If you’re in charge of planning a meeting, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Where do you start? What should you consider? This meeting planning guide will walk you through the process of planning a successful meeting, from start to finish. With a little careful planning, your next meeting can be taken to another level.
What are hybrid meetings and what are their benefits?
A hybrid meeting is a meeting that incorporates both in-person and online participants. This type of meeting is becoming increasingly popular as it allows for greater flexibility and collaboration. There are several benefits of holding hybrid meetings.
One benefit of hybrid meetings is that they allow for a larger audience. With some attendees attending virtually, more people can participate in the meeting than if it were held in person. This can be especially beneficial for organizations with members who live in different parts of the country or world.
Another benefit of hybrid meetings is that they provide an opportunity for introverts to participate more easily. For some introverts, attending a virtual meeting may be less daunting than attending an in-person meeting. This can lead to a more diverse range of perspectives being represented at the meeting.
Hybrid meetings can also be used as a bridge between in-person and virtual meetings. This can help organizations decide which type of meeting works best for them, while still allowing everyone the opportunity to attend at least one in-person meeting per year.
Types of meetings in a hybrid format
There are four common types of meetings in a hybrid format:
1. Training sessions
Hybrid training sessions or educational meetings typically include a mix of didactic presentations, small group discussions, and networking opportunities. Attendees can participate in the meeting from any location, whether they are in the same room as the presenter or joining the meeting virtually.
This makes hybrid educational meetings more accessible to busy professionals who may not be able to travel to an in-person event.
A hybrid conference is a combination of in-person and virtual attendance in a business conference. For example, an organization might host a conference in a city, but also offer virtual attendance for those who cannot or do not want to travel. Or, an organization might allow people to attend either in person or virtually. This gives attendees the flexibility to choose what works best for them.
3. Team-building meetings
In a team-building meeting, all members of the team can get to know each other better and learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This type of meeting can also help teams to come up with new ideas and solve problems together. Team building meetings can be held in person or online, depending on the needs of the team.
4. Problem-solving meetings
A problem-solving meeting is a type of hybrid meeting that can be used to address specific issues or problems within an organization. This type of meeting typically brings together a small group of people who are tasked with brainstorming solutions to a particular problem.
Problem-solving meetings can be an effective way to identify and implement new ideas, but they can also be frustrating if not properly planned.
How to plan a meeting effectively?
Planning a meeting is not a daunting task anymore. By following the strategies mentioned below, you can successfully conduct effectively.
1. Have enough time for preparation
When it comes to meeting or conference planning, there is one key ingredient that is often overlooked: preparation time. Just as you would dedicate time to prep for an in-person meeting, the same level of dedication is required for a hybrid meeting.
This is because there are a few additional elements that need to be taken into account when planning a hybrid meeting. For example, you need to consider the technical aspects of the meeting such as ensuring everyone has the correct software installed and that the audio and video quality is good. You should also have an accurate budget for the event.
2. Know your meeting purpose
In the meeting planning process, it’s important to be clear on the purpose. If you’re not clear on the purpose, it’s easy to get sidetracked and waste time.
There are a few different ways to ensure that you’re clear on the purpose. First, you can start by asking yourself why you’re having the meeting in the first place. What is the goal? What do you hope to accomplish? Do I have an accurate budget?
Another way to ensure that you’re clear on the purpose is to create an agenda for the meeting. This will help keep everyone on track and focused on what needs to be accomplished.
Finally, it’s important to communicate the purpose of the meeting to everyone who will be attending. This way, everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.
3. Write your invitations in a smart way
One way to ensure that your meeting planning process will be effective is by writing smarter meeting invites. Here are a few tips:
Here are some tips to make your meeting invites more effective:
Keep it short and sweet
The key to getting people to actually read your invite is to keep it concise. Give them the information they need without bombarding them with too much text.
Be clear about the purpose
Don’t leave people guessing what the meeting is going to be about. Be specific in the invite so they know what to expect and can prepare accordingly.
Use an interesting subject line
Just like with emails, people are more likely to open an invite if the subject line catches their attention. Make yours stand out so they’re more inclined to click through.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your meeting invites are more effective and get better attendance as a result.
4. Provide an easy registration tool
Easy registration management tools should be considered in order to make the event as successful as possible. Easy registration makes it more likely that people will actually attend the meeting, and it also makes it easier for organizers to keep track of who is supposed to be there.
There are a number of ways to make registration easy, such as online registration forms or providing a phone number that people can call to RSVP. It will help you track meeting attendees as well.
