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What Is Needed for a Hybrid Meeting?

Virtual and hybrid meetings are the reality for a huge number of workplaces these days, as a response to COVID-19 precautions. It’s important that employers know how to run them effectively. Using the right technology to connect participants in person and remotely is important. It will involve choosing the best platform for the virtual attendees. It also involves having the best SMART conference tables for the in-person attendees of these hybrid meetings. This article will explore exactly how hybrid meetings can best work for your team, and what equipment matters most for them.

What Is the Difference Between a Virtual and Hybrid Meeting?

The biggest difference between a virtual and a hybrid meeting is that:
                ● In a virtual meeting all attendees are joining virtually
                ● In a hybrid meeting there are some attendees joining virtually and others at the meeting in person

A virtual meeting requires only technology to accommodate digital guests. In contrast, a hybrid meeting requires digital components as well as accommodating in-person staff and equipment.

One of the biggest benefits of hybrid events is the flexibility they provide. This is because all staff can join the meeting in whichever way works the best for them. This benefit requires a different setup for in-person and virtual guests to achieve the best results.

Having the right physical setup for the in-person guests of a hybrid meeting is very important. It allows them to interact easily with others in the room, while being able to see and interact with those joining virtually. The right conference table and technology is therefore a must for a truly successful hybrid meeting.

How Do You Run a Good Hybrid Meeting?

Hybrid meetings best practices can be thought of in three different main categories—accessibility for remote attendees, practicality for in-person attendees, and meeting content. Each category has its only special considerations.


1. Accessibility for Remote Attendees

It is vitally important that remote attendees be able to clearly see, hear, and interact with the people in the room in order to be included in a hybrid meeting. A company needs to provide a platform or software to virtually connect them. Adequate video and audio equipment is needed in the physical meeting space so virtual and in-person participants can interact.

This requires SMART conference tables and desks with the flexibility to accommodate this technology. Conference tables need to provide a space to securely set up video and audio equipment, as well as plug into power sources without inconveniencing the in-person experience.

2. Practicality for In-Person Attendees

In-person attendees have a very different set of needs than remote attendees in a hybrid meeting. They need to be able to clearly see any presentation slides or video that may be a part of the meeting. They also should be able to see and hear the virtual attendees and the other in-person staff. A large screen in the conference room will allow you to show the virtual attendees. This makes everyone feel like they’re part of the group. It is important to think about the way a conference table is positioned in a room with this type of setup. You want to make sure everyone at the table can clearly and comfortably see and hear everything.

t is likely that some or all participants will need their own laptops or devices in front of them during a meeting. This might be because they are taking notes, getting input from virtual attendees, or accessing presentation materials. A conference room setup needs to include SMARTdesks and SMARTtables so everyone in the physical meeting space has their technology.

3. Meeting Content

Once the practical and technical needs of everyone at the meeting are addressed, the final element for a successful hybrid meeting is the meeting content itself. Here are some tips for running a good meeting, regardless of the location of the participants.
  • Design an agenda for the participants
  • Share the agenda before the meeting
  • Think about time zones when scheduling meeting times
  • Start the meeting on time
  • Have a moderator to keep the meeting on track
  • Test all the technology ahead of time
  • Make sure to include all participants and ask for input from those who haven’t spoken on a topic
  • Ask for feedback after a meeting is complete to improve for next time

What Equipment Is Needed for a Hybrid Meeting?

The best equipment for hybrid meetings is the equipment that lets you take advantage of all the benefits while minimizing the problems with hybrid meetings.

At SMARTdesks, we design office furniture that addresses the challenges of hybrid meetings. Our completely customizable conference and meeting products have been thoughtfully designed to allow for great meetings—whether everyone is in the same room or not. 

Our Piatto Conference Table, has concealed monitor mounts for any number of in person users, customized for your office’s exact needs. It also has popup or under table power and data units to ensure everyone can connect seamlessly while maintaining a more formal, traditional conference room ambiance.

The Vista80 Collaborative Conference Table, has the option for an integrated large monitor for presentations and seeing virtual meeting participants in a more casual setting. This is a great option for small group collaboration and open concept spaces that make it easy for everyone to connect quickly with ease.

For the presenter at a hybrid meeting, our iLid Dual Monitor Podium is a great selection to share a presentation. The dual screen option allows presenters to see slides while monitoring the virtual chat engagement of remote meeting attendees at the same time. The podium monitor mounts conveniently flip the monitors up or down as needed.

We have been designing and delivering the highest quality functional furniture to offices, educational facilities, and government agencies for over 25 years. Browse our products and contact us to get started creating the best space for your hybrid meeting room setup.