Tips for a Successful Hybrid Company Town Hall Meeting

First Published:

Audio Solutions, Auditorium / Town Hall, Meeting Room Tips, Support

Company town hall meetings, or all-hands meetings, have evolved with the variety of digital tools available. The rise of remote work and the need for flexibility has led to the popularity of hybrid meetings, where some participants are in person, while others join remotely. To ensure a successful hybrid town hall meeting, combine traditional meeting management approaches with effective virtual collaboration.

Here are some best practices to make your hybrid town hall engaging and productive.

Hybrid meeting room

1. Define the Purpose and Agenda

Ensure that everyone is on the same page by providing a clear purpose and agenda for the meeting. This is crucial to ensure that the gathering is productive, engaging, and aligned with your organisational goals.

  • Begin by defining the overarching goals of the meeting. Is it to share company updates, celebrate achievements, discuss strategic plans, or engage in team-building activities? Having clear objectives helps you shape the agenda.
  • Create a well-balanced agenda that includes a mix of informative, interactive, and engaging segments. Allocate time for each agenda item, keeping in mind the attention spans of participants.
  • Incorporate opportunities for audience interaction, such as Q&A sessions, polls, breakout discussions, and live demos.
  • Dedicate time for networking or team-building activities, ensuring both in-person and remote participants can participate.

2. Choose the Right Technology

Choosing the right technology is pivotal for the success of your hybrid company town hall meeting. Here are some considerations and options to explore:

Microsoft Teams as a Conferencing Solution:

Microsoft Teams is a great choice, providing a secure platform for your meeting. Its user-friendly interface streamlines the meeting initiation process, saving time. With the appropriate AV hardware, you can start your meeting effortlessly with a single click. Moreover, Microsoft Teams accommodates participation from various devices and locations, enabling seamless collaboration among colleagues working remotely as well as international teams.

Dedicated Live Streaming Software Services:

Alternatively, you can consider dedicated live streaming software services. Platforms such as Hopin, Livestorm, Brightcove, Microsoft Stream, and Pigeonhole Live consolidate essential meeting features into a single suite. This approach simplifies the tech stack and enhances your ability to engage and interact with your audience during town hall meetings. TecInteractive can help you assess these options, offering independent advice tailored to your business’s specific needs.

Customised Display Solutions:

Display screens should be adapted to the size of your venue and the number of participants. There are many options when it comes to display screens including large TV screens. LED panels offer a versatile solution, allowing you to create custom video walls of any size or shape, including curved, flat, or mosaic displays. The advantages of LED panels include high brightness for clear visibility, a seamless viewing experience that immerses your audience, low maintenance as they are designed for 24/7 usage, plus don’t produce noise as they have no fans. TecInteractive’s expertise can transform your vision into a stunning reality, ensuring that your message is seen and heard clearly.

Company town hall meeting room

3. Ensure Audio-Visual Clarity

For engaging all-hands company meetings, achieving audio-visual clarity is paramount. Investing in quality audio and camera equipment not only ensures professionalism but also prevents wasted time and facilitates effective communication.

Perfecting Sound Quality:

  • Good quality microphones are a must. Everyone, whether physically present or joining remotely, should be able to hear the speaker clearly.
  • Consider lapel microphones in physical locations to eliminate background noise and ensure excellent sound quality.
  • Smart audio solutions adapt to various acoustic environments, effortlessly minimising background noise.

Sharper Video Capture:

  • Smarter cameras elevate the meeting experience, allowing all attendees to be both seen and heard.
  • Install multiple smart cameras based on room size, providing a comprehensive view for remote participants.
  • Creston’s 1 Beyond Automate, for example, employs voice activation to switch between multiple cameras automatically, focusing on the speaker’s location.
  • This enables remote attendees to benefit from engaging close-up shots and offers hands-free convenience for on-site teams.

Eliminate distracting background noise and maintain engagement throughout your meetings with the right technology. At TecInteractive, our solutions offer both flexibility and permanence. We understand the impact of room configuration on sound performance and provide tailored solutions.

4. Designate a Moderator

Appoint someone to guide the discussion, ensuring both in-person and remote participants have an opportunity to speak. The moderator can help balance participation and ensure that the meeting stays on track.

