Three Levels of Complexity, and Cost, for Hybrid Meetings

The thought of having to add hybrid meetings to the skill set of planning meetings can cause great consternation for planners, but the consensus is that adding a virtual component to in-person meetings will become an industry standard of sorts moving forward.

An individual or small team of planners can’t realistically manage the staggering logistics required to produce an in-person as well as simultaneous virtual program. Hybrid meetings, in many cases, require nearly a duplicate level of staffing. Even at the highest end, hybrid event production companies certainly come to the party loaded to bear, but still have strategies to contain costs.

“We just did a large in-person conference with nine concurrent session rooms. Not every session was webcast, and only a few speakers had to be Zoomed in to the ballroom and onto the webcast,” said Mary Ann Pierce, founder and CEO of Map Digital, a pioneer in virtual events that counts many global financial institutions—a segment heavy with regulations—as clients. “Thankfully, everything was on the MetaMeetings platform, from onsite registration with CLEAR authentication, digital agenda signage, speaker-ready, and the same conference website for in-person and web attendees, whether the session was webcast or not. So, the integration of services provides a compression of budget P&Ls [profit and losses] and onsite labor. Our MAP team built the networks and stations, and then put on business suites to run the onsite work.”