Feeling the pressure to bridge the gap between remote and on-site team members while keeping everything running smoothly and ensuring everyone’s happy?

You’re not alone.

Navigating the new hybrid world can feel like trying to solve three Rubik’s cubes while juggling them at the same time. One minute, you’re confident you’ve got it all figured out, and the next, you’re hit with a hitch that threatens to undo all your hard work.

There’s no doubt about it — you need to be armed with up-to-date information to succeed.

Hybrid meetings aren’t just another buzzword. They’re a game-changer for today’s fast-paced, highly adaptable workplace.


Quick Summary: Here’s a list of everything we’ll cover about hybrid meetings in this article:

  • What hybrid meetings are, and how they differ from virtual meetings
  • The pros and cons of hybrid meetings
  • The different types of hybrid meetings and their logistical and technological requirements
  • Four pre-meeting best practices
  • Tips for running an effective and inclusive hybrid meeting
  • FAQs

Ready to lift the lid on hybrid meetings, debunk a few myths about them, learn about their potential pitfalls, and discover their benefits?

Let’s dive in!

What Are Hybrid Meetings?

Hybrid meetings are video- or audio-based meetings that involve a mix of in-person attendees and remote participants.

The in-person attendees participate from a single location, such as a conference room, and the remote participants join via an online meeting platform.

While hybrid work models aren’t new, the pandemic-induced shutdown accelerated this more flexible way of working, as it forced many companies to rethink the traditional 9–5 work structure.

Hybrid work in general — and hybrid meetings in particular — are now the model of choice for as many as 83% of workers.

Hybrid vs Virtual Meetings

Employees and employers often use the terms “hybrid meetings” and “virtual meetings” interchangeably. While they do have similarities — the need for a robust technological setup chief among them — they’re not the same.

hybrid meeting vs virtual meeting

A hybrid meeting is a blended model and requires the attendance of both in-person and remote participants. On the other hand, virtual meetings — also called fully remote meetings — are conducted entirely online.

Types of Hybrid Meetings and Their Requirements

The three main types of hybrid meetings can be categorized based on how participants join:

  • In-person participants and virtual presenters
  • In-person presenters and virtual participants
  • A blend of virtual and in-person participants and presenters

Each of these meeting types requires:

  • a fast and stable internet connection
  • high-quality audio technology (e.g., microphones and speakers)
  • a reliable video conferencing platform
  • a thoughtfully designed meeting space
  • a backup plan in case of technical issues.

Hybrid Meeting Pros and Cons

Hybrid meetings are becoming more popular because they can provide maximum flexibility and convenience for participants. Hybrid meeting pros include:

  • Greater flexibility and convenience
  • Promote work-life balance
  • More Inclusive
  • More cost-effective than fully in-person meetings

hybrid meetings pros and cons

That said, hybrid meetings aren’t always ideal. Some limitations of hybrid meetings include:

4 Pre-Meeting Best Practices

According to Miro Miroslavov, our CEO and co-founder, “Hybrid work doesn’t happen by chance.”

The same can be said of hybrid meetings. You have to be “intentional, proactive, and thoughtful to make it work properly.”

In other words, you need a plan.

Here are four pre-meeting best practices for an effective and inclusive hybrid meeting.

1. Decide Whether You Really Need the Meeting

Let’s take a look at a couple of stats:

  • 37% of professionals believe that meetings are the most significant cost to businesses
  • 80% of US workers experience “Zoom fatigue” due to excessive virtual meetings, which can lead to anxiety and burnout..

If asynchronous communication is enough, maybe you don’t need a meeting.

2. Plan Your Equipment Setup

Because hybrid meetings are so dynamic, it’s a good idea to create a setup document that contains all the equipment you’ll need.

Here’s a simple hybrid meeting room setup checklist.

hybrid meeting room setup

Because you’ll need to go beyond Zoom or Google Meet, make sure you book a suitable meeting room well in advance. And by the way, check out some creative meeting room name ideas here.

If you want to see how OfficeRnD Hybrid’s meeting room booking software can streamline meeting room bookings, you can try it for free. Now, it features meeting services that allow you to request additional services such as catering, custom equipment setups, room layout reorganizations, and more.

3. Test Your Technology

Technology can make or break your hybrid meeting, so it’s important to test anything you plan to use before the big day.

Audio is particularly important — even more so than video. And let’s not forget a stable Internet connection, of course.

