A hybrid A.A. meeting is one in which some of the attendees are in-person and other attendees join using video conferencing such as Zoom (a virtual meeting).
Considerations include having the in-person attendees agree to the hybrid meeting. Those that do not want to be on the virtual meeting could sit in a portion of the room that is off camera or the meeting would only be available to in-person attendees.
Ideally the meeting would have both a chair person and a separate virtual meeting host. The virtual host should verify the Internet connection and equipment are functioning prior to the start of the meeting. The checklist should include:
- A stable connection to the Internet. Ideally using wi-fi. (A mobile hotspot using a phone could also work, should have an unlimited data plan.)
- A dependable virtual conferencing account (ESIG subscribes to several Zoom accounts that are available to our groups at no charge by emailing email@example.com. Otherwise Zoom charges around $15/month for an account unless you use one of their free accounts but they are limited to only 40 minutes.) Other video conferencing options exist as well.
- Using a laptop with the accessories below would provide a better experience for the virtual attendees rather than a hand-held phone or tablet.
- Omnidirectional microphone – $30-$90 (higher end models may include speakers)
- Speakers – $20 – $50 (if not included with microphone)
- Swivel USB Camera – $45 – $100
- (Optional – a separate monitor or projector. This would allow the in-person attendees to see the virtual attendees.)
Adapt the meeting format to include both in-person and virtual sharing.
Update your group with Eastside Intergroup and in the Area 72 Meeting Guide listing to reflect that you now have Hybrid meetings.
Consider how to collect 7th Tradition for virtual attendees. Check out our 7th Traditions Best Practices.