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How To Run Effective Hybrid Meetings

How to run efficient and productive hybrid meetings for volunteer boards


The pandemic has changed the way that charity and not-for-profit boards meet, pushing many to embrace hybrid meetings, which combine the best of both in-person and fully remote gatherings. This new approach accommodates directors or trustees who are not physically situated in the same location, fostering inclusivity and embracing diverse perspectives.

By offering remote attendance options, barriers related to transportation and expenses are eliminated, which makes meetings more accessible and convenient for volunteer board members.

Challenges of hybrid meetings

With all these benefits, however, hybrid meetings also pose their own unique set of obstacles, with different requirements than in-person or fully virtual meetings.

These challenges include internet connectivity issues, unexpected interruptions in home offices and physical distance between attendees. As a result, organising hybrid meetings can be complicated, and many mission-driven organisations may not be sure how to adapt successfully.

The good news is that you can have productive meetings in a hybrid environment, but having the right strategy and tools in place is key. How you prepare beforehand and how you manage day-of proceedings has a huge impact on your overall success.

With the right strategy for meeting management, you can ensure efficiency as you move from item to item on the agenda.

To help, we’ve put together a checklist of the key steps you can take to run a successful hybrid meeting. Download this checklist to keep handy for your upcoming meetings.


Checklist for hybrid meetings

Set your board attendees up for success by following these best practices before each hybrid meeting:

1. Do a technology dry run

By making sure that your technology is working as it should before the meeting, you can prevent slowdowns or interruptions during the actual meeting. Plan time beforehand to check that cameras, audio and any other technological functions are working as expected.

2. Make sure everyone can access the meeting

Confirm that all attendees have the correct links and applications downloaded before the meeting. If there are any access issues, be sure that attendees have flagged the problems and that they’ve been addressed before your scheduled start time.

3. Set clear expectations

Make sure everyone is on the same page so you can run the meeting smoothly and avoid potential issues. Set clear expectations around things like whether or not cameras should be on, how everyone is expected to participate and what the dress code will be. Make sure you agree on communication channels you’ll use before, during and after the meeting as well.

4. Send out required materials beforehand

Creating a meeting agenda and other related materials is just as important for hybrid events as for in-person meetings. Planning ahead for discussion items and scheduling will help make sure everyone knows what to expect from the meeting. It will also help attendees come prepared, whether they’re in-person or online.

5. Get your follow-up materials ready

Be sure everything you need to send to attendees after the meeting is in order. You’ll want to ensure you record the meeting at the beginning and send it out afterward. It’s also helpful to keep all meeting notes in one place, so everyone can reference recaps, takeaways and action items whenever they need to.

Top tips for a successful hybrid meeting

Keep your charity, not-for-profit or credit union meetings running smoothly for attendees on both sides of the screen with these tips:

  • Plan a detailed agenda and set expectations before the meeting
  • Keep thorough meeting minutes and distribute them to all attendees afterward
  • Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak and use tools like the “raise hands” feature to keep things organised
  • Make the most of technological tools to improve user experience
  • Be prepared for distractions and give all attendees the space to step away from the webcam for a moment if they need to

Whatever your board meeting format, BoardEffect can help. Designed specifically for volunteer boards, our board management software can help improve communication and collaboration before, during and after meetings. It also helps you streamline key processes like material distribution, and promotes accountability for all members of the board.

Ed Rees

Ed is a seasoned professional with over 12 years of experience in the Governance space, where he has collaborated with a diverse range of organizations. His passion lies in empowering these entities to optimize their operations through the strategic integration of technology, particularly in the realms of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC).

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