Plugging In to Hybrid Meetings

Successfully marrying the impact of in-person gatherings with the reach of virtual technology takes effort and thought
Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” That pretty much describes the dilemma facing meeting managers today: Meet in person or rely on technology? Eager to embrace a post-COVID future, meeting organizers and attendees are demanding both. The result is Hybrid. And, meeting planners need to understand the benefits – and the pitfalls – of each.

“Hybrid meetings are vastly more complex than meeting in-person or virtually,” says Bob Frisch, author and founding partner of Strategic Offsites Group of Boston. “They are easy to do poorly and hard to do well.”

Doing business on Zoom, WebEx, Teams, and the like presents many challenges, Frisch said. “What’s been overlooked is that these virtual platforms also give managers an extraordinary set of ‘superpowers’ – the ability to do things in meetings that were either unthinkable or enormously challenging in the old days of conference tables and flip charts."

As companies decide whether to stage F2F vs. Hybrid meetings, the questions that arise revolve around attendee engagement vs. expense. Practically speaking, two meetings are being held using two separate teams. For some companies, virtual is their only choice. But for those who plan both in-person and remote, will using tech to capture offsite participants actually result in larger attendance? In other words, how many participants would attend in-person if remote were not available, and if remote were made available, what would the expected ROI be by comparison? Is cost the sole determinant or are there intangible benefits as well?

Categories: Special ReportMeetings And SMM

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