The pandemic, despite the desire of many board members to resume in-person meetings, has forced us to continue to meet online. This hybrid model is not going away and boards must figure out ways to run effective meetings that accommodate both in-person and remote attendees.

In order to keep meetings productive for the board, the chair of the board must to stick to the agenda and give clear direction. Digital tools can help accelerate the process of meeting by allowing participants to work through items faster. Furthermore, it’s essential that both in-person and remote attendees are provided with the same materials ahead of time. This includes presentations and documents that are used during the conference, as well as notes and other information that is distributed in advance.

Prioritizing engagement will ensure that everyone is on the same page in hybrid meetings. To achieve this, you must ensure that the virtual platform is operating properly and all of the necessary links have been clicked and downloaded prior the start of the meeting. A staff member who is able to login to the meeting to supervise these functions will help you to recognize and address any issues in advance.

Similar to that it is beneficial to turn off the microphone when you’re not talking will reduce background noises and echos. This allows everyone to focus on the issue that is in front of them. It’s also a good idea to close other tabs, and then pause any videos or music before starting the meeting. Additionally, using a board management software that has accessibility features will make your meeting more accessible to those with hearing, vision and speech disabilities.