It’s Time to Stretch Into Hybrid Government Meetings!

Extending a meeting over the internet ("online" or "hybrid" conference/meeting extensions) means broadcasting meeting content in a way that remote attendees - in the U.S. and potentially worldwide - can securely access the presentations, interact with the presenters, discuss the topics online,  chat & network amongst themselves, and access archives of the conference/meeting sessions afterwards.

Here are the top "myths" I hear from government meeting planners:

  1. Adding an online component to my conference/meeting will lower face-to-face attendance ("audience cannibalization").
  2. Remote attendees will have a bad experience and will rate the meeting poorly.
  3. The technology is not secure or robust enough for sharing classified meetings.
  4. It takes too much meeting planner and staff time to produce an online meeting.
  5. This type of thing only makes sense for public meetings, not inter- or intra-agency meetings.

Fortunately, these are all myths! To balance this daunting objections list, consider the following reasons why your agency will benefit from internet-based conference/meeting extensions:

  1. The internet is becoming THE major means of global communication and learning, especially for the new generation of digital workers. These young professionals assume that learning and networking can be done online in an engaging and valuable way, because they already do it every day.
  2. Travel budgets and restrictions have contracted for the foreseeable future. That means the only way to reach more of your target audience is to reach out to them where they are, including through online meeting extensions.
  3. Government agencies are mandated to promote "Transparency and Open Government" through greater participation and collaboration. Online conference/meeting extensions can provide an important component of implementing this vision.

Previously published in the SGMP-NATCAP newsletter. iCohere, Inc., has served government agencies, nonprofits and associations since 1995. GSA Contract No. GS-35F-0490U.

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