The further I dig into hybrid meetings, the more I’m wondering whether the contexts in which they are useful are really more limited than first thought.
Team meetings? I’m leaning toward fully digital for dispersed teams, even if some team members happen to be co-located. Each person on their own device allows for full use of digital tools — even basic ones such as Chat. It also evens out the quality of the experience for everyone. People who are onsite together can enjoy coffee in-person at the breaks.
Conferences? I suspect either fully digital or fully in-person would be better — even offering both options separately might result in a better experience for all participants than a hybrid event. There may be cost implications to this option — but would you really need to do everything twice? Parts of the in-person event could be recorded for digital participants rather than occurring live — and I’m sure lots of other creative scenarios could be imagined.
I’m curious where we’ll land with all of this. Hybrid is challenging. At first, I was concerned that not doing hybrid facilitation would make my business less relevant, so I learned how to do it. But these first 6-9 months of hybrid facilitation have not resulted in awesome experiences for me or the clients. I’m not at a point of refusing to do it, but am teetering close to that line.
What’s standing in the way of me saying “No hybrid” with conviction? Frankly, it’s clients who are keen to let participants choose how to participate, even at the last minute. The perception is that hybrid is more inclusive. And I do still feel like it’s early days on this learning curve, so I haven’t pushed back too strongly [yet].
Keeping you, dear readers, up to date on this learning process!
And in the meantime, in-person events are now competing directly with digital ones. If you want people to come, those events need to be remarkable. As I type this, I have just arrived at a 25-person Adaptability Quotient Summit in southern France. I’d say it fits in that category! I’ll let you know how it goes.