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Virtually Possible

I had the opportunity to plan a hybrid workshop last month. It was a 1-day workshop which included 14 in person participants and 6 off site hubs which facilitated 2-6 persons each. Here are a few takeaways from the experience:

1. Create memorable moments – virtual/hybrid meetings are at a disadvantage because of limited or no physical contact. Planners & organizers should create moments that break from the routine for instance,

2. Check and recheck - because of the nature of this event, planning & attention to detail has to be more rigorous. The virtual & physical needs of participants differ and it’s our duty to identify and address them.

3. Participant engagement - engagement must be on another level. Games, polls, whiteboard, breakout rooms & stimulating visuals can be used for both audiences.

4. Rules of engagement - It’s important to have rules, such as time & place allotment for Q&A, how participants will be acknowledged, monitoring the chat and reaction functions, mute/unmute. Other areas that can be included are lighting, positioning and using earphones to eliminate background noise. These rules need to be drafted and shared with participants & the organizers before the event.

5. Technology - your IT and tech game has to be on point. Wi-Fi availability and reliability, the appropriate app or streaming equipment to be used & your participants IT capabilities must be carefully assessed selected and managed.

6. Resources – workshop materials are important to any workshop. These can be emailed to participants, shared via dropbox or packages can be sent to each location. Workshop evaluations can be conducted via Zoom poll or a google survey link.

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