Just when you thought it was safe to meet again. Today I learned about a new meeting model on the horizon, asynchronous.
In an article published in AssociationsNow titled, Is Asynchronous the Future of Meetings? I learned that associations are setting event durations at weeks, months or completely open-ended. It refers to any exchange that doesn’t happen in real time.
- Flexibility. Organizers don’t have to worry about finding a time that works for all attendees.
- Easier participation. Without a live component, those who are uncomfortable speaking in front of large groups can more easily contribute to the conversation.
- Deeper conversation. Attendees have more time to digest information .
- Convenience. Attendees can contribute on their own time, at their own pace.
Downside considerations include:
- Decreased Efficiency
- Lack of Connection
- Loss of Spontaneity
I believe asynchronous is only a partial solution. Hybrid is here to stay. Not just for events, but for the everyday work environment. A properly planned and produced hybrid event lets both those attending in-person and those joining from their desk to be seen, heard, and engaged.
I recommend this article to association leaders who are looking for ideas and tips on how to prepare and produce hybrid events. The section, PREPARING FOR AN ASYNCHRONOUS MEETING is priceless, for the idea of how to produce and distribute meeting materials.
The biggest impediment to asynchronous meetings is that the burden of participation falls on the attendee. They are required to schedule their session attendance, download and review materials in advance. For audiences who have been spoiled by "Have a seat and let us talk at you" meeting models, asking them to take responsibility is a radical approach.
Meeting planners have to choose, either increase the quantity of attendees, or the quality of engagement.
The Art of Gathering, by Priya Parker