Learn how your club can find success while having participants online and in person.
For nearly 100 years, in-person meetings have been at the heart of Toastmasters. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many clubs have been unable to continue with in-person meetings. A hybrid club meeting combines online and in-person attendance. In this document, you will find helpful advice to ensure your club is equipped to hold successful hybrid meetings.
Before hosting a hybrid club meeting, please ensure that you are following your local guidelines on in-person gatherings. Remember—the safety of your club members should always be your first priority!
Your hybrid meeting location should:
- Be able to fit in-person members and guests while following local safety guidelines
- Allow for access to a strong internet connection
- Fit any technology needed to integrate online participation
- Technology Requirements
To run hybrid meetings, your club will need:
- An online meeting platform that allows for online participation (some examples include: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangout)
- Webcam(s) – ensure online participants can view the speaker’s If possible, multiple webcams can be used to also share the rest of the meeting space with virtual attendants
- Microphone – determine what type of microphone will be used and whether that microphone will remain in the speaker’s area or be passed along by members and guests
- Speakers – have speakers and computers positioned to avoid microphone feedback
- Projector/screen/television – find a strategic way to show online participants in the meeting space
- Phone/tablet/laptop – a device will be needed for a club officer or member to monitor chat and provide support to remote members
Practice and Preparation
Before you start your meetings, it’s a good idea to prepare for the meeting. You might find holding practice meetings beneficial as well. Before a meeting starts, club officers should:
- Test technology and ensure it is working as intended
- Allow virtual attendees to join early to test their equipment
- Have any documents, including agendas, open and ready to share
- Be ready to help members troubleshoot technology issues
- Find a solution to collect guests’ contact information