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What is a Hybrid Meeting and How to Update A Meeting Room for Hybrid Meetings in 2021

Hybrid meetings are set to become a regular workplace feature - so how do we make sure we are ready?

It seems like only yesterday that we were all getting used to video meetings. Now that we’ve mastered those and people are starting to return to the office, we have a whole new thing to get used to: Hybrid Meetings. But what is a hybrid meeting and how can we update meeting rooms to make our hybrid meetings as smooth as a one-on-one video call.

What is a hybrid meeting?

A hybrid meeting is a meeting where people attend both virtually and in-person, using audio visual conferencing equipment to communicate. Often participants will use online content sharing solutions to support collaboration.  

With 1 in 4 meetings currently a hybrid meeting, and people preferring to have a mix of home and office working in future, it’s clear that even in a post-Covid world, hybrid meetings are here to stay.  Unfortunately for most businesses, the technology is not up to the challenge. In a hybrid meeting, attention flits from people in the room, to people on camera, and the video cameras and audio equipment struggles to keep up. So how do you update your meeting room for hybrid meetings so that all participants can be heard and seen, and content can be shared efficiently, for the most enjoyable hybrid meeting experience?

The first step is to make sure you have a suitable meeting room solution for video meetings. The meeting room system avoids you having to “give up” your laptop in the meeting, helping you to maintain your productivity and your privacy.  It’s also really easy to join a meeting, as it is scheduled in the room calendar – just turn up and tap to join! Meeting room hardware solutions are available for all the popular video conferencing platforms. Often with tabletop touch screen interfaces that combine with cameras and audio solutions, to turn any meeting room into an easy-to-use video conferencing suite.

In a hybrid meeting, the main speaker will change from in-room to on-video participants without notice. So for your meeting to be a success, you must have microphones that can pick up sound from wherever a person may be in the room. There are various solutions to help you achieve this. Depending on your room size and shape, you may be better with a ceiling mounted microphone like the Sennheiser Team Connect Ceiling 2 or multiple desk-mounted microphones like the Logitech Tap (which also combines as a touch screen video meeting interface). The key is to choose products that are suitable for your particular space and that are able to identify between background noise and people speaking.

In a hybrid meeting, video participants may need to change their view of those in the room,  from a group view to an individual close up. A smart camera that will pick up these changes automatically is the best solution for an easy and natural meeting experience. We like the Poly Eagle Eye Director II (available on its own or with the Poly G85-T) for a simple, professional solution that will automatically group people into one shot or zoom into individual speakers, creating a more natural and dynamic experience for the other side of the call. 

The most successful hybrid meetings allow all participants to collaborate and share content as they would if they were in the same room. For the best results either use a very large single screen, or a dual screen set up, using mid sized panels. This means you can properly see both peoples reactions and the people video feed, as well as crystal clear content. There is no point presenting a spreadsheet to the room using a 50″ TV when participants are sat 4 or 5m away! 

Secondly, a tool for wireless screen sharing is key. Many video platforms offer basic content sharing and whiteboard as standard, but a solution that also allows content annotation is an essential tool for true hybrid meeting collaboration. We like the Poly G7500 which combines with additional modules in the Poly range like advanced cameras, the TC8 touch console and smart audio solutions for an unsurpassable yet simple collaboration experience. 

Update Your Meeting Room For Hybrid Meetings

If you need independent advice on how to transform your meetings rooms or video conferencing suites into hybrid meeting rooms then why not book a free consultation? We can organise a video meeting to review your existing technology and room set-up, to identify the most appropriate solutions for simple hybrid meeting experiences across your organisation.

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