First, there was there was the overnight switch from in-person to virtual meetings. There were over 1 billion Google searches for “working from home,” and webcams were sold out everywhere for months.

Slowly, people have begun to return to the office, but room restrictions and personal safety concerns created a third alternative called the “hybrid” meeting.

Geraldine Ree-experienced SVP, mentor, facilitator, and speaker

Guest post by Geraldine Ree. Bio and website below.

A hybrid meeting consists of a combination of leading from home while others are in a single location, or leading from an office with everyone in their remote locations, or some combination in between.

The key to running a hybrid meeting is masterful facilitation to get your audience from where they are to where you want them to be. Take into consideration these 8 steps as you plan your route.

1. Intention: This hybrid meeting could change lives. Show up with enthusiasm, encouragement, and empathy. People will feel your commitment to their wellbeing.

If a meeting is worth having, it’s worth doing it right.

2. Plan: The complexity of running a hybrid meeting takes a little extra planning so that you can anticipate roadblocks and marry the flow of two entirely different mediums.

Map out your logistics first: How long, how many, what technical tools, what handouts, what pre-work, what is your agenda, how many breaks, etc.

Consider the best of each method first, then consider how those work together. What can you keep (such as breakouts and stretching exercises), and what has to be sacrificed (such as mealtime together)?

3. The wow: Create a riveting start in both mediums. Captivating the attention at the start of the meeting is critical.

In-person meetings can run longer, as there is the capacity for visiting before and after the meeting.

Set the meeting time in-person 15 minutes ahead of the virtual meeting, and focus all your attention on setting a welcoming tone that allows for chit chat.

Transfer that same tone to starting the virtual meeting by welcoming everyone as they arrive. Noticing people says, “I see you. Your contribution matters to all of us.”

Start tying the two groups together in an extremely intentional way. To everyone in both rooms, there is no virtual wall.

4. Purpose: The key to a successful hybrid meeting is that everyone who attends feels like they got value out of the meeting. In a study by Harvard Business Review, 70% of senior managers felt like meetings were a waste of time and kept them from deep work.

The first thing to ask is, “Is this a meeting, update, training, or a social?”

If one person is speaking for more than 50% of the time, it’s no longer a meeting. Consider moving long speeches i