Hybrid meetings aim to integrate live and virtual events into one conference.
However, it’s not just a matter of broadcasting your traditional conference format and speakers to remote audiences.
Whiltst technology may be the most expensive element it is only one factor and as with any conference content and purpose should come first.
Information needs to be presented in a totally different fashion for remote audiences. Research suggests they prefer events which more closely resemble TV shows with a news desk or current affairs style format to that of speaker-behind-the podium.
Experience from e-learning experts tells us that sessions should be no longer than 20 minutes and should allow for and encourage audience interaction.
All the effort might be woth it though as despite the fears of many stakeholders it appears that rather than cannibalizing face-to-face meetings it actually increases participation at future live events as people gain a sense of what they might be missing out on.
Hybrid events are well suited to the Australian environment particularly for Associations which struggle to attract more than a small percentage of their membership base to attend national events.
Below I’ve listed some useful links to current research studies; post event evaluations; and practical information to consider if a hybrid event is on your radar for your next national conference. As all the information I’ve come across on hybrid events has emanated from overseas I’d welcome the chance to hear about any local experiences with hybrid events which I’d then be happy to share on this site.