Using easy registration management tools is just one part of planning a successful meeting, but it is an important part. By taking the time to ensure that people can easily sign up for the event, you can increase your chances of having a good turnout.
5. Collect input from the participants
It’s important to collect input from potential participants in advance. This will help you determine what type of meeting would be most beneficial and how to best utilize the time.
If you’re unsure about what topics should be covered or what format the meeting should take, reach out to those who will be attending and ask for their input. It’s important to get as much feedback as possible so that you can make the most informed decision possible.
Once you’ve collected input from everyone, take some time to review it all and see what common themes emerge. This will help you finalize the agenda and ensure that everyone’s needs are being met.
6. Finalize the agenda
It will ensure that meeting participants are on the same page and knows what needs to be discussed.
If you’re using a hybrid format, where some attendees are in person and some are joining remotely, it’s even more important to have a clear agenda. That way, everyone knows when they need to be on camera and when they can step away from their computers.
To finalize the agenda, start by creating a list of topics that need to be covered. Then, assign each topic to a specific time slot. Make sure to leave some time for breaks and discussion. Once you have the agenda finalized, send it out to all attendees so they can prepare for the meeting.
7. Follow up with invitees
It is crucial to follow up with invitees when you are planning meetings. This includes sending reminders and ensuring that everyone has the necessary information. Follow-up also gives you an opportunity to answer any questions and address any concerns.
It’s important to have good communication with all of the attendees. This way, everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect. Good communication will also help ensure that the meeting runs smoothly.
If you’re planning meetings in a hybrid format, it’s especially important to follow up with those who will be attending remotely. Send them the agenda in advance and make sure they know how to connect to the meeting. Be available to answer any questions they may have so that they can participate fully in the meeting.
8. Develop interaction opportunities
It is essential to create multiple opportunities for interaction. This can be done by incorporating activities that encourage networking and collaboration.
For example, you can start the meeting with an icebreaker activity, have breakout sessions in which attendees work together on projects, and end the meeting with a group discussion.
By providing opportunities for attendees to interact with each other, you can create a more engaging and productive meeting.
9. Tasks and responsibilities should be delegated
You’ll need to delegate tasks and responsibilities to ensure everything goes smoothly. It encourages collaborative work The first step is to figure out who will be responsible for what. Once you’ve done that, you can start assigning tasks.
Be sure to consider the skills and abilities of each person when delegating tasks. You don’t want to assign someone a task that they’re not capable of doing. Also, take into account the amount of time each person has to complete their task.
Once you’ve assigned tasks, be sure to follow up with each person to make sure they understand what they need to do and when it needs to be done. Keep in mind that things can change, so be flexible and adjust your plan as needed.
10. Focus on team building
Team building is an important part of any meeting, and should not be forgotten when planning a hybrid meeting. Here are a few tips to help you plan team-building activities that will work for both groups:
Make sure the activities are inclusive
Everyone should feel like they can participate and that their input is valued.
Plan activities that encourage collaboration
This will help the team work together more effectively both during and after the meeting.
Use technology to your advantage
There are many great online tools that can help with team building, so take advantage of them!
By following these tips, you can ensure that your hybrid meeting is successful both in terms of its content and in terms of building strong teams.
11. Decide your decision-making process
When it comes to planning a meeting, deciding the decision meeting process in advance is important. This will help ensure that the meeting runs smoothly and that all attendees are on the same page. There are a few different ways to go about this, so it’s important to discuss with all attendees beforehand and come to a consensus.
One way to approach this is to have a vote amongst attendees. This can be done either before or during the meeting, depending on the size of the group and how much time everyone has. If there are only a few people attending, a simple show of hands may suffice. However, for larger groups, it may be best to do a poll ahead of time so that everyone has a chance to weigh in.
Another option is to appoint someone as the “decision maker”. Â You can designate this person ahead of time or just ask that person to be the one to decide when you get there.
12. Keep everyone engaged through livepoll
In a hybrid meeting, it can be difficult to keep everyone engaged. Live polls are a great way to lighten up the mood and keep everyone involved.
To conduct a live poll, simply ask a question and have everyone vote using the chat function. This is a great way to get people talking and laughing. It can also help to break the ice if there are any new members in the group.
Live polls are also a great way to gather feedback from the group. You can use them to ask questions about the topic of discussion or get opinions on upcoming decisions. This is a quick and easy way to get everyone’s thoughts without taking up too much time.
