Guidelines for Hybrid Collaboration#

Chairing Hybrid Events#

  • The Facilitator should take care of either both in-person and online, or there could be a separate online facilitator to make sure that the online audience is not lost.

  • For all sessions, chairs should receive instructions on how to include both types of participants.

  • See An honest* guide to facilitating hybrid events for more information.

Organising Hybrid Conferences#


  • Organising a hybrid event is like organising two events: in-person and online.

    • It might be easier to handle if you’re separating in-person and online (a couple of days in-person and a couple of days online).

    • If both modes take place simultaneously, it takes different planning, and it is more challenging as you will be running two events simultaneously.

  • Online participants might have to join at times that are not core working hours. Keep this in mind, especially for interactive parts.

  • If some aspects of the agenda only apply to one participant group, be clear about this. For example, do not schedule a networking session that turns out to be an in-person coffee break without being clear about how you expect online participants to network.

  • Organize multiple sessions or select strategic times to accommodate online participants from different timezones to address possible scheduling challenges.


  • Reserve rooms for break-out interaction with online participants.

  • For in-person attendees, it might take some time to physically move to other rooms physically, whereas for people online, it might be faster to move to a different breakout room. Please consider such time requirements when switching rooms either physically or virtually.

  • Make sure technical set up is in order: online audience should be able to hear the speaker and questions asked and see the slides.

    • Check microphones, video and/or slide sharing before.

    • Make sure everyone in the room uses microphones when speaking.

    • Ensure speakers introduce and identify themselves otherwise, it can be difficult for remote participants to identify who is talking.

    • An online facilitator can message on the online platform each time a new person starts speaking (“Person-A” is speaking now).

  • Select a space with the facilities needed (internet, proper seating/desk).

  • Ensure that online individuals have the time and space to fully participate (space for focus time, food breaks).

    • Check if there are free localities available in the areas of online participants (university, libraries) which might also provide good internet connection.

    • Caring/child support may be needed for people with caretaking responsibilities (applies to both online and in-person participants).

    • If someone is at their own university/workplace, they may be distracted by their colleagues who do not realise that someone is in an event. In such a case, consider reserving a quiet space in your university/workplace.

Accessibility of Communication Platforms and Content#

  • Consider tools that comply with accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for digital collaboration and communication.

  • Test and use communication tools that support comprehensive accessibility features like screen readers, voice recognition software, and alternative input devices to plan towards the accessibility needs of participants. See Web accessibility evaluation tools.

  • No tool is perfect. Prioritise options for accessibility of digital content, like alternative text for images, transcripts for videos, and documents compatible with screen readers. Also, materials should be offered in multiple formats to make them adaptable to the accessibility needs of participants.

  • Host pre-event orientation sessions to familiarise all participants with the technology and accessibility features available during the hybrid conference.

Organising Hybrid Meetings#

  • Plan earlier so that people can block their calendars.

  • Plan on movement (time & space).

  • Plan for what you will do and how you will communicate with attendees if power or internet access is lost for you, your facilitators, or your attendees.

  • Consider recommendations in holding accessible hybrid meetings.

Ways to Reduce Distractions#

  • Support online participants in booking co-working spaces near their location that are equipped with necessary basic facilities such as internet, electricity, and work desks.

  • Share comprehensive information about the available facilities and support resources and provide guidance on accessing them through facilitation documents.

  • Encourage speakers and attendees who are engaging online to blur their background and to limit background noise as much as possible.

Communication Tools for Hybrid Collaboration#

  • Carefully select tools and technologies considering inclusivity and the impact on teams.

  • Avoid imposing unsuitable platforms on teams and be open to new options and tools.

  • Ensure virtual meetings can accommodate more participants.

  • Follow up with remote attendees after hybrid meetings to address their needs.

  • Set up and use a good quality microphone system for all the in-person groups so that those joining remotely can clearly hear speakers.

  • Support shared note-taking documents and/ or facilitation guides for in-person and remote groups to ensure both groups are included.

  • Establish a platform for asynchronous side chat to facilitate communication.

  • Ensure equal availability and access for both in-person and remote attendees in hybrid events.

Social Networking during Hybrid Collaboration#

  • Recognise and address asymmetries in in-person and online settings to establish realistic expectations.

  • Create opportunities for social interactions both online and in-person to balance out the challenges.

  • Foster a positive atmosphere in-person and encourage an informal approach online to facilitate idea exchanges and connections.

Personnel and Staffing Planning#

Depending on your event or meeting, you may need to consider providing support for session facilitation, notetaking, and technical support. For hybrid events, you will need both in-person personnel and online personnel to support both the online and in-person parts of your event, as it will be incredibly difficult for the same person to act as both an in-person and online facilitator.

Below are some examples of types of facilitators or contributors that your hybrid event might need to make it a success. For each role, we have included some potential tasks & responsibilities.

In-Person Technical Support#

  • Ensures that the audio and visual set-up is working.

  • Supports presenters and speakers with presentation set-up and slide transitions.

  • Ensures that any audio or hearing induction loop technology is working and accessible.

  • Opens up polls or other interaction software used during the event.

  • Ensures the event is recorded correctly if you are planning on recording and sharing the session content.

In-Person Facilitator#

  • Ensures that attendees and any speakers are able to engage in the session using microphones or other audio equipment.

  • Works with a speaker or panellists to answer questions from the audience.

  • Ensures that questions taken from the audience represent the diversity of the attendees.

  • Provides the audience with information about any emergency exits or other physical locations of importance during the event.

In-Person Notetaker#

  • Takes notes during the session and capture the main points of discussion. Depending on your event, this may also involve sending notes or making live notes available to attendees with sensory disabilities.

Online Technical Support#

  • Supports attendees and facilitators with sound or video focus difficulties.

  • Hosts the online platform and open the session if there is a waiting room.

  • Places attendees on mute if there is loud or distracting background noise.

  • Ensures the event is recorded and streamed with closed captions and transcription software.

Online Facilitator#

  • Supports the engagement of attendees and moderating conversation.

  • Provides discussion prompts and asks thought-provoking questions.

  • Introduces the meeting and event.

  • Facilitates Q&A and any polls that are used during the session.

  • Removes online attendees if there is any inappropriate behaviour that contravenes the event’s Code of Conduct.

Online Notetaker#

  • Takes notes during the event’s sessions and ensures that they are accessible to all attendees.

  • Summarizes information shared by online participants so that it may be communicated to, and shared with, in-person attendees.

  • Shares links in the chat as requested by speakers and the attendees.