First of all, we need to establish what we mean by hybrid meetings. Some say it's a meeting where all speakers are in a studio and all participants are online. Some say it mean that part of the participants are online and part are in the room. And there's many shades of grey.
For this article, we will go by the definition that some participants are online and some are live; speakers can be anywhere and the moderator is on stage.
So, let's dive into our statement don't do it unless ...
There's added value
This goes for everything we do: even interaction (our core business) should only be planned, if there's added value!
Hybrid should never be the default setting, just as live or online shouldn't be. Each option has pro's and con's, which should be weighted carefully.
Participants are connected
In our view, the most important added value hybrid can bring is when bringing the two kinds of participants together makes it a better experience for both. If they live there seperate lives and are fine with that, why bother making it into one event?
There's cost reduction
If you have a paid speaker that will only do the one performance, there's a good reason to have those who can't make it to the venue listen in remotely.
There's thought put into the planning
Remote participants don't always want to participate for the full event. So make sure, you plan for both groups of participants to have a well-spent day.
You do more than streaming
If you just broadcast, you're not making a true connection to your remote participants. Either design some real engagement for them ór use the option to provide a recording on demand.
As a consequence, you might also need a second moderator to take care of the online participants.
You use the full potential
Hybrid brings a wide array of options. Why not go multihub, connecting small groups of live participants in an online setting? Why not change a full day event in a week long experience of shorter sessions; some online, some on stage an some both? Why not work around the clock, to give each timezone its own schedule? Why not combine live, remote, recorded, hybrid etc into one multi-faced experience? Be creative and let go of old paradigms!
Don't do hybrid, just because everyone tells you to. Don't do it, because it is hot. Only do it to get better results: for you and all kinds of participants! If you stick to this, probably you will let go of hybrid in many cases. And most likely, the hybrid meetings you will do, will then be briljant.