Gradually, businesses are re-opening, and employees are coming back to the offices. It is great news for many, however, this pandemic is not yet over. When it comes to face-to-face meetings, things will be different.
Many people in Finland are glad to return to their physical offices according to the Yle survey, as the guidelines change. HUONE also opened its doors, both Kamppi and Jätkäsaari, while implementing extensive operational changes to ensure the safety of our customers. It wasn’t difficult to learn that (from our internal events and meetings) there will be always someone attending the meeting remotely/virtually and that it is more challenging to engage the attendees during these hybrid meetings.
What is a hybrid meeting?
A hybrid meeting is a meeting where some participants are in-person together, while some participants join a meeting virtually online. You can organise many different types of meeting/event in a hybrid format such as a seminar, training, board meeting, workshop, team meeting etc. People attending online, and in-person participate in the same session real-time concurrently (not watching a recording).
Why have a hybrid meeting?
- More space. Physical distancing is still recommended.
- Not everyone’s comfortable going back to ‘normal’ just yet. People may still have concerns for travels and gathering in groups even though the government gave the ‘all-clear’. It’s a way to include all the important stakeholders.
- More engagement. Compared to a virtual meeting (where 100% of the participants attend online including the host), hybrid meeting encourages more active participation.
- Friendly for your budget. Many companies had to adjust their budgets for company events and meetings.
Reserve a video conferencing system in HUONE
We have been looking into different options of video conferencing/virtual meeting platforms to help our customers achieve more during their meetings (we did not forget HUONE’s main purpose, why we exist!). You can reserve a video conferencing device at HUONE Helsinki for your event. The device provides everyone with a wide, clear view of the meeting(4K Ultra HD, 120-degree field of view) while acting as a smart microphone for all. We recommend it for smaller meetings (up to 20 people). You can reserve it for your event in advance by simply contacting our Sales Ambassador or Event coordinators and let them know that you are in need of the system.
**We are designing, together with our partner, an all-inclusive package for hybrid events. We will tell you more soon!**
(Image: Video Conferencing device in Electro room, HUONE Jätkäsaari)
3 Simple tips to engage your participants during hybrid meetings
- Plan ahead.
Calculate a little more time into the planning of your meeting. Make sure to communicate in advance with your teammates or guests about the format, as well as the practical information (e.g. what link to use, agenda etc.). Also, try to arrive early at a venue(or a place where the physical meeting takes place), so you can set the system up, test and be ready with your cup of coffee!
- Don’t forget the remote attendees.
We know it sounds silly, but it happens a lot more than you think! When you have people sitting in front of you and you start discussing something, people behind the screen are often excluded from the discussion (or they slipped your mind). Plan the agenda to include all and stick to it. Another tip is to use a person’s name when checking everyone’s opinion (instead of referring to them as a group e.g. what does everyone think over there?)
- Set clear ground rules.
Just like any other company meeting or an event, you need a set of ground rules, and they need to be communicated clearly with everyone. Remember when you have an hour-long meeting with 8 people, it is not an hour-long meeting, it becomes an 8-hour meeting if every participants 1h is calculated. As an example, keeping a camera on is something that will directly contribute to having a more engaging meeting. It will allow one to see others’ facial expressions, reactions, and ‘feel’ the non-verbal cues.