Hybrid. Does the mere term cause you to grind your teeth and send shivers down your spine (and not in a good way)?
I’ve got your back and your spine.
Now that you’ve got a handle on Zoom meetings and/or MS Teams, it’s time to up your game with a hybrid.
I shared the overall goal for hybrid events and four tips to help you in your planning in part one
Note: as I mentioned in post one, hybrid can refer to ongoing remote working, flexible work arrangements, flexible hours of work, etc. In this post, however, I’m using it to mean a real-time event, meeting, or workshop where some participants are physically present in a ‘real’ room, and some are in an online room.
Including everyone is the goal
When you’re starting to think of a hybrid meeting, workshop, event, etc. start out by making everyone feel included, those in the physical room and those in the Zoom/MS Teams room. If something won’t work for folks online don’t do it.
Case in point: flipcharts.
Don’t use them with a hybrid event. It’s too finicky to have folks online be able to consistently see them. Instead, use the wealth of opportunities that being online brings, for example, collaborative platforms like Google Docs, Padlet, and more.
Now that you have your goal and your planning sorted, here are four tips to help for holding your hybrid event
1. Ditch the ambient noise
Pay close attention to how much noise is in the physical room. Things like chair legs scraping along the floor when people get up and down, are all ambient noises that get amplified for folks online. Get rid of as much ambient noise as possible, and you’ll improve the experience for those online.
2. Collect and collate
Hybrid events give us fantastic opportunities to lighten the environmental footprint by ditching paper, including handouts and flipcharts. Take your work online into a collaborative space (Google Docs, Padlet, and others.) and it will be engaging for everyone.
3. Interaction every ten minutes
With the chances of folks online multitasking set at a whopping 93% make sure you give everyone a chance to interact every ten minutes or so (Source: TechChange). If you’ve just groaned at that thought, thinking you’ll never get anything done, know that putting someone in the chat counts as interaction.
4. Tech tips
Oh, the sorrow and joy of tech. Now that you’ve planned your technology using my tip sheet from part one, make sure you’re uber-organized around your technology. So far, the best setup I’ve found is to have everyone in the physical room have their camera on but their mic off. Then have a floating mic that someone gives to folks when they want to speak. It’ll take a little bit of getting used to, for example, people are usually used to unmuting and if they do so in this case, there’ll be nasty feedback noise.
And most of all, encourage people in the physical room to look at their camera NOT others in the room. This will make sure that everyone feels included, especially those online. I’ve even made little reminder signs for people to put on their computers near their cameras reminding them to look there so no one feels left out.
I appreciate that hybrid is yet another learning curve AND you got this. There are so many opportunities that hybrid brings, being able to include people in the physical room and the online room, saving paper, travel costs, etc. are just some of them. So go forth and hybrid.
Now go on and learn, laugh and lead
- Here’s a link to a technical tips document.
- When you know your hybrid goal, you put in the prep and follow the tips on the actual day you’ll be jamming along in sweet synchrony like this little one
- Go for it. Prepare and host a hybrid and let me know how it goes.
P.S. My free monthly Learning and Development Roundtables is meeting this week, Friday, February 17th, where we’ll focus on tech tools for learning. More info and how to RSVP here.