As COVID-19 restrictions have loosened on group gatherings, many are questioning the best way to continue holding board meetings. Holding the meetings virtually has increased participation from the community, but communities are eager to meet in person again. This has led many to ask the following: Is there a way to successfully host a meeting in-person, while also broadcasting virtually?
First off, can associations continue to host board and annual meetings on virtual platforms? In short, yes. However, anyone who joins virtually must be able to participate and be heard by those attending the meeting in person. If you would like to learn more about the statute requirements, please click here to read a detailed article by Jeffrey Rembaum.
Now that it is established that your Association can continue using Zoom, or any virtual platform, here is what you will need to run a successful hybrid meeting:
- High-speed internet
- Zoom account (or another virtual platform)
- A laptop computer
- HDMI Cord
- Large TV/monitor or projector
- External computer speakers
- External USB Microphone
- External USB camera (optional)
The first step is to log in to the Zoom meeting on the laptop. Then, place the laptop in a position where the camera fits all the board members seats within frame, so that they can be seen by Zoom participants. An external USB camera could be used for more flexibility but is not necessary.
Next, plug one end of the HDMI cord into the laptop and the other end into the monitor/TV/projector. The laptop screen should be duplicated onto the screen. This allows everyone in the room to see those attending on Zoom. If you do not have an external monitor/projector, this step is not critical as long as the Zoom participants can be heard.
You will need to make sure that the audio from the laptop can be heard in the room, for when a Zoom participant speaks. If you connected your laptop to a TV, the audio may automatically be projected from the TV. If not, you will need to plug in external speakers so that the audio can be projected in the room.
Inversely, the audio from those attending in-person needs to be heard by those who are attending virtually. To achieve the best audio for Zoom participants, consider purchasing an omnidirectional microphone for the board members. The Blue Yet Microphone is an excellent microphone to use for hybrid board meetings and is sold at most major retailers, click here to view on Best Buy for local pick up.
Test, Test, and Test Again
The setup noted above may not be the most advanced for some, as different associations may have varying technology in hand. However, this equipment is simple to set up and is accessible. No matter the equipment used, make sure to test multiple times prior to the hybrid board meeting to make sure that everything is working as it should be.
by Diego Hernandez, Campbell’s Zoom Expert, Campbell Property Management