The last few years changed the way how many companies do business. Some have completely switched to remote work while others have implemented strategies that would limit the number of people at the office at any given time. During this difficult period, modern technology played a big part in keeping everyone and everything together.
However, as the circumstances are improving, businesses are slowly getting back to how things used to be. That being said, many companies have realized that going back to their old practices isn’t necessarily the best course of action. Instead, they are opting for a hybrid approach that combines working from home and coming into the office. They are looking for a way to both improve their performance and cut overhead costs.
One big aspect of running a company is definitely the meetings that are regularly held in order to ensure all business goals are met, new objectives are set, and everything is running smoothly. But, how do these work in a business that operates on a hybrid model? Well, the meetings are also hybrid. Here is what you need to know.
What are hybrid meetings?
For starters, let’s define hybrid meetings. They are used to connect in-person attendees with people in virtual environments. A hybrid meeting takes place at a physical location but also entails a virtual component that allows remote participants to attend as well. This is a great way to share knowledge and ask questions, regardless of whether they include employees, partners, or clients.
What are the advantages of hybrid meetings?
There are several benefits to opting for hybrid meetings. For one, they allow more people to be present for important meetings. Moreover, attendees can even be in a different city or country and the event can still go on without a glitch. Additionally, these kinds of gatherings come with better audience engagement, as virtual attendees can talk to presenters and other guests just like they would if they were at the meeting venue.
How to make hybrid meetings in the modern workplace successful
If you’ve realized that hybrid meetings can be useful for your company too, you might be looking for ways to make them successful in the modern work environment. Fortunately, there are several strategies to employ. Take a look.
Set some objectives for the meeting
The first thing you want to do is jot down the priorities for the meeting. List urgent things that cannot go overlooked and who to talk to about which matter. Furthermore, write down some essentials that you will need for the event to go smoothly and see how you can get them. Setting goals and objectives for the meeting is also crucial as you will have some time beforehand to get everything ready and familiarize yourself and the attendees with the program so that everyone is properly prepared.
Decide on the event format
Next, you want to decide on the format of the event. Is it a meeting for the employees? Are you considering a new business venture and meeting a potential partner? Will this be a product launch? This will influence how the meeting will be organized. Some people will have to be present at the venue, while others will be fine spectating virtually. It’s all about understanding your needs.
Test your technology before the event
What is more, you also need to see which technologies will be necessary for the conference. Experienced professionals in the field will know exactly which video conferencing solutions you need and work with you to ensure everything goes right. So, don’t hesitate to turn to experts that will test your camera, audio, computers, and everything else required for the event.
Choose who to invite
An important part of organizing hybrid meetings is deciding who you will invite. This will once again depend on what the goal of the event is. For a company meeting, it should be easy to see who will be there in person – the people that normally work in the office – and who will join in over the internet. If you’re working with people that live in other countries, it’s only normal that they might not be able to travel to the meeting. Make sure everyone is informed on how the meeting will go, when to turn on their cameras, when to turn off their microphones, and so on.
See how you can accommodate remote attendees
You also need to be aware that these meetings will be more challenging for the remote participants, as they might not pick up on body language, know when it’s their turn to speak, or be comfortable presenting their ideas. That means that you should look for ways to accommodate them. Ask them beforehand if there is something you can do to make the whole experience smoother. Just like you will equip your offices and provide your in-person attendees with comfortable chairs and quality desks, you should also see if you need to provide your remote attendees with anything like a camera or microphone. Perhaps just giving them the software you will be using for free will be enough. In addition, think about time zones and whether the time will suit everyone involved.
Have a facilitator in place
Assigning a facilitator for the meeting can be vital for making it a success. They can ensure there are no interruptions and help everyone know when it’s their turn to speak. Facilitators can make remote participants feel more comfortable and also collect feedback from everyone once the meeting is over.
Take notes during the meeting
Another thing you don’t want to forget during the meetings is to take notes. This way, you can make sure you’ve covered everything on your to-discuss list. Moreover, you will be able to share these with the people that weren’t able to attend the meeting.
Steer clear of side conversations
Finally, you should also instill a policy of avoiding cross-talk. People having side conversations in-person can confuse the individuals attending remotely and make them feel excluded and even offended. Your facilitator should keep an eye out for this and work on engaging everyone equally.
As you can see, hybrid meetings have many benefits in today’s business world. Use the strategies listed above to make the most of them.