In the last two years, the way we work has changed a lot. We now meet in three modes: hybrid, face-to-face and remote. While we can’t always be in the same space as our colleagues and clients, we have been able to find the technology to host meetings and events online, and still be productive!
What was once an alternative to being in person has now become a complement, and much more prevalent in the way work is executed. There are different preferences. Some do better in this mode because they get a break from working at home, prefer to share a bit with colleagues, yet somehow, they can save on travel, traffic, lunch at restaurants, etc.
- Hybrid meetings are an innovative form of collaboration that incorporates elements of both face-to-face and virtual experiences into a joint event, serving all audiences in an easy way.
- By offering up-to-the-minute communication and content delivery options, it facilitates engagement between in-person and online guests, who attend equally in the discussion and stay focused on the topic. Everything happens in real time, as if they were sitting next to each other.
- Hybrid events are a safe bet to enhance reach and generate different experiences for the audience. These are events where face-to-face attendance is combined with online attendance, both for the audience and the speakers.
What you should know about hybrid meetings
Many types of work can be done from anywhere and many organizations have adopted a hybrid model, a flexible way of working where some team members will be in the office while others work at home. Thanks to the hybrid dynamic, you can decide which type of meeting is best for your scenario.
What is a hybrid meeting?
Hybrid meeting is face-to-face, participants use traditional interpreting equipment and remote attendees connect to some platform. It involves any type of conference, presentation, seminar or workshop, where attendees can participate both virtually and physically.
By providing options for communication and delivery of up-to-date content, it facilitates participation among face-to-face, topic-focused guests. Everything happens in real time, as if everyone is sitting next to each other.
What to do before, and during hybrid meetings?
- Before: Participants can chat with each other and share content before the meeting. That conversation and content can be brought directly into the meeting.
- During: Once the meeting begins, users can use a variety of features to help focus attention, drive participation and encourage inclusion.
What goals can be achieved?
The main benefit of a hybrid event is its flexibility, both for attendees and event organizers. Because hybrid events are accessible to all attendees, they greatly reduce barriers to entry. For example, attendees who do not have the budget or time to travel can opt to participate online.
Hybrid events also offer the ability to greatly expand your audience and reach. Increased capacity means more sponsorship opportunities, among other financial benefits for the organization. Hybrid events incorporate the social elements of in-person with the accessibility benefits of the virtual option (5).
When to choose in-person, all remote or hybrid?
|When it is important to build and maintain relationships||When the audience is large, broad and not in the same location||When you work with teams in different time zones|
|When it is a complex or confidential topic||When the meeting or event can be viewed at any time||When the meeting topic is not complex or confidential|
Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid events
We can highlight some advantages that hybrid events can bring to associations and companies:
- Reach a larger number of audiences (face-to-face + virtual)
- They allow participants to participate alone or in small groups
- Provide new content and communication
- Provide new content and communication
- Increase the reach of messages through reuse of event content
- Content generators: specialized in generating interaction among virtual attendees
- Trainers: professional educators specialized in online environments
- More user-friendly for new generations
- Can generate a new revenue channel (1)
- It is necessary to think about an Internet network reliable enough to ensure that the transmission of the event does not present any failure
- They are more demanding: it is necessary to think about satisfying two audiences
How do hybrid meetings work?
The speaker presents the content to the mixed audience, and the audiovisual speech is simultaneously transmitted to the online viewers. They can discuss the information as it is presented without interrupting the speaker, who can be addressed via text or video chat, or by raising their hand digitally.
Planning a hybrid meeting is easy. Creating a successful meeting requires planning ahead and making sure that all participants have access to the hardware and software and have the right skills (4).
In hybrid meetings, the symmetrical format is ideal for staff meetings; local and remote teams fully interact with each other, everyone hears and sees each other and has the ability to communicate.
How to differentiate when it is a hybrid event?
Because hybrid meetings combine the best features of traditional and virtual meetings, they are commonly used to broaden reach and enhance interest.
Where you can enjoy a dual face-to-face experience online (via streaming). This option reduces the number of people gathered in the same physical space, but not the number of attendees.
Because hybrid meetings combine the best features of traditional and virtual meetings, they are commonly used to broaden reach and enhance interest, while ensuring a secure experience by reducing the physical presence and still allowing the meeting to take place
It allows the development of various platforms developed for this purpose(Zoom, Skype, Google, Hangouts, etc.), and among its benefits are:
- Enjoying several conferences at the same time.
- Connect attendees from different countries around the world.
- Congregate a large number of attendees in the same space (3).
What can affect hybrid meetings?
- Sponsors may need additional guidance: It is difficult to get sponsors on board if the benefits are not well explained. Provide them with a history of positive data, and outline how attendees will behave and the level of outreach they will get compared to traditional formulas.
- Possible connectivity problems: Another concern that may arise is connectivity problems. If this is the case, there is a risk of demotivating remote attendees, as their experience will be interrupted. Research and opt for a platform that offers a stable connection throughout the event.
Reasons to think that hybrid meetings are the future
Benefits of hybrid events
The advantages of organizing this type of meetings are numerous because the return on investment (ROI) is high, there is an increase in participation, through different devices, which increase the value of the event. Virtuality allows us to reach audiences from all corners of the world, eliminating barriers and allowing us to speak to a much more concentrated audience.
In a hybrid event it is possible to attend workshops, conferences, trainings, both online and in person
Attendance at this type of hybrid events favors face-to-face attendance by not having to comply with capacity restrictions, travel issues, accommodation costs or travel expenses, among others.
Tips to organize hybrid events and succeed
After two years of pandemic, we can affirm that this great change has generated new technological solutions, academic solutions, social meetings, etc. They are here to stay. Sometimes, by obligation and, in others, according to the results, as is the case of hybrid events.
Mobility restrictions between countries have generated other work models. Hybrid events have been promoted, and it is a new way of marketing . In addition, it has brought a dynamism to the traditional face-to-face events, marking a completely virtual future and perhaps with less physical performance.
1. Samancas Cruz, M., & Hernández Martín, R. (2020, July). Post-COVID-19 tourism. Reflections, challenges and opportunities. Universidad de la Laguna-Spain. Retrieved November 11, 2022
2. Gálvez Clavijo, I. (2015, March 4). Facebook event creation. Facebook for businesses and entrepreneurs. Retrieved November 11, 2022
3. Arrogante Ramírez, A. B. (2022, March 11). Organization of meetings and corporate events. Organization of corporate events. Retrieved November 11, 2022
4. Allen, J. A. (2021, November). Logitech -Google Meet/University of Utah Solutions. Creating equitable hybrid meetings: A practical guide. Retrieved November 11, 2022
5. Piza, H. (2022, March 23). A good guide to choosing your event format. Linkedin.com. Retrieved November 11, 2022