For a hybrid AGM, it is important for all members joining remotely to have the option, if they so choose, to be seen and heard as if they were at the AGM in person. This means giving them the ability to show their video and hear their audio feeds at the meeting. This promotes interactivity and engagement with all members attending and is irrelevant where they are
Interactive meeting systems
The recent pandemic saw the rise of interactive meeting systems such as Zoom, BlueJeans and MS Teams to name a few. These systems allow fully online meetings with features such as video, audio, reactions, chat messaging, Q&A, emoticons, etc. They are widely available and well-used/proven systems.
They rely on a ‘Host’ to set up the meeting and the features that will be used within it, choosing the time and access constraints, etc. The host would control the meeting, manage attendees and decide what and when is shown/heard. Many systems have the option for a ‘Co-host’ allowing others to also take control of all or various aspects of the meeting.
For a fully interactive hybrid AGM meeting, the organisers may wish to consider a Zoom webinar (other systems are available), which gives significant control to the Host and Co-host, including showing the board/panel members only and having the ability to promote members watching to the panel and then demoting them. It also has an integrated Q&A feature where questions can be moderated before being answered/shown to the meeting, etc.
Such interactive systems will also log who attended the meeting, and some allow for transcription of the audio feeds to generate the minutes of the meeting automatically (Charges may apply).
One key aspect of such systems that is not covered well is the voting component of the AGM. Most systems allow for polls to be taken but do not restrict who at the meeting can vote. Nor do they deal with any proxy voting aspect or allow for any weighted or restricted member votes. Therefore, they are not recommended for use for the voting aspect of the meeting.
Audio/Visual (AV) company
The added aspect of a hybrid AGM is there are potentially many other members at the physical meeting, that would like to interact in person and hear/see remote members. Therefore, using an AV company that can set up screens/projectors, speakers and microphones in the room can aid the process. They can control all the various inputs and ensure that the right microphone and audio/video feed are live to all. Setups may also include multiple cameras and an autocue depending on budget, etc.
For the Q&A, the AGM organisers may wish to consider how a member in the physical meeting will be seen and heard by those online (Suggestions are for a roving microphone or lectern where they would speak).
The AV company will also be able to show any videos, presentations or overlays that have been previously agreed upon. It is important for the meeting to have a script so that they would know the sequence of events, as well as be involved in any rehearsal process.
There are lots of options available to organisations that wish their members to be seen and heard in a managed way during a hybrid AGM. The use of both interactive meeting systems, secure voting platforms and an AV company will likely produce the best possible experience and engagement process for the members attending remotely and in person.
UK Engage offer simple and comprehensive solutions to the challenges of running complex meetings with remote and in-person attendees, including Secure AGM voting, Proxy voting, AV services, Governance reviews and fully integrated interactive meeting systems. Contact us on 0161 209 4808 to discuss your needs.