What do you get when you cross technology with face to face meetings?

A hybrid meeting.

Let's reflect a little on the past year. Rostrum members have achieved an amazing feat keeping our members connected during isolated times. Take a bow and pat yourself on the back. Neither technology nor the pandemic have stopped our meetings - interrupted occasionally but not stopped. This is an amazing achievement.

 thank youWith the return to meeting venues I ask you to consider the Rostrum members who will still be unable to come to the meetings.

I recently attended the hybrid conference in Queensland zone. I sat at my PC in regional Victoria, others joined from remote Queensland and Sydney and David Price connected in from Perth. We spoke to a room of people sitting in Brisbane. Presenting via powerpoint to an unseen audience is challenging but it is also the future for many work environments. If Rostrum is to prepare members for the work environment we need to take up this new challenge.

Your club can build up its resources slowly or discuss equipment options with your Zone webmaster. How can you start?

An iphone on a small tripod carefully placed near the speakers is enough to let remote members hear and see the meeting. This is a great start. Careful placement of the camera means that the remotes feel part of the meeting as they can see each of the speakers and hear them clearly.

Next step up. Discuss with your zone the addition of an omnidirectional microphone (these pick up voice from separated members rather than requiring the phone to be constantly moved near to the member who is speaking. People away from the camera can be heard.

Step up again and make it easy for the meeting to see the remote members. Connect a laptop to the internet either through your phone or using a wireless connection. Position the laptop so that the meeting can see the remote members. It is easier to remember to include them into the meeting and easier for the coach.

Check out the 10 tips for hybrid meetings on our blog page. Our web team is also a valuable (volunteer) resource and can provide you with advice. 

Jenny Blain

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