Read: 50 feedback survey questions
13. Conduct Q&A sessions
Q&A sessions are important to be included in a hybrid meeting so that all attendees can participate and ask questions. If you have ever been in a meeting where someone asks a question and the presenter says they will get to it later, you know how frustrating that can be.
Q&A sessions also help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands the material that is being presented. They also give attendees an opportunity to provide feedback or share ideas.
14. Create a safe space for asking questions
Whether they’re in the room with you or joining remotely, everyone should feel like they can participate fully.
There are a few ways you can create a safe space for questions. First, make sure you establish ground rules at the beginning of the meeting. Let everyone know that they can ask questions at any time and that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. Encourage people to speak up if they’re unsure about something.
Second, create an environment where people feel comfortable asking questions. This means being open and receptive to questions and taking the time to answer them thoroughly. If someone is struggling to understand something, don’t move on until they do.
15. Run live quizzes
Live quizzes are a great way to keep employees engaged during hybrid meetings. By asking questions and providing answers in real-time, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and getting the most out of the meeting. Plus, it’s a fun way to break up the monotony of a traditional meeting format.
To run a live quiz during your hybrid meeting, simply use a tool like Poll Everywhere. Create your quiz ahead of time and then launch it during the meeting. Participants can respond via text message or web browser, and you’ll see the results in real-time.
If you want to take things one step further, you can gamify the experience by awarding points for correct answers or giving prizes to the top performers. Either way, live quizzes are a great way to keep your hybrid meeting participants engaged and learning.
Read: Trivia questions and answers for office meetings
16. Prepare interactive slides
It will help to engage the audience and keep them involved in the discussion. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating these slides:
First, make sure that the slides are visually appealing. Use colors and images that will capture the attention of the audience. Second, use bullet points or short phrases to make your points. This will help to keep the audience focused on what you are saying. Finally, make sure to practice your presentation beforehand so that you are comfortable with the material.
By following these tips, you can create an engaging and informative presentation that will help to make your meeting a success.
17. Fix the meeting timing and platform
Fixing the meeting timing and platform will ensure that all attendees can participate in the meeting, whether they are in person or online.
If the meeting is being held online, it is important to choose a platform that is easy to use and accessible for all attendees. There are many different platforms available, so it is important to do some research to find the best one for your needs. Once you have chosen a platform, make sure to test it out before the meeting to make sure everything is working properly.
It is also important to consider the time difference for attendees who are joining from different parts of the world. Make sure to choose a time that will work for everyone. If possible, send out a survey ahead of time to gauge what time would work best for most people.
18. Create word clouds
Word clouds can be a great way to engage participants in hybrid meetings, especially if used in conjunction with other visual aids. By providing a focal point for discussion and brainstorming, word clouds can help to keep everyone on the same page and participating actively.
You can either enter a list of words or phrases yourself or paste in text from another document. The program will then generate a cloud of words based on the frequency of occurrence.
One thing to keep in mind is that you want the final product to be readable and comprehensible. So don’t go overboard with the number of items in your list, and make sure the font size is large enough that everyone can see it clearly.
19. Consider who will be your speakers
You should consider who will be speaking and what they will be speaking about. This can help to ensure that the meeting is successful and informative.
There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting guest speakers. First, consider the topic of the meeting and who would be most qualified to speak on that topic. It is also important to make sure that the speaker is available on the date of the meeting. Additionally, it is helpful to select a speaker who is interesting and engaging.
By considering these factors, you can ensure that your meeting has quality speakers who will add value and provide insights on the topic at hand.
20. Have a follow-up plan after the meeting
When it comes to meetings, planning ahead is key to success. This also applies to follow-up after the meeting has ended. By considering a few key points, you can make sure your meeting is followed up on properly and efficiently.
First, it’s important to decide who will be responsible for following up on the meeting. This person should be organized and have good communication skills. They will need to contact each attendee to get their feedback and input on what was discussed.
Next, you need to determine what kind of follow-up is necessary. Will there be a debriefing? Do any decisions need to be made? Are there any action items that need to be completed?
By having a clear understanding of what needs to happen after the meeting, you can make sure everyone is on the same page and that nothing falls through the cracks.
In conclusion, planning a meeting is important. It helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the meeting will be productive. It also allows you to identify any potential problems that could arise and address them before they become an issue. By following the strategies mentioned in this blog, you can successfully plan your meetings effectively.
Learn: How to conduct hybrid event breakout sessions