Is Hybrid the future of conferences? How should you prepare for those?

All About Event Tech
7 min readJun 22, 2021

The term Hybrid Events & Hybrid Meetings/Conferences has been thrown around quite a lot in the past year or so.

What exactly do these terms mean, & what is the implication of Hybrid meetings?

In this article, we take a closer look at what exactly Hybrid Conferences/meetings are, & why every workplace/corporate/organization must prepare for those.

What are Hybrid Conferences?

A Hybrid Conference or meeting is referred to as a meeting wherein a few people join from a single physical location, while the other members join from various non-physical, remote locations.

Note that, a Hybrid Meeting doesn’t necessarily have to have a particular ratio of people joining from physical locations to those joining from remote locations to be put into the category of Hybrid Meetings.

Getting into the accepted technical definition,

“A hybrid meeting is a meeting where a part of the audience joins from the office and another part joins remote, enabled by audio and video conferencing technology with a strong focus on content sharing.”

Hybrid Meetings & conferences are more than just remote, virtual meetings, however.

They offer a nice blend of physical & virtual meeting components, with tools & features to enable quality audio-video options & engaging, immersive content sharing.

Wherever they’re taking place, the aim of organizing Hybrid Meetings & Conferences is to enable quality content sharing, both via in-person & remote mode.

Hybrid Meetings combine the unique elements of both in-person & virtual meetings to create engaging, interactive, & immersive meeting experiences for all the attendees involved.

The currently available Hybrid Meeting platforms & solutions enable attendees, both physical & virtual ones, to share ideas, content, information, as well as give them opportunities to engage & interact with each other.

The features & tools of these Hybrid Meeting platforms & services ensure that users are able to exchange information, connect, & collaborate with each other just like they would in a live, in-person setting.

Their tools & features aim to remove the barriers of virtual, remote collaboration as much as possible by introducing real-world interaction elements & activities in the hybrid meeting/conference.

So much for what are Hybrid Meetings & how do they help people sitting physically & remotely connect. But none of this will matter if you don’t realize the importance & the reasoning behind organizing hybrid conferences/meetings in the first place.

Below, we give you the answers to all of your hybrid meeting questions.

What is the need for Hybrid Meetings?

Organizations have various reasons for hosting Hybrid Meetings. These include:

  • Teams sitting in different physical locations, as is usual in very big organizations and corporations with offices across the globe.
  • Reducing budgets, as assembling people together from different areas will incur a lot of travel, food, & accommodation costs.
  • Reducing their carbon footprint, as the lesser air miles or food costs involved, the lesser the impact on the environment will be.

However, most of these companies turn towards Hybrid Meetings for the immense content sharing opportunities & collaboration features they provide.

When physical, in-person meetings aren’t an option due to the ongoing situation in the world, Hybrid Meetings become the only viable option for organizations to keep the communication going within their teams.

Hybrid Meetings provide organizers with:

  • Interactive innovation & collaboration: Granted, physical, live, in-person meetings are the best way to exchange information, share ideas, & brainstorm together on a shared strategy. But in the view of COVID induced lockdowns & restrictions on physical gatherings, Hybrid Events provide the next best solution for this bottleneck.
    With the use of Hybrid Meeting features & tools, collaboration & information exchange becomes much easier than on a plain, all Virtual meeting.
  • Provides flexibility to remote workers: Hybrid Meetings make it possible for remote workers & employees to connect with their physical, live counterparts & exchange information, ideas, & collaborate on strategies ahead.
    Attendees don’t have to travel anywhere or for that matter, even leave their homes to be a part of the hybrid meeting.
  • Improves business sustainability & increases green initiatives: Since Hybrid Meetings do not require the entire workforce to be present under the same roof, they actually help decrease a lot of the carbon footprint & improves the green sustainability of the hosting organization.
    Owing to this reason, Hybrid Meetings also incurs a lot less travel & accommodation costs for employees working in other locations, & help businesses save money & other resources.
  • Eases business communication during Lockdowns & extended Work From Home: During these times of extended lockdowns & work from home conditions, Hybrid Meetings have become the sole savior of various businesses that heavily rely on inter-team communications. With Hybrid Meetings, it has become easier for businesses to facilitate communication between their teams & employees working from different locations.

How many organizations are already utilizing Hybrid Meetings?

According to market research data, around 1 in 4 meetings taking place today are Hybrid.

Extrapolating this statistic a little more, it’s safe to say that today around 50% of meetings are either fully Hybrid or have Hybrid meeting components to them.

Since most organizations today have made work from home for some employees a mandate, it makes sense that almost all of the meetings taking place in offices today are Hybrid in nature.

And the best part? With more & more corporations announcing permanent remote work allowances for part of their employees, this ratio is likely to go further up in the coming years!

Looking at these trends, it’s safe to say that Hybrid really is the future of meetings & conferences.

How to prepare workplaces for Hybrid Meetings?

For most organizations, Hybrid Meetings are really nothing new. Big organizations with offices around the world & employees working in various physical locations are used to annual, bi-annual, or quarterly meetings that are Hybrid in nature.

For others, however, this could be a learning experience. To host Hybrid Meetings, you generally need:

  • An adequate, well-structured internet infrastructure that helps people in different locations connect with each other over a shared meeting space.
  • An interactive, engaging, & feature-filled Hybrid Conference platform that allows for unhindered, real-time communication, idea exchange, information sharing, & immersive collaboration tools to attendees.
  • A physical space to house some of the Hybrid meeting’s attendees, although it’s not necessary for small to medium-sized hybrid meetings to have a shared common physical space for even some attendees.

All of these requirements are quite important & must be met adequately to ensure a seamless, glitch-free Hybrid meeting experience.

However, selecting the right Hybrid Meeting platform or service provider is by far the most essential out of all these.

The Hybrid Meeting platform you choose can effectively make or break your Hybrid conference experience. It also significantly affects the productivity of your hybrid meeting, along with attendee experience & satisfaction.

What are the features of a good Hybrid Conference Platform?

The features of a good hybrid meeting platform vary from organization to organization, however, there are certain features that are a requirement for every Hybrid Conference platform to have.

These include:

  • Interactive features that enable idea & information sharing much like in a real-world setting with notable audio-video presentation tools, 3D interactive data representation options, & screen sharing capabilities.
  • Low latency & low bandwidth requirements, so that in the occasion of a power outage or temporary snag in the internet connection, the complete hybrid meeting or conference is not affected by it.
  • Features to enable live chat & real-time feedback loops, so that on facing a problem, the attendees are not left stranded to deal with the technical issues, but are rather provided with efficient, quick help.
  • Versatile with multichannel integration capabilities, so that the attendees are able to share ideas & their work with other members of the hybrid meeting over their preferred platform or communication channel of choice.
  • Customizable backgrounds, beautification features, & branding options, so that big budget annual meetings like AGMs & board conferences are not missing that exotic, regal touch even on the virtual/hybrid plane.

Hybrid Meetings & conferences are here to stay, & they are projected to take up even more of the physical meeting space in the coming years.

Your best bet to cope with this multifold rise in Hybrid Meetings then, will be to adopt & incorporate these into your own meeting strategies.

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