Video conferencing is here to stay, and as the global workforce continues to adapt to all of the benefits of online connectivity, businesses need to be able to carry over the numerous benefits of an in-person meeting.
We’ll discuss hybrid meetings, how they best combine collaboration and technology, and the tools that help bridge the gap between in-person and remote worlds.
WHAT IS A HYBRID MEETING?
A hybrid meeting is a meeting with in-person and remote attendees. Hybrid meetings blend video conferencing of remote participants with a physical meeting where two or more people are gathered in the same location.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IN-PERSON AND HYBRID MEETINGS?
A hybrid meeting adds remote online attendees to an in-person meeting.
WHAT IS A HYBRID MEETING ON ZOOM?
A Zoom meeting where all participants are joined online is an example of a remote meeting, where a hybrid Zoom meeting would also include two or more people in one location while others are joined online.
WHAT ARE REMOTE VS. HYBRID TEAMS?
A remote team gathers to work together in a complete online environment, using remote tools to replace similar in-person assists. A hybrid team may involve these same elements, but additionally, some people gathered together in person are joined to the same meeting.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HYBRID MEETING AND A ZOOM MEETING?
A Zoom meeting is hosted in the cloud, and all attendees join individually. A hybrid meeting includes some attendees who share the same physical space in person while others are joined remotely.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SITUATIONS FOR HYBRID MEETINGS?
There are several scenarios where a hybrid meeting is useful:
- Hybrid meetings can take the form of an in-person conference with live speakers and attendees, expanding the audience to online participants.
- They can ensure that remote workers can join a meeting at their company’s home office while the local workforce attends in person.
- They can also facilitate workgroups where, for instance, team leaders work together in person and collaborate with remote members, with tools assisting communication.
HYBRID MEETINGS: BEST PRACTICES
The following are best practices your company should consider to ensure your hybrid meetings run as smoothly as possible.
FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH YOUR EQUIPMENT
Don’t assume you just have to plug your devices in. Learn about the features you can take advantage of to enhance people’s experience.
TEST YOUR SETUP
Always take a moment to check your equipment by testing the settings on your cameras and audio. Even if you’ve hosted dozens of hybrid meetings, it’s easy to forget the small details at the last minute.
USE THE BEST EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Hybrid meetings can take a little extra setting up, and as people arrive, they will likely meet and greet, seek out the best seating arrangement, etc. If you wait until the last minute to join, it can be a disruption to others.
PRACTICE PROPER REMOTE MEETING ETIQUETTE
It may seem obvious, but the same thoughtful rules apply to hybrid and remote meetings. Actions like muting yourself when you aren’t speaking and other forms of video conferencing etiquette go a long way to show respect to others.
Making sure everything’s connected and operating as expected can save you a lot of wasted time
SET YOUR VIDEO EXPECTATION BEFORE THE MEETING BEGINS
For most video conferences, everyone is expected to have their cameras on. But, it is helpful to specify your preferences when sending a meeting announcement. A simple message like “please join video-on” or “video not required” gives all participants extra clarity.
WHAT ARE THE PROS OF HYBRID MEETINGS?
In the early days of video conferencing, there were more negatives to overcome. Spotty internet connections were more prevalent, and video quality was limited because internet speeds were slower. As new tools are created to facilitate vibrant, interactive hybrid meetings, companies can better see how hybrid meetings tear down barriers to collaboration.
There are many benefits to a hybrid meeting that are better than an in-person or remote meeting alone. A hybrid meeting:
- Makes it possible for every person to join a meeting on the best terms for that individual. If someone lives near the physical meeting, they can enjoy the benefits of in-person collaboration, while remote members don’t have to completely miss out on this live in-person gathering.
- Includes valuable tools to help make the online elements of a meeting interactive.
- Is a cost-effective way to make sure every employee can make a meeting without having to book larger venues or fly people in on expensive flights.
- Fosters inclusivity, so everyone who can benefit from a meeting can participate. Whether someone faces physical barriers, financial limitations, or a far distance, they can all enjoy the same benefits from a live meeting.
- Provides a safe environment for every attendee. COVID-19 taught the world many lessons about how quickly a health issue could hamper our way of life. With hybrid meetings, those who are safe to be in-person can continue to do so, while public health concerns don’t have to prevent anyone from taking part or compromise their safety.
- Helps companies avoid costly disruptions to business and planning. Whether there is a major weather event, pandemic, or other unexpected situation, a meeting can continue locally while including anyone worldwide.
WHAT ARE THE CONS OF HYBRID MEETINGS?
Hybrid meetings can merge the benefits of both in-person and remote meetings. But, there are unique hurdles to overcome.
Most people would agree that remote meetings can’t replace the benefits of meeting in person. There’s an accountability, a collaborative spirit, and a heightened sense of presence people experience in person that’s hard to replicate.
Hybrid meetings are the next best thing to an in-person meeting, with potential drawbacks like the following:
- Remote attendees can mentally “check-out”, turning off their screen and audio.
- It’s easier for people to multi-task if they’re in remote attendance, which can be a positive if they’re disciplined not to ignore important information. Still, it means remote attendees can miss something important.
- Hybrid meetings require a greater effort to provide meeting equity, where some in-person members are harder to see or hear.
- A hybrid meeting requires more sophisticated technology to deliver similar benefits as an in-person meeting.
Fortunately, these setbacks are overcome with great video conferencing tools that enhance the hybrid experience for remote members.
WHAT PRODUCTS ENHANCE YOUR HYBRID MEETINGS?
Hybrid meetings are enhanced by products that help you enjoy the same benefits as you would if you were there in person. One of the critical elements technology can address is called meeting equity.
Meeting equity deals with the ability for every attendee to be seen and heard with the same clarity and quality. Often, a hybrid meeting can be awkward for online attendees, where the position of the in-person camera only captures some participants, is out-of-focus or otherwise unclear when picking up others, and some people are easier to hear while others are too far from the microphone.
Sophisticated multi-camera setups and other enhancements can vastly improve meeting equity. Products like the Neat Center and Logitech’s Sight are specifically designed to enhance meeting equity, with the ability to frame people face-on so they are easy to see and hear.
ZOOM’S INTELLIGENT DIRECTOR
Zoom has an AI technology called Intelligent Director that selects the best view of in-room attendees using multiple camera sources.
Digital whiteboards bring the interactive and collaborative elements of in-person meetings to the remote audiences, bridging the gap between remote and in-person attendees.
For physical in-person whiteboards, the Logitech Scribe provides an AI-powered camera designed to share the whiteboard with remote attendees so no one is left out during physical presentations.
NEED HELP FINDING THE RIGHT HYBRID MEETING SOLUTIONS?
Whether you need cameras that can do intelligent framing and auto-tracking audio like the Logitech Rally series or Neat Bar Pro, or you’re looking for advice to set up multiple displays for auto-switching angles from multiple cameras, Vivo has the answers to help you choose the perfect hybrid meeting equipment for your conference room.
With the right equipment, your hybrid meetings will help every attendee feel equally seen and heard.
Get in touch with one of our experts so we can help you out today!