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Tips for a Better Hybrid Meeting Experience

Effective Hybrid Meeting Checklist




Step 1

Request in-person attendees to bring laptops or mobile devices.

  • Provides ability to clearly view virtual environment presentations.
  • Allows for close-up video views of meeting room participants, as room cameras may not be sufficient.
  • Greater interaction for in-person attendees with those on virtually, i.e., chats, breakout rooms.

Step 2

Use meeting room’s audio/video equipment to connect to virtual environment.

  • Provides a single audio source for the meeting room with a consistent audio feed with no delays, sound distortions, or feedback from the laptop speakers.
  • Meeting room’s video cams provide a presence for the whole meeting room for those on virtually.

Step 3

Ask all in-person participants to connect with no audio and video only to virtual environment.

  • As Step 2 indicates, using a single source for the meeting room audio provides a clearer audio experience and by joining video only and no audio, then in-person participants' laptops will not produce feedback noise. 
  • And the webcams provide close-up views of in-person attendees.

Step 4

Hosts offer in-person external guest access to the FDA Guest Wi-Fi 

  • Allows external in-person guests to join the virtual environment and have full engagement to chats and other virtual environment benefits. [External guests can then use their own laptop or mobile device to join with video only and no audio.]

Step 5

Use Spotlight 

  • The host can leverage the Spotlight feature to highlight and lock the focus of the key stakeholder’s web cams, who will be viewable to everyone throughout the meeting. 

Step 6

Send Hybrid Meeting Survey

  • To be provided to all attendees by the host, the Hybrid Meeting Survey will aid FDA in pinpointing any areas, where we can improve, not only in the virtual hybrid meeting environment, but also in the FDA meeting rooms themselves.

























How to Join a MS Teams Hybrid Meeting

Connect to a room while you join (In-Person)

When you’re choosing your audio and video settings, you have the option to connect to a meeting room and use its audio and video devices.

To connect to a room:

  1. Join your meeting. Before you enter, wait for a room to be detected.

Important: Enable Bluetooth on your device to detect rooms nearby.

  1. Select Room audio and confirm the room you want to connect to.

Note: Select X to close a suggested room and search for a different one. Rooms with the Cast icon  Casting Icon are in close proximity.
Screenshot of search bar for Room audio option in Teams meeting prejoin screen.

  1. Select Join now.

Joining a Teams Meeting (Hybrid)

Join Teams meetings anytime, anywhere, from any device.

Teams meetings are best when you join them from the Teams app and there are a bunch of ways to do that—read on for details about joining by link, from your calendar, and more. If you can't use the app, some meetings let you call in using a phone number.


Join by link

All you need to join a Teams meeting is a link.

Select Click here to join the meeting in your meeting invite to be taken to the Teams app, the meeting will open there automatically.


Join from calendar or ID

  1. Select Calendar on the left side of Teams to view your meetings.


  1. Find the meeting you want and select Join.

Or, if someone starts the meeting, you'll get a notification you can use to join.


Join with a meeting ID from your Teams app

  1. From your Teams Calendar, select Join with an ID.


  1. Enter a meeting ID and passcode.
    • To find both the meeting ID and passcode, go to your calendar in Outlook. Open the meeting you want to join. At the bottom of the meeting invitation under Or join by entering a meeting ID, you'll find the ID and passcode.


  1. Select Join meeting to join the meeting as a participant.

Join in a channel

If a meeting takes place in a channel, you’ll see an invitation to join, relevant content, and who’s in the meeting right in the channel. Just select Join.


Call in

If you're unable to use the Teams app, you can join some meetings by calling a phone number.

If there's a phone number and conference ID in the meeting invite, just dial the number to join.


Tips for Better a Better Hybrid Meeting Experience

A hybrid meeting is a meeting where some of the participants join in person from the office, while others join remotely via videoconferencing. See the tips and best practices below for how to get the most out of your hybrid meetings.


  1. Getting the Best Audio

While remote participants need to see who is talking and what’s taking place in the meeting room, great audio is actually more critical. Yet while a lot of attention is paid to the visual aspects of meetings, audio is often overlooked until the last minute. Pre-Covid, we often heard remote participants say, “I’m sorry, can you get a little closer to the speakerphone and repeat what you just said?” Now, they expect to hear everything clearly — just as they can on Zoom.

To avoid a last-minute scramble caused by poor audio, make sure the room is equipped with enough high-quality microphones so remote participants can hear. If you’re in a hotel or other temporary meeting space and multiple microphones aren’t a viable option, consider supplementing your audio input by having in-person attendees pass around a hand-held microphone before speaking.


  1. Testing the Technology in Advance


Nothing kills a meeting’s momentum like waiting to fix a glitch in the audio or video. Prior to an important meeting, test the audio-visual set up — both in-room and for the remote attendees. Schedule a 10-15 minute one-on-one dry run to get remote participants comfortable with what they will see and hear during the meeting, as well as to review any software features they’ll likely be asked to use. It’s well worth the brief time required.


  1. Design meetings for all attendees.

Review each activity or exercise focusing specifically on how remote participants will engage. Consider what tools and techniques, digital or otherwise, can be used to maximize their interaction with the in-room attendees.

For example, if you need to poll the group, use a phone-based survey tool like Poll Everywhere to collect everyone’s input in real time. This puts remote participants on an equal footing, versus a show-of-hands or relying on verbal feedback. To capture meeting notes, use an online whiteboard (or focus a remote camera on a flip chart) so everyone can see what’s being written as it happens.

Similarly, if the meeting design calls for in-room attendees to put dots or post-its on a wall chart, use a webcam to allow remote participants to read their peers’ responses before placing their own, just as they could if they were physically present.

If the meeting design calls for putting people into breakout groups, the easiest solution is to include all the remote participants in a single group. While simpler, this sends them the wrong message by reinforcing their physical absence. It’s likely worth the extra logistical and technical effort to integrate remote participants across several breakout groups to accentuate their equal status.

  1. Creating Equality through Purpose

This section we pulled directly from a CIO article which focuses on creating a meeting with a purpose and keeping everyone equally engaged.

Kalbach says good hybrid meetings need more than an agenda. “You need a purpose and a way to get there,” he says.

Even with an agenda, he says, the usual dynamics unfold. Dominant voices talk while quieter ones fade back and maybe — if their camera is off — cook pasta or do laundry. You will be looking for ways to bring everyone’s attention back.

“If you bring an activity, though, then say, ‘Let’s do a two-by-two matrix and we’re going to decide together by voting’ — that way, you ensure participation,” Kalbach says.

Another trick for keeping a meeting focused, he says, is to create a system for turn-taking.

“A popular one is popcorning, where the last person to speak picks the next person,” he says.

Not only do these tricks overcome verbal traffic problems, “you can start thinking about meetings as places where you get stuff done,” he adds.

Once you start looking for a purpose instead of an agenda, you’ll find it. If someone says, “We need to get this document together,” and your meeting needs a purpose, you might bring the document and get the work done in the meeting.

“That way, you come out of the meeting with no action items because you already did the work,” Kalbach says.


What’s Coming:

  • Tips for Presenters
  • Tips for Attendees
  • Engagement with In Person and Virtual Participants
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