March 25, 2021

Planning Tips for Your Next Hybrid Meeting

Of the three types of meetings and conferences:  in-person, virtual, and hybrid, the latter of three offers less of a one-directional approach to meeting dynamics and more of an interactive opportunity. A hybrid meeting – the marriage of an in-person and virtual meeting – can mean that small groups may meet in-person in various locations, then be brought together at the end of the day for best-practice sharing, group work, and networking opportunities. Implementing some creative workarounds can make all the difference for a hybrid conference or meeting attendee by bridging the gap between remote and in-person gatherings.

Extra special touches can make hybrid meetings come to life. What are some ideas meeting planners can implement for their next hybrid conference or meeting?

Set the Scene:
While a variety of settings can entice the in-person event attendee, Visit Santa Cruz County is bringing its beaches, redwood forests, coastal charm, and natural beauty to hybrid meeting attendees who log in remotely. 

Once you have chosen a hotel or meeting venue in Santa Cruz County, choose from a variety of custom-branded destination backdrops for your meeting attendees who will be logging in remotely. Redwoods, beaches, and scenic vistas can bring the area to life for your conference attendees. Click here to download a sample background!  Check your Visit Santa Cruz County e-newsletters for more designs to come.

Around the World:
One creative idea meeting planners can enlist when planning a hybrid meeting is hosting meeting attendees regionally in smaller groups, and having an executive emcee a presentation or workshop at each location for the benefit of all participants. 

Warm-Up Act:
During the start of a hybrid meeting, log-on time can be used to showcase creative content, an executive informally interviewing guest speakers, or a “warm-up host” to help break the ice as attendees join the meeting virtually.

Food and Rev:
For nearby meeting attendees from Silicon Valley, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay area, or the Central Valley, why not offer a “Drive-In” option when it comes to lunch or refreshments? Guests can safely experience your event in their cars and even have food and beverage delivered right to their car windows! That way they are already in-market when the meeting ends and can join in on the socially distant fun.

Wish You Were Here” Souvenir:
Organize a “Wish You Were Here” game once the business is over. Distribute prepaid credit cards and pair each team member with a conference attendee who participated remotely. Ask the team member to choose a souvenir from Santa Cruz County exclusively for their hybrid meeting partner who attended remotely.

Drop Them a Line:
For a more budget-friendly approach to the “Wish You Were Here” game, contact Visit Santa Cruz County in the planning stages of your meeting or conference and secure a quantity of souvenir postcards. Stamp each one and distribute one to in-person meeting attendees. Ask them to write a note to a remote team member from the hybrid conference and mail it before they leave town!

This How-To Guide for Hybrid Meetings from MPI outlines the details of planning and executing a hybrid meeting, including creating meeting content, budget considerations, and case studies.

The team at Visit Santa Cruz County looks forward to welcoming meeting attendees back in 2021 – when it is safe to do so. Until then, be sure to follow Meet in Santa Cruz on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest news and information!

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