You’ll also want to make sure that you can schedule your meeting efficiently. OfficeRnD Hybrid is an embeddable solution that does just that. It also integrates with your pre-existing tech stack so that you can book desks and rooms through the tools you already use — whether that’s Microsoft Tech Stack, Google Workspace, Slack, or something else entirely.

For more details, watch the video below:

4. Design an Inclusive Agenda

If you want to encourage engagement, make sure that your agenda caters to all the meeting’s attendees, regardless of how they join.

Provide opportunities for everyone to speak. Monitor the virtual chat and the raised hand feature in the video conferencing tool so you can see when your remote attendees want to contribute.

Finally, create, release, and enforce a hybrid meeting etiquette guide that includes a list of the behavior expected of all attendees, each of whom plays an important role in the meeting’s success (more on this in the next section).

Note: While it may be tempting to require everyone — even those on-site — to join a meeting through their laptops, it’s not necessary, or appropriate, in a hybrid meeting. After all, if everyone is joining through laptops anyway, why not just host a virtual meeting?

21 Tips for Running an Effective and Inclusive Hybrid Meeting

As mentioned, you should have an inclusive etiquette guide that defines each attendee’s role and expected behavior.

Take a look at the tips below to run — and enjoy — an effective and inclusive hybrid meeting.

Hybrid Meeting Tips for Presenters/Leaders: How Do You Chair a Hybrid Meeting?

To effectively and inclusively chair a hybrid meeting, you need to do the following:

  1. Share the meeting agenda with the attendees well in advance, and include a collaborative document on which everyone can enter any questions they might have.
  2. Design an inclusive agenda. For example, choose ice-breakers that everyone can engage in or appoint an in-room avatar for remote attendees.
  3. Start and end the meeting on time. Give the meeting a proper name.
  4. Provide opportunities for both in-person and virtual attendees to speak.
  5. Make sure that presentations can be clearly seen and heard by both the remote attendees and in-person participants.
  6. Schedule breaks.
  7. Be conscious of and actively make an effort to reduce distance bias.
  8. Follow best practices on calendar invite etiquette when sending invites to virtual attendees. This applies to asynchronous meetings as well.

Hybrid Meeting Tips for Facilitators: How Do You Effectively Facilitate a Hybrid Meeting?

hybrid meeting tips

Facilitating effective meetings requires you to:

  1. Guide the conversation and keep it on track.
  2. Enforce the hybrid meeting etiquette guide.
  3. Regularly monitor the virtual chat and the raised hand feature on the video conferencing tool so you can see when remote attendees want to speak.
  4. Draw participants from both groups in, keep them engaged, and ensure their voices are heard.
  5. Require cameras only when necessary. Video calls aren’t always appropriate.
  6. Listen to the quality of the audio. Make sure that any background noise isn’t intrusive.
  7. Address conflict calmly and respectfully so that everyone feels heard and the meeting can continue productively.

Hybrid Meeting Tips for Attendees: How Do You Participate in a Hybrid Meeting?

If you’re a meeting attendee, you should:

  1. Be conscious of the rules, and follow them.
  2. Consider your body language.
  3. Give others a chance to talk.
  4. Test your own technology before the meeting starts if you’re joining virtually.
  5. Avoid having side conversations with other attendees.
  6. Practice active listening when others speak.
  7. Speak clearly when it’s your turn to speak.

Hold Successful Hybrid Meetings With OfficeRnD Hybrid

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, from clarifying what hybrid meetings are and highlighting their requirements to understanding how they differ from virtual gatherings. We’ve also taken a balanced look at their upsides and downsides and offered you a practical toolkit full of best practices for all the roles involved in these meetings.

Hybrid meetings are flexible and convenient. But at the same time, they pose unique challenges to overcome.

One of these challenges involves the meeting room setup. Do it right by ensuring that you book a suitable room with the technological capability your hybrid meeting needs.

OfficeRnD Hybrid includes a meeting room booking software that makes it easy for your hybrid organization to find and book rooms for on-site collaboration on any device.

If you want to start holding successful hybrid meetings get started for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid.

FAQ

What’s the Difference Between In-Person and Hybrid Meetings?

The difference between these meeting types lies in the location of the meeting participants. An in-person meeting is attended by people on-site, while a hybrid meeting always has at least some virtual participants.

What’s the Purpose of a Hybrid Meeting?

The purpose of a hybrid meeting is to provide a consistent experience for all attendees, no matter how they choose to participate. It places remote and physical workers on equal footing, offering a more flexible way for them to collaborate and communicate with each other.

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".