Despite many board members’ desires to return to meetings in person the epidemic has made it necessary for the majority of us to meet online. This hybrid model is not going away and boards must figure out a way of running effective meetings that can accommodate both in-person as well as remote attendees.

To keep meetings productive, it is essential that the chair of the board adheres to the agenda. He or she should also give clear instructions. Digital tools can also help to speed up the process of meetings by giving attendees the ability to work through the agenda more quickly. It is also essential that attendees who are in person and remote receive the same materials prior to the time of the meeting. This could include any documents or slides that are used during the meeting, as in addition to any notes or information that was sent out in advance.

Prioritizing engagement in hybrid meetings will ensure that all board members are on the same board. To accomplish this, it’s crucial to ensure that the virtual platform functions correctly and that all necessary links have been clicked and downloaded prior the start of the meeting. The presence of a staff member join the meeting and supervise these functions will help you to recognize and address any issues in advance.

Similarly, muting the microphone when you’re not speaking will eliminate echoes and background noise and allow everyone to focus on the discussion at hand. Before the meeting begins, it’s a good idea for you to close any extra tabs, or to pause any music or videos. Additionally, using a board management program that includes accessibility features can make your event more inclusive to people who have hearing, vision or speech disabilities.