The Future of In-Person Meetings: Going Hybrid
May 24, 2021
In 2020, in-person meetings became non-existent. Many had to change their way of thinking and turn their upcoming meetings virtual. During this time, we have found there were many benefits to having the virtual element in place during our meetings. Now in 2021, in-person meetings are slowly but surely returning, and we couldn’t be more excited! This doesn’t mean that the virtual experience should be forgotten and left in the past. We need to take what we have learned, all of the benefits of the virtual element and apply them to in-person meetings to make them better than ever. This is called a hybrid meeting.
What are Hybrid Meetings?
A Hybrid Meeting is when some of the attendees attend live, in-person while other attendees join remotely from anywhere, could be their office or in the comfort of their home. This is accomplished by an AV team and audio/video conferencing technology.
Why your Future In-Person Meetings Should be Hybrid
During our time without being able to plan or attend in-person meetings, we have found that there are many benefits to have the virtual element to any meeting. A few examples are:
Greater Reach – People from all around the world now have the opportunity to access your event, which means your attendee count and brand awareness will increase.
Data Analysis – Virtual platforms provide specific meeting information such as demographics, attendance, what they watched, for how long, engagement, and more.
On-Demand Content – By recording the content that is presented live on a virtual platform, that content can be made into an on-demand, for purchase event.
Flexibility - Virtual meetings provide flexibility for attendees to join when and where they please, especially if the content is recorded for on-demand viewing.
Now that in-person meetings are slowly coming back, and many are excited, this doesn’t mean leaving these benefits of the virtual piece in the past. We should apply what we have learned and apply all of the advantages of the virtual meeting to the in-person meeting experience which will create the best outcome possible for attendees and the ones producing the meeting. How exactly do we accomplish this? We have provided a set of tips and tools for you below.
How to Plan a Successful Hybrid Meeting
1. Provide a Clear Agenda - Stating a clear agenda at the beginning of any meeting lets your attendees know what is going to happen and when it’s going to happen.
2. Event Marketing – In the age of social media, it is important to strategize your event marketing. We have created another blog post about what types of marketing strategies you should consider when planning your hybrid meeting. You can check that out here: 7 Marketing Strategies for Your Upcoming Virtual Meeting
3. Rehearsals - One of the best ways to prepare for your meeting is to schedule rehearsals with your team, speakers, and anyone else involved. There are plenty of benefits that come with rehearsing including double-checking the presentation, testing technology, finding the flow of the show, seeing how the presenter looks to attends whether in-person or virtual, and many more.
4. Technology Guidance – Prep your attendees on how to use the virtual platform. This may include the chat feature, how to mute, how to turn the video on and off, and any other feature the virtual platform provides.
5. Audience Engagement – It is important to engage with the attendees in person and virtually. There are many ways to accomplish this. Check out 9 Tips to Increase Attendee Engagement during a Virtual Meeting for some ideas on how to keep your attendees engaged even through a screen.
6. Post-Event Materials - It is important to have a post-event follow-up with a survey and content that the attendees can have. Attendees like to have something tangible to take away from the event and be able to go back to look at information if needed whether they attended in-person or virtually.
Meetings have evolved. Whether they’re taking place in person, virtually, or a hybrid of the two, you need experts who can deliver. The LaClare Group are experts in planning and operating multi-day events. From finding the perfect location and negotiating contracts in your best interest to managing the online registration process and delivering a well-executed meeting, on budget.
We are offering you a free 30-minute consultation with The LaClare Group on anything related to meetings & events -virtual, hybrid, and/or in-person! You can schedule your consultation today by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone call (952.737.6980).
Check out our other blog posts about meeting planning here: https://laclaregroup.com/blog-page/