9.5 The meeting
Hosting your hybrid meeting
Before your meeting starts, give yourself time to be ready. Use the checklist below as a guide for the key elements for hosting your meeting. You may also wish to review the checklists provided earlier in this course.
|Check your equipment and environment||
Are you familiar with the virtual conference platform and video conferencing technology, and is it set up correctly?
Is the ‘location’ of the meeting set up correctly?
|Purpose and agenda||Remind yourself of the purpose and check the agenda is still correct. If you have timings on the agenda, think about how you will follow them.|
Who is/isn’t attending; will anyone be late joining?
Did any of the participants have additional needs?
Do you need to make any adjustments for the participants?
Do you need to let other participants know of adjustments required (if the participant with the requirement is happy for this to be shared)?
Are you clear on the etiquette for the meeting; has this been shared in advance, or will this be covered at the start of the meeting?
Will there be breaks during the meeting?
|Recording the meeting||If you are recording the meeting, are all participants aware and happy for you do so?|
|Collaboration activities||Have you planned collaboration activities?|
|Meeting roles||What are the roles that are needed within the meeting? (This is covered in this section in more detail.)|
|Chairing/facilitating the meeting||Think about how you will do this: how well do you know the participants, and how will you keep to time?|
|Note-taking||If you are not recording, will someone be taking notes and actions and be responsible for sharing the meeting minutes?|
|Closing the meeting||How will you bring the meeting to a close and agree on next steps?|
|Thank you||Don’t forget to thank participants for attending!|
Most meetings involving more than two people will have a chair or a facilitator to ensure that the meeting is focused and covers the items that need to be discussed. Depending on the size of the meeting, you may decide to have more roles, some of which might be shared.
The table provides some detail of possible roles in a meeting.
|Meeting organiser||The person who organised the meeting might not, in all cases, chair or facilitate the meeting, or even attend. Often an organiser asks for meetings to take place on their behalf or if a specific task is required that others are better placed to take forward.|
The person in charge of the meeting who ensures all items are covered and everyone has the opportunity to participate.
They are also responsible for ensuring that actions from meetings are agreed on and completed.
Not all meetings have a chair. Instead the facilitator may assume this role.
Most facilitators support the chair and take on the responsibility of running the meeting and co-ordinate all the activities within the meeting. They are useful if the meeting has a large number of participants and/or collaboration activities within it.
|Time keeper||It can be useful to nominate someone to keep track of time, if you have a long agenda, numerous activities or a large number of participants.|
|Note taker||While most hybrid meetings can be recorded, a note taker can ensure that pertinent points and actions are captured. These then can be shared after the meeting.|
|Presenting participants||These are participants who are attending for a specific purpose, normally to share information, or have a request from other members of the meeting.|
These are participants who need to hear the content of meeting – for example, members of a unit at all team meetings where updates are given or part of a wider project team.
It is expected, though, that these participants will contribute to the meeting, as appropriate.
|Observers||Sometimes a participant might attend a meeting to observe. This can be for a number of reasons; they may have an interest in finding out about a project, or it might be a development opportunity. They might not, however, be an active participant.|
|Meeting co-ordinator||This is the person who has made the arrangements for the meeting. They may or may not be a participant in the meeting.|
|Room support||In many organisations there is a unit or team who is responsible for meeting rooms. It is unlikely they will attend your meeting but are a point of contact should you require support.|
|IT support||In most organisations the technology and equipment for both meeting rooms and internal remote staff is managed and supported by an IT team, which is a point of contact should you require support. For complex and large meetings, they may be present at the meeting.|
Facilitating your meeting
Before your meeting starts, ensure you have set up both the physical and virtual environments and that the technology works. For virtual environments, if you are planning to use in-platform collaboration tools such as polls or breakout rooms, or if the platform allows you to add other ‘apps’, make sure everything is in place.
Check your settings and familiarise yourself with how to use the tools such as screen sharing, recording, transcripts, captioning and the reactions available. You may wish to set a digital background, depending on the environment you are in. It is also useful for you to consider accessibility and inclusion. ‘(W3C, 2022) by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides useful guidance, on which many organisations base their approach for online accessibility.
Once all participants have joined the meeting and are ready, you may wish to use the following checklist to help you run the meeting effectively.
|Welcome to the meeting||
Introduce yourself, state the purpose of the meeting and summary of agenda, ask for any other business. If the meeting is covering confidential or sensitive topics, ensure all participants are aware and that content discussed within the meeting should not be shared with others.
Set the expectations for the meeting:
Not all meetings will require introductions.
Check if people have met each other before; if not, ask them to introduce themselves.
Introduce key participants of the meeting or, if a regular meeting, those who have joined.
|Work through the agenda||
Each meeting will run differently, and as the facilitator, you need to control the meeting.
|Draw the meeting to a close||
You should plan for the last five minutes of a meeting to focus on summarising and agreeing on next steps.