If you thought managing a meeting from one location was difficult, imagine handling 5 (or 25) different cities at the same time!
That is exactly what is going to happen during two upcoming industry events. This interesting trend in hybrid events is being implemented during the next IACC (formerly the International Association of Conference Centers) Americas and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Convening Leaders.
Multi-location hybrid meetings technologically connect several locations, with the hopes of encouraging (safe) in-person attendance. Attendees across locations and platforms can congregate during general sessions and divide for the breakout sessions.
Compared to a purely virtual meeting, or even a typical hybrid one, having your next program in multiple locations offers greater possibilities for all types of participants. It promotes the strengthening of community and involvement within local chapters. Great baby steps, if you ask me, as we inch our way towards bringing the industry back into full swing.
However, there are some disadvantages that remain with multi-location hybrid meetings. The component of face-to-face networking and the sense of community is still not fully experienced. The investment in technologies to support this “new normal” set up could be substantial.
A benefit I believe that could come out of this (hopefully temporary) set up is the greater chance to learn and improve. The future of meetings may be revolutionized in terms of what they look like and offer.
Although admittedly not ideal, this could be the next best thing until we can all, under one roof, meet in–person again.