Technology Help - Hybrid Meetings



One of the key learning points from those who have already conducted Hybrid meetings is that things don’t always go to plan. What Plan you may ask?

Firstly, check out your proposed venue.

The venue may already have a room plan, but often they are not dimensioned, so it pays to ask the venue team. Other sources could be publicly available plans submitted to a Local Council Planning Portal for Planning Applications relevant to the venue, and downloadable as a .pdf document.

Here is a pre-survey plan created by Ravenshead u3a for one of the two venues they use, and the Church is their primary venue for Monthly Meetings.

Ravenshead u3a Church Setup

click image to enlarge

This kind of room layout plan (which was obtained from the Gedling Council Planning Portal as a .pdf) allows you to establish your needs such as lengths of cabling runs, and predict likely issues such as Wi-Fi blackspots within the room.
You can plan the position of camera positions, so when you do a room survey prior to a rehearsal or the actual event, you can identify any potential problems.

To see how Ravenshead u3a assessed the Room Setup for their September Monthly Meeting, you can review a series of videos they produced at the time of the site survey :-

In this video, John Butler of the Ravenshead u3a gives a tour of the Church venue for their Monthly Meetings, as he surveys for some of the issues to be considered when planning for a Large Hybrid Meeting

Ravenshead u3a Church Survey

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In this video, John Butler of the Ravenshead u3a describes how they intend overcoming the loss of transmission speed and patchy Wi-Fi coverage in the Church

Boosting a Wi-Fi Signal
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We strongly advise you undertake a site visit to your venue to assess and confirm your initial layout and ideas at the Planning stage. Make sure to dimension all your cable runs, check locations of power sockets, jack or XLR sockets for audio connections to fixed loudspeakers, and HDMI sockets for fixed projectors.

List out and ensure that you have all the equipment you think you need, and book a slot with the venue for a rehearsal prior to your event.

Box up or bag your equipment by usage so you can separate cables, sound, and vision equipment separately, and always remember to use brand new or fully charged rechargeable batteries in any sound equipment such as microphones.

Make sure you have enough reel type 4 way extension cables to give you mains power at all locations where you may need them, and this should also include a charger cable and plug for any smartphones or tablets you use as remote webcams on tripods.

Based on our combined experiences, nothing ever goes exactly to plan, so at least one rehearsal should be undertaken at the venue prior to the actual event. This will allow you to assess and test what, if any, changes to your setup are required and work through the integration of the Zoom transmission into your live meeting.

Livestreaming to Zoom on your rehearsal is essential, especially verifying that the Wi-Fi is adequate without any breaks in transmission.

Running of your event is unlikely to ever to turn out to be perfect, but PRACTICE makes for IMPROVEMENT, and your setup and running of the meetings will certain improve over time if you learn from the experiences record/catalogue items that need changing for the future.