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Making Hybrid Meetings a Hoot!  

Written by Patrick Valois

While many offices are settling into some version of a hybrid workplace, the need to connect with one another is as important as ever. Whether it’s due to a hybrid work schedule, a remote work position or a snowstorm, it’s now commonplace to hold meetings with some participants joining online while others join in person.  

Most of us have shared the pain of trying to manage hybrid meetings the best we can while dealing with microphone issues, echoing speakers and the frustrations of logging into Zoom or Microsoft Teams to a room full of in-person participants already in the midst of a discussion. A number of new tech solutions have popped up to make the process easier without the need for an entire production studio working behind the scenes.  

Intersol makes use of Owl Labs’ Meeting Owl 3, an all-in-one 360° camera, mic and speaker for facilitated hybrid sessions, training sessions and internal team building exercises.  

How does the Meeting Owl work?  

The Meeting Owl works seamlessly with any virtual meeting platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams by simply connecting it to your device with a USB-C cable. Once the Meeting Owl is connected and the meeting is launched, the 360° camera and microphone detect sound and motion around the room or table and pinpoint the active speaker to display on screen for the benefit of the virtual attendees. The virtual attendees can be displayed on a laptop or projected onto a screen with the Meeting Owl’s speaker projecting their audio.  

What kind of hybrid meetings can Intersol accommodate with the Meeting Owl?  

At Intersol, we have two Meeting Owls at our disposal. Used individually, Meeting Owls can accommodate an audio range of up to 18 feet and a video range of 10 feet. This is great for a single roundtable or small conference room.  Intersol recently hosted small group workshops using a Meeting Owl with 4 participants attending remotely, and 10 in-person.  The technology ensured the online participants felt engaged with the group that was in-person and were also able to participate in breakout conversations. From a facilitator’s perspective, the device helps transition from in-person to virtual participants smoothly regardless of your physical position in the room. 

For larger engagements, the Meeting Owls can be tethered to extend the audio range to 44 feet and the video range to 28 feet. This can be used for larger conference rooms and small to medium sized events. Intersol recently hosted an engagement with several roundtables strategically positioned around the tethered Meeting Owls to allow for a hybrid plenary discussion followed by breakout discussions at the roundtables and a plenary debrief in a hybrid format.  

Can Intersol host my hybrid event?  

As a firm of professional facilitators and trainers, we are experts in virtual, in-person and hybrid events. Depending on the needs of your engagement, the Meeting Owl may be a great addition to your meeting or training session facilitated by Intersol. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can enhance your upcoming hybrid event.