This is a vital role, and having the right technology can greatly enhance their effectiveness. Here’s how technology can empower moderators:

  • Master the communication platform: Moderators should be proficient in the meeting platform being used. This includes managing participants, muting/unmuting, and using features like screen sharing and breakout rooms. All our installs come with training as standard to ensure that everyone using the systems can do so with confidence.
  • Presentation control: Access to presentation control tools allows moderators to manage slides and screen sharing for speakers seamlessly.
  • Interactive tools: Moderators can engage the audience effectively with Q&A and polling tools, encouraging participation and interaction.
  • Timekeeping assistance: Timers or clocks visible to the moderator help keep the meeting on schedule, ensuring speakers stick to their allotted time.
  • Backup connectivity: Having a backup internet connection or technical support for connectivity issues is essential for uninterrupted moderation. We offer AV support alongside all our installations as well as a standalone option. By choosing AV Support we can pro-actively maintain systems and prevent outages. And if something does go wrong we are on-hand to get your meeting up and running.

With the right technology at their disposal, moderators can efficiently manage the meeting, address technical challenges, and create a positive and engaging atmosphere for all participants.

5. Encourage Participation

Technology for Q&A sessions in all-hands meetings has evolved to facilitate interaction and engagement among participants, whether they are attending in person or remotely.

Here are some technology options commonly used for Q&A sessions in all-hands meetings:

  • Built-in Q&A features: Many virtual meeting platforms, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex, offer built-in Q&A features. These tools allow participants to submit questions during the meeting, and moderators or presenters can address them in real-time or at designated Q&A segments.
  • Live chat: Live chat functionality within virtual meeting platforms is another way to facilitate Q&A. Participants can type their questions in the chat, and moderators can respond as needed. Ensure that the chat is monitored and that questions are acknowledged and answered promptly.
  • Specialised Q&A tools: There are specialised Q&A platforms like Slido, Mentimeter, and Pigeonhole Live that offer advanced features for interactive Q&A sessions. These tools allow attendees to submit questions and upvote others’ questions, ensuring that the most relevant ones are addressed. Moderators can also queue and manage questions effectively.
  • Audience response systems (ARS): ARS tools like Poll Everywhere enable participants to submit questions via mobile devices.
  • Video conferencing integrations: Integrating video conferencing solutions with other Q&A tools can enhance the overall experience. For example, combining Zoom with Slido or Microsoft Teams with Mentimeter can provide a comprehensive Q&A and interactive polling experience.

When selecting technology for Q&A sessions in all-hands meetings, consider factors such as the size of your audience, the desired level of interactivity, and the features that best align with your meeting goals. Experiment with different tools to find the right fit for your organisation’s specific needs and preferences.

6. Prepare Visuals

Make your company town hall meeting more engaging, use visuals like presentations, infographics, or videos. Ensure that they’re easily visible to both in-person and online attendees via large displays and screen sharing.

  • Use visual tools: Utilise software like PowerPoint, Google Slides, Excel, Canva, or Adobe Illustrator to create compelling visuals.
  • Diverse visuals: Incorporate a variety of visuals, including presentation slides, charts, images, video clips, and live demos to cater to different learning styles.
  • Interactive elements: Engage your audience with live polls, surveys, and interactive whiteboards, encouraging participation and collaboration.
  • Illustrate progress: Use timelines and roadmaps to visualise your company’s journey and achievements.
  • Social media engagement: Showcase real-time social media engagement using feed tools.

Wireless presentation systems like ClickShare allows presenters to seamlessly share content from their desktops with a single click. This eliminates the hassle of dealing with tangled cables and gives the presenter the freedom to present from anywhere in the room.

By incorporating these visual elements and technology, you’ll not only make your town hall meeting more digestible and engaging but also ensure that everyone, regardless of their location, can easily access and benefit from the visual content.

7. Test Everything Beforehand

Technical glitches can be a major distraction. Test all equipment and software ahead of time, and have a tech support person on standby during the meeting.

We offer AV support packages alongside any of our installations as well as offering a standalone service for those who already have equipment installed.

Our support services are available via phone, email, video or on-site, and are delivered by our skilled engineers. If issues occur, you can quickly get in touch, with our team working swiftly to get your tech working as it should. We proactively monitor your AV equipment, picking up issues before they become problems, such as firmware updates, loose or unplugged cables.

Audio Visual equipment is now business critical technology which is why it is we offer support services to ensure your meetings – be it calls with customers, small internal meetings or large all-hands meetings – operate smoothly and efficiently.

all-hands meeting in progress

Hybrid town hall meetings, when conducted effectively, can merge the best of both worlds: the intimacy of in-person interactions with the flexibility of digital participation. With a bit of planning and the right techniques, such meetings can be not only efficient but also inclusive and engaging.

See and hear for yourself – book a demo!