9 Benefits of Hybrid Meetings: A Flexible and Sustainable Practice
The days of solely working in an office are over. Remote and hybrid working arrangements have become very common today with lots of businesses. With this change, people have had to adjust to how they work and collaborate with their colleagues and teams. With many team meetings nowadays including both office-based and remote employees, this has seen the emergence of hybrid meetings.
Read on to find out what hybrid meetings are and how they can benefit your business.
What is meant by a hybrid meeting?
A hybrid meeting combines elements of both in-person and virtual meetings, offering a flexible and sustainable way for teams to collaborate. Employees can choose to attend either face-to-face or virtually, depending on their preferences or circumstances at the time. In-person and remote attendees can communicate and work together easily as if they were all in the same place.
Video conferencing tools and software are used during hybrid meetings to allow for seamless communication between all attendees, regardless of whether they are present in the meeting room or joining from a remote location. Participants can speak to each other, share documents and files electronically instantly, and collaborate on projects in real-time.
What are the key benefits of hybrid meetings?
Hybrid meetings have revolutionised how teams work together, offering a long list of advantages compared to traditional meetings. This unique blend of in-person and virtual interactions can improve productivity, increase employee happiness, and provide greater flexibility for all attendees. Here are 9 key benefits of hybrid meetings:
1. Better flexibility
Hybrid meetings give members of staff the flexibility to choose how they’d like to attend a meeting based on their schedule and personal circumstances. Employees can choose to attend the meeting from the office, home or another different location such as a coffee shop or shared workspace. Hybrid meetings can help people to achieve a better work-life balance, allowing them to fit important meetings around their own schedules more easily. This can reduce employee stress and improve their happiness at work.
2. Highly sustainable practice
Hybrid meetings are a fantastic, sustainable alternative to more traditional, face-to-face meetings. By allowing remote workers to collaborate, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint by removing the need for their employees to travel unnecessarily. This lowers the amount of carbon emissions they are directly responsible for. In addition, hybrid meetings also produce less waste compared to traditional meetings. By using digital tools to replace handouts and other similar resources, companies can cut down on their paper waste. Hybrid meetings are a fantastic green initiative to improve sustainability in any workplace.
3. Greater attendance numbers
Because hybrid meetings provide much greater flexibility, attendance rates are higher for hybrid meetings compared to those that are exclusively in-person. Barriers to attendance are much fewer with hybrid meetings. Employees don’t have to worry about travel, the costs associated with it, and the time it would take up in their schedules. Hybrid meetings allow attendees to easily join and contribute wherever they are located, making it much more convenient and simple to attend at all times.
4. Improved engagement
In hybrid meetings, participants can take advantage of various collaboration tools available whilst using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. These tools make it easier for remote attendees to efficiently communicate their thoughts and ideas without the interruptions or distractions that can occur during physical meetings.
5. Cost-effective communication
By encouraging hybrid meetings, businesses can cut down on the amount of unnecessary travel that employees and attendees have to do to join in-person meetings. Not only does this help employees save money, it helps the business cut down on the amount they have to reimburse for business travel. This can include fuel, public transportation, accommodation and much more.
6. More opportunities for creativity and innovation
Hybrid meetings are great for giving team members who don’t work together often the opportunity to collaborate. For example, teams from other cities (or even countries) can meet, share ideas, and work on projects together in real time without the need for long distance travel. This can lead to the generation of new ideas and high-quality work that otherwise would have been very difficult to achieve. Virtual meetings also give attendees access to a wider range of tools and software that can be used collaboratively to brainstorm and discuss ideas in greater depth.
7. Less stress for attendees
In-person meetings can be a lot more stressful for attendees than hybrid meetings. Organising travel and finding a face-to-face meeting location can be complicated, especially when they are unfamiliar with the area. The worry of being late can also make a lot of people feel anxious. Hybrid meetings give employees the opportunity to meet wherever they are located, eliminating any potential stress regarding travel and logistics.
8. Increased adaptability
By providing options for both in-person and virtual participation, hybrid meetings allow participants to make the choice that best suits their needs at the time. For example, if a participant is unable to attend in-person due to problems with travel or illness, they can still join the meeting virtually. On the other hand, if a participant prefers the benefits of face-to-face interaction and collaboration, they can choose to attend in-person.
By offering these options, hybrid meetings can accommodate changing circumstances and preferences. This includes unexpected travel disruptions, last-minute schedule changes, or the need for remote work due to personal or environmental factors. This increased adaptability can be incredibly useful and convenient for all concerned.
9. More data and insights
There are a wide variety of different software and digital tools available to help businesses collect more data and actionable insights from hybrid meetings. It’s possible to use features such as live polls, surveys, word clouds, Q&As, quizzes and more when your meeting is virtual, helping to level up interaction with remote and in-person attendees. All of this data can be recorded to calculate engagement rates and other useful insights that can be applied to the active project, wider business activities, and future meetings.
How can you organise a hybrid meeting?
Here are some quick and easy steps to follow when organising a hybrid meeting:
Determine your meeting goals - Before you think about anything else, you need to work out the purpose, objectives, and logistics of your hybrid meeting. What are you looking to achieve and communicate? Who do you need to invite? How will you track attendance?
Find the right venue -You’ll need to host your hybrid meeting at a suitable event venue and location large enough to accommodate in-person attendees, but also one that has the right facilities and technology to support people joining from remote locations. You’ll need a good internet connection and high-quality audio-visual equipment.
Choose your preferred video conferencing software - There are a long list of options you can choose to use when it comes to video conferencing. Ultimately, you should use one that is the most reliable, easy to use and accessible to your attendees.
Create an agenda - To keep your hybrid meeting on topic and productive, it’s a good idea to create an agenda. This will list key discussion points that you wish to cover throughout the meeting and should be forwarded to all attendees prior to the date.
Send out your invites - Once all this is covered, you can send out your meeting invitations via email. This will give an idea of how many people will be attending and whether they will be joining in-person or virtually. Most video conferencing software has a feature for this built in.
Hybrid meeting best practices:
So, you’ve learned why hybrid meetings are great and how you can organise them. But how can you ensure that your next hybrid meeting is successful?
Make sure video and audio is working properly
Before your hybrid meeting, you should also connect all your devices and test that all video and sound is working properly. This includes testing webcams to make sure video is clear, testing microphones so audio is crisp and clear, and checking that remote speakers can be heard clearly and that screen sharing is working if this feature is required.
Encourage engagement throughout your meeting
When some people are attending your meeting in-person and others virtually, it can be difficult to keep all attendees engaged throughout - especially those who are at home. This is why we recommend using digital tools and software to engage your audience and to help them contribute from beginning to end.
Ask for feedback
When your hybrid meeting has ended, it’s good practice to ask both in-person and virtual attendees for feedback on how the meeting went. This could be a short questionnaire sent via email, giving you an idea about how both sets of attendees engaged with the meeting. You can use this feedback to improve future hybrid meetings, helping you to reach your objectives more effectively and efficiently.
Need a meeting room with advanced hybrid technology?
At Make Venues, we offer high-quality hybrid meeting rooms in London, Bristol and Leamington Spa. Our hybrid facilities are fitted with state of the art audio-visual technology, helping you to easily connect with delegates from all over the world. Simply plug-in your devices and we will do the rest, helping you to broadcast exactly what you need to as many attendees you require. Get in touch with us today and make your booking.