Popular types of virtual company meetings for hybrid teams

As organizations tiptoe—or rush—back into post-COVID-19 ways of working, hybrid teams are becoming more common. If you have some team members working remotely and others showing up in person to an office or other central location, it can seem challenging to make virtual company meetings productive, effective, and pleasant for everyone involved.

The good news is that the right technology can make a real difference. Here’s a look at some popular types of virtual company meetings and how Poll Everywhere can help.

Fireside chats

First, let’s define what fireside chats are. The history of the term goes back to the 1930s and 1940s, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a series of evening radio addresses presented as “informal chats” to the American people. Roosevelt used simple language, in contrast to the more formal language of most political speeches, speaking as if he and his listeners were chatting comfortably around a cozy fireplace.

In modern business, fireside chats refer to candid, intimate, yet structured conversations among two or a few people, watched by an audience. For in-person events, the speakers might sit in comfortable chairs on a stage, evoking the casual environment of a living room. For hybrid fireside chats, some or all of the speakers or audience, or both, can tune in remotely.

(Read more: 4 ways to hold more effective fireside chats.)

Town halls

The town hall name derives from the political world, when local or national politicians would show up in person, originally in an actual town hall, to hear directly from their constituents or to discuss specific legislation or regulations. As they’re usually defined in the corporate world, town halls are company-wide meetings meant to share and celebrate business results, achievements, wins, and opportunities.

(Read more: How to host a successful virtual town hall.

All-hands or all-staff meetings

In most organizations, all-hands or all-staff meetings are regularly held gatherings where everyone in a company, department, or business unit—employees, leaders, and sometimes additional stakeholders—gets together in person, virtually, or in some hybrid combination.

Some people distinguish between all-hands and town hall meetings, emphasizing that all-hands focus on imparting information, while town halls have more discussion. Often, though, companies use town halls interchangeably with all-hands/all-staff meetings.

(Read more: 5 tips and tricks to hosting an efficient all-hands meeting.)

Stand-up meetings

At its most basic, a stand-up meeting is literally one where participants stand while meeting. The idea is that standing for long periods of time is uncomfortable, so requiring people to stand encourages short meetings. In practice, stand-up meetings refer to any short (usually 5 to 15 minutes) team meeting that’s repeated at the same time daily, every other day, or weekly.

The stand-up rose to prominence with agile software development processes. Also known as the daily scrum, the stand-up provides members of a core team with updates on the status of a particular project. The short, focused nature of stand-up meetings ties to their use in agile development sprints, which are brief periods of time, typically two weeks, in which a development team works to complete specific tasks, milestones, or deliverables.

(Read more: 5 ways to replace meetings with asynchronous tools.)

Retrospective meetings

Retrospective meetings, also called sprint retrospectives, are another meeting type that’s associated closely with agile software development processes. Retrospectives allow teams to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work in a project. These meetings can be held at the end of a project milestone or at regular intervals, such as at the end of a sprint.

(Read more: How to run an inclusive retrospective meeting.)

How Poll Everywhere can improve virtual company meetings

poll everywhere virtual company meeting

Poll Everywhere transforms meetings of all kinds into impactful experiences. It’s especially helpful for virtual and hybrid meetings, which can feel disjointed without careful attention.

For example, use the Poll Everywhere Q&A activity to make hybrid fireside chats, town halls, all-hands meetings, and other hybrid meetings with larger audiences more effective, inclusive, and productive.

With Q&A activity upvoting capabilities, everyone can upvote and downvote the relevance of submitted questions, which a moderator can manage as they come in. Employees can participate directly and anonymously without interrupting the flow of the meeting, whether they’re attending in person or remotely. Speakers or meeting leaders can know they are answering the most important questions and addressing the most pertinent topics.

Poll Everywhere Surveys capture valuable information about how well an all-staff meeting’s information is being received, or what topics people find most important in town halls. The surveys can also help focus the conclusions reached in retroactive meetings.

In stand-ups, the standing up part becomes optional in virtual meetings. Help make virtual and hybrid stand-ups feel more cohesive by using Poll Everywhere’s Multiple Choice activity to gauge priorities or quickly uncover what areas need most attention.

To prevent regularly occurring virtual or hybrid meetings from feeling stale, and to make sure all participants stay engaged, try occasionally adding a Poll Everywhere Competition, Word Cloud, Clickable Image, or other team-building activity.

Virtual company meetings are here to stay. To make sure your hybrid teams get the most from virtual company meetings, sign up for a Poll Everywhere account.