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Creating Effective & Engaging Hybrid Meetings

Hybrid meetings are the "new norm" for many organizations, yet according to Microsoft's 2022 Work Trend Index: Annual Report, 43% of employees working remotely do not feel included in virtual meetings.

Hybrid meetings can be just as engaging as in-person meetings when they are well-designed, organized and facilitated properly. Here are our tips for creating effective hybrid meetings.

Prep for Success

  • Send out your agenda in advance with a clearly defined purpose, outcome and expectations. Inform employees how they can contribute to the meeting's success such as reviewing information, preparing for discussions and being ready to connect with cameras on!

  • Use technology with intent and purpose - There is now a plethora of tools and functions that can enhance the look, feel and engagements within virtual meetings, however overdoing it can cause attendees to feel overwhelmed and confused. Before embedding virtual tools into your meeting, review your desired outcome, assess your chosen route (e.g. group discussions, breakout rooms, brainstorming), then decide on what would be the most effective and user-friendly tool to get you there. Familiarize yourself with the tool and plan for a back up in case the technology doesn't work as expected.

  • Plan the agenda with time for Q&As and feedback, allowing the participants to ask questions, share their ideas and contribute towards the discussion. Inform the attendees that any unanswered questions will be collated, answered and sent out post-meeting.

It's the little things that count!

  • Encourage the use of cameras. According to research, 3/4 employees state that the quality of the conversation improves when cameras are switched on. When employees can see the facilitator and their colleagues, they are more engaged, connected and attentive. It also allows the facilitator to pick up on non-verbal cues such and head nodding, headshakes and smiling.

  • Acknowledge participants by name when they join the call and during the meeting. Employees may feel that their presence is unimportant or goes unnoticed but you have the power to show them that being presence matters!

  • For large scale meetings, have a "meeting buddy" to assist the facilitator. The buddy can monitor the chat, present questions to the facilitator and assist participants in accessing files or with using technology. If the facilitator is presenting offsite, have an onsite employee take the lead in organizing a room, technology and offering support for physical attendees.

Be mindful about what is happening in the room and online

A loss of participants, cameras being switched off or a decline in participation can signal something is going wrong. A good meeting facilitator will be able to read their audience and know when something needs further explanation or the audience becomes "lost" - a meeting buddy will also be able to assist with this. If you notice that someone is having difficulty participating, it may be helpful to pose questions directly to them so they can express their thoughts without feeling intimidated by the whole group. allows participants to ask questions and provide feedback anonymously, accessible by both on and offsite attendees.

In Summary

These tips can help you and your team create engaging hybrid meetings that will benefit everyone involved. Remember to focus on the goals and objectives for each session, use technology wisely, and remember to engage all participants.

Connect with us and let's co-design experiences that matter to people!

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