of content in a single space including:
- Live video sources
- Audio and video files
- Screen sharing and applications
- Live data
Ultimately, we believe that the best hybrid meeting equipment empowers users to drive innovation and get things done. Contact us to learn more about what Alleo can do for you here.