Executing a Highly Collaborative Hybrid Event for a Limited Audience
This case study will examine how the Hilton Global Brand Organization leadership team executed a small, highly collaborative hybrid event and the key lessons learned related to planning, technology, room setup and virtual platform.
Hilton Global Brand Leaders were unable to meet in-person for their quarterly leadership team meeting due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and safety concerns, but the team still needed to convene to discuss key strategic priorities. The urgency of the meeting prevented a postponement. The team decided to conduct a small Hybrid meeting with most leaders attending in-person and those unable to travel participating virtually.
The team executed a small, engaging hybrid meeting with virtual participants able to see, hear and participate in the meeting as if they were in the room while many miles away. The setup of this event evolved significantly throughout the planning process, as it became clear that the original solution did not solve for optimal peer to peer engagement.
The meeting room setup proposed was classroom style for the video camera to capture the room, but the team quickly realized that this would limit collaboration for in-person attendees. It was then pivoted to a u-shape setup and each attendee ultimately used their individual laptop to connect to Microsoft Teams, so they could view the virtual participants on their laptops and the presentation in the front of the room. Flexibility was key in executing this event.
The meeting was a success for both virtual and in-person participants. In total, the hybrid meeting included 15 attendees, 11 in-person and four virtual.
7 leaders + 3 presenters + 1 planner
All attendees reported that it felt “almost normal,” and the business objectives were achieved. The meeting yielded a significant number of learnings on how to optimize a small meeting room and achieve collaboration, how to effectively leverage Audiovisual to engage both audiences, and how a virtual platform can support the desired experience.
“Overall really good job with the meeting. I felt safe.”
“Thank you for all of the efforts that went into this. Again, my biggest takeaway is that it felt normal.”