Associations were experts in bringing people together face-to-face to create value. Shelter-in-place orders, brought about by the pandemic, forced us into virtual meetings. Associations did very well. But it was a forced move, and we had to scramble to create sessions that would meet our members’ expectations. As a result, we learned how to maximize the unique values of virtual meetings, as well as their limitations.

While the hybrid meeting is on the rise, I would posit that other models will become commonplace as well, including the submersive world, extended reality, if you will. Extended reality is where participants wear something like an Oculus set of lenses, earpieces, and even wrist adaptation technologies that allow the wearer to enter the virtual world entirely. Extended reality offers us the ability to interact with people in a virtual world spontaneously.

Other technologies will emerge over the next year. As we look forward, we’re going to see many more options than we have today. I like to call this the omnichannel environment instead of the hybrid environment. While hybrid is about mixing virtual and physical, omnichannel is about using all the channels available to you.

Stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more about the evolution of meetings, announcing new classes, and bringing some special guests.