Hybrid meetings, where some participants are physically together and others are joining via Zoom or Microsoft Teams present a unique set of challenges. Here are some tips to help ensure successful hybrid meetings:

Be Prepared

Before planning your first hybrid meeting, take a moment to assess your space. Your local IT support teams can help you identify what will or won’t work when bringing hybrid meetings into a conference room.

1.    Evaluate and Test

Start by reviewing what equipment is available in the space and test it. If your room hasn’t been used for hybrid meetings before or hasn’t been used in a long time, this can help you identify areas for improvement before your first meeting. With those identified and addressed, you’ll feel more confident using the space, which can make for a smoother hybrid meeting experience.

2.    Audio

Clear and comprehensible communication can make or break any meeting experience. When you perform a test meeting, make sure remote attendees be heard and can hear everyone in the room from multiple seating positions.

3.    Video

Ensuring that remote attendees can see everyone in the room will help make them feel included in your hybrid meeting. Similarly, seeing your remote attendees will help make the experience more natural for participants in your room.

4.    Presentations

Consider what content you will be presenting. Being able to see remote participants while sharing will make the experience more interactive for everyone. To accomplish this, you may need an enhanced solution that allows you to present documents, view or make notes, and see your remote participants at the same time.

5.    Accessibility

Some participants may not be able to view, for a disability related reason or not, shared screen content. This also considers individuals that may be joining the meeting through a mobile device. You may want to share any presentation materials ahead of time and/or narrate what’s being shown on the screen.

Being able to see interpreters or captions may also be a required accommodation for some of your attendees. The site Accessibility Tips for a Better Zoom/Virtual Meeting Experience by the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center offers a wealth of resources to address the needs of deaf and hard of hearing participants in virtual workplace meetings. 

As you test, note any areas for improvement you discover. Your local IT support can connect you with on-campus resources for planning small or large improvements your spaces. IS&T provides a number of audio/visual services including an a/v systems design & consultation service where our professional staff will work with you to plan and design an effective audio/visual system for your facility.


Be Mindful

Running a hybrid meeting introduces new complexity that isn’t present in an exclusively online or offline meeting. Keeping flow and social interaction in mind can help make for a more productive and welcoming environment.

1.    Designate a Technology Coordinator

Leading any meeting can be stressful. Designating a technology coordinator to run the online meeting, monitor participants, and watch the chat can allow you to focus on your content, interact with participants, and keep the meeting moving.

2.    Facilitate Online and In-Person Interaction

Remember that your online participants should feel as included and respected as any participants in the room. When your meeting begins, welcome your remote participants by name, if possible. Consider providing your online colleagues space to react or dedicated opportunities to join discussions. If you haven’t heard from a participant in a long time, it may be helpful to check in with them when an opportunity is available.

After you’ve evaluated the setup of your space, the Digital Learning & Innovation team have put together some specifics on how to run a hybrid meeting with Zoom.

There are a number of additional resources online. For those who want to dive deeper you can start with Harvard Business Review’s article “What It Takes to Run a Great Hybrid Meeting” or i4cp’s “Considerations and Best Practices for Running Hybrid Meetings