Despite a pandemic escalating the need for hybrid meeting options, hybrid and virtual meetings are here to stay. The upside to these tools to conduct effective meetings are endless. Knowing hybrid meetings are continually becoming more used and interactive means that we have more choices.
How do we choose the best option for conducting hybrid meetings? If the main goal is to make it user-friendly and meaningful for the users, understanding the attendee’s value is a significant first step to narrowing down the search!
The goal is pretty simple. You want to create a meeting or event that is as close to live and in-person as possible yet effectively conducted so attendees can watch from the comfort of their own home or workspace.
Here are 11 tips for coordinating a successful and interactive hybrid event:
- Whenever possible, have the in-studio event showcase a small live audience. People exude energy, and just like watching a game show on television, we respond to and pay attention to the people watching around us. When broadcasting, provide expansive views of the audience and studio to showcase it.
- Whether a studio audience is part of your meeting or not, using live or prerecording videos, downloads and visual information can be used to elevate anticipation and excitement. Those efforts will highlight and enhance the meeting’s importance.
- During the broadcast, incorporate close-ups of the central leadership or presenters as much as possible. Let them feel the eye contact and see the smile to promote a personal feel. In the video broadcast, incorporate close-ups of presenters while giving their speeches so attendees can feel a heightened connection to the meeting.
- Use polls to display information from both the live webcast audience and those watching remotely. Polling allows you to get instant results, and then provides the opportunity to discuss the feedback live. There are unique polling features designed explicitly for remote audiences, which allows them to get a peek at how other virtual attendees are responding.
- Data Collection allows for responsive reflection! Make sure you find and track how much of the prerecorded content you have prepared is being utilized and watched so you can analyze what attendees accessed and which materials.
- You always want anyone to feel they can catch up and keep up with what is happening. Small details, such as presenting information to show the name of the current or upcoming presenter and presenter biographies, can help late attendees catch up mid-event and add context for live viewers.
- Hybrid events are easy ways to create a buzz on social media. Encourage attendees to like or share the meeting as a means to build engagement. Social media is useful to promote the event, create a positive mindset, and get people to continue discussing and collaborating over the content.
- When possible, incorporate Q&As or chat/comment opportunities for your attendees. This live-time engagement is a powerful way to help everyone feel connected. Presenters can see questions coming in and then they can respond to address them in the moment.
- Get creative with your visuals. Powerpoint and other interactive websites offer animations, themes, fonts, colours and styles to embed into your meeting. These can include the business branding and company personality. Creative visuals also entertain, sustain attention and address a variety of learning styles.
- Provide replay options! Hybrid meetings allow for recording to happen for those who were unable to attend, were away or couldn’t watch it on a computer at the assigned time. Providing access to these meetings allows for an extension of the event, the ability to respond and rewind for future meaning and is an important message of inclusion for your culture. Everyone can participate is a positive message for any business to be conveying.
- Always always always get formative feedback from your meeting when it is over. Especially if you or your attendees are “hybrid meeting newbies,” you will want to know what worked and didn’t work for your attendees. Use the feedback done through an email, survey or poll to assess ways to continually make your hybrid meetings more productive, meaningful and effective for everyone involved.