Town hall meetings are a crucial part of any organisations that are widespread in different geographical locations. It has been in existence for over a decade. Earlier, town halls played an important role and served as a crucial part of American politics. With time organisations started organising town hall meetings to communicate with all the employees at a time. Town hall meetings are large conference meetings organised by the director or CEO of the company in a large conference hall that is attended by all the employees. Town Hall meetings are organised to broadcast information or notification to a large group of people. It is nearly impossible for all the employees to attend a town hall meeting in-person. Some miss it during the busy schedule or some miss it due to travelling constraints.

With the change in scenario, we entered the digital era where every physical event has been moved online. Right from organising virtual meetings and conferences, trade shows, job fairs, virtual town halls, etc. a comprehensive virtual hybrid platform serves all. With the unforeseen advent of coronavirus global pandemic, physical events have been completely cancelled and moved to a virtual environment. Even after the world recovers from the same, people will still remain suspicious about attending large gatherings.

Why Hybrid Events?

Here, a hybrid events format came into play. It offers the flexibility to attendees to attend the event or meeting either in-person or virtually from remote locations. Virtual hybrid town hall meetings are organised at an on-site location paired with a virtual town hall meeting platform service provider. It enables employees to tune-in from their remote locations to attend the town hall meeting or attend the town hall meeting in-person.

Various roadblocks faced during physical town halls such as geographical constraints, space limitations, travel costs get completely resolved with virtual town halls. The benefits served by virtual hybrid town hall meetings are far beyond the reach of in-person town hall meetings. Hybrid virtual town hall meetings are cost-effective, enable organisers to gather valuable data, gain feedback, and reach a wide audience globally. In this post, we have listed a few steps to host hybrid townhall meeting successfully.

Few points to consider while planning to host hybrid townhall meeting:

#1. Keep time zone considerations in mind

While deciding the date and time to host hybrid townhall meeting, keep time zone considerations in mind. It helps in ensuring maximum attendance at the hybrid virtual meetings. If you are organising a virtual town hall meeting with the local employee community then consider the time that best suits them. Early morning virtual town hall meetings aren’t the best idea to implement.

#2. Send speaker kit to virtual speakers

To engage attendees with the hybrid virtual town hall meetings send a “speaker kit” to your virtual speakers. Equip your speakers with the technology to deliver smooth virtual town hall meetings to attendees. Ensure every presenter has the same audio and video quality to deliver real-life experiences to virtual attendees.

#3. Create a plan to keep your attendees engaged

Create an effective plan to keep your attendees engaged with your virtual town halls. Firstly, the objective of organising a virtual hybrid town hall meeting should be clear in the mind of the presenter. The presenter should be clear in mind what he/she wants to achieve out of it. Once the objective & goals are defined, look for a hybrid event platform that offers engaging and interactive virtual meetings solutions. A virtual town hall meeting platform that enables you to organise live polls, surveys, Q&A, games, etc. keeps attendees engaged throughout. The live audio/video/keyboard chat functionality offered by the platform enables attendees to interact in real-time remotely. A comprehensive virtual hybrid platform keeps a record of every digital attendee footprint and offers a complete analytics report. The valuable data collected during virtual town halls helps in measuring the performance metrics.

Steps To Host Hybrid Town Hall Meeting

We have listed a few basic steps to host hybrid townhall meeting successfully.

#1. Define the purpose of organising a virtual hybrid town hall meeting

Determining the purpose of organising a virtual hybrid town hall meeting is a must to ensure a successful virtual meeting. Answer the following questions to yourself: What is the goal of organising hybrid virtual town halls? What you want to achieve out of it? Do you want to accumulate feedback from attendees? Whether your event will be live, on-demand, or both? What engaging features are you planning to incorporate into your hybrid virtual town halls? Will you enable live audio/video/text chats or just do polls and surveys? And so on. Once you are done deciding on all these important factors start focusing on creating an engaging content for hybrid virtual meetings. In short, content is the king that helps in engaging attendees seamlessly.

#2. Book a venue and pair with the right technology partner

If you are hosting a hybrid town hall meeting book a conference hall with a small capacity to host a small number of in-person attendees. Apart from it, pair with the right virtual hybrid platform service provider to enable attendees to access the meeting remotely.

#3. Create an effective event landing page

Once you select the virtual hybrid platform to pair with, create an effective landing page for your virtual attendees. The instructions for navigating the meetings, sessions, speaker details, date and time of a hybrid virtual meeting, and so on should be clearly mentioned.

#4. Know your hybrid virtual meeting engaging tools beforehand

Decide beforehand what engaging features you would like to introduce in your hybrid virtual town halls. Whether you are planning to introduce live polls, surveys, or Q&A. Look for a platform that enables two-way communications and facilitates attendees to interact via live chat functionality. It offers attendees a chance to connect and network with other attendees, speakers, and organisers in real-time remotely.

#5. Create a backup plan

Virtual town hall meetings may experience sudden technical errors at the last moment. Having a backup plan saves your virtual town halls to fall flat on the face. Have a pre-recorded audio and video, if the internet connection breaks at the last moment to keep the virtual hybrid meeting going. Always plan a backup for a primary set-up to prevent your meeting from failing.

#6. Test your setup with a dry run

Test the equipment before you go live. Run a test drive to check the event setup and ensure all the pieces of equipment are working properly. If any errors occur, you are still left with the time to fix it.

#7. Appoint a facilitator beforehand

Whether you are organising virtual town halls or hybrid town hall meetings appointing a facilitator beforehand is a must. The facilitator ensures the smooth flow of the event and communications at a designated time. Select a facilitator that is tech-savvy that can help attendees to deal with minor technical issues so they can concentrate on the virtual hybrid town hall meetings.

Today, virtual hybrid events have become a new normal. Almost every industry has leveraged virtual event technology. If you are still skeptical about the same, think ahead of the changing times, where the world will completely enter into the digital phase. In conclusion, start transforming your internal and external industry events into a virtual hybrid event format and reach attendees in-person as well as virtually!