Case study: supporting a team by blending virtual and face-to-face meetings

From time to time we will be posting case studies of recent work. Most of our work is highly confidential and proprietary. Occasionally, with the client’s approval, we are able to post a brief summary of a specific piece of work. In this case, the client requested anonymity but agreed we could post a general description of what they had achieved.


A global leadership team convened for the first time a year ago. They had had one face-to-face (f2f) meeting since then but needed to review their implementation progress then set priorities for the next year. Internal travel bans and other business challenges meant they could not meet f2f again this year and that not everyone on the team could attend a full three-day session, which was needed to cover the amount of discussion and reporting they needed. The group was globally distributed which meant delegates would be joining the meeting from various time zones.


The meeting was designed as a jigsaw of components to ensure the right people were in the right sessions. A self-managing ‘buddy system’ was created to enable team members to get up to speed quickly and to build or develop key relationships for the further implementation agreements. This included virtual buddies for the people joining the meeting remotely to ensure involvement, engagement and contribution. There was a focus on real-time documentation to support the buddy-system conversations because members were coming and going at various intervals. The final meeting outputs included visual documentation of each session of the meeting to ensure consistent communication of decisions and actions.


Use of the blended virtual inclusion of distributed team members was reported as successful and they felt as engaged and included as if they have met f2f with the team. Key insights and changes to previous plans were identified and priorities agreed for the upcoming year. Contingency plans were developed for different organisational change scenarios. The entire team was involved before, during and after the blended meeting with virtual participants fully committed to agreed actions.

There are many reasons for a global or regional team to need creative options for meeting. Using either wholly virtual or blended virtual and face-to-face meeting formats can, in our experience, be highly successful in a way that supports ongoing conversations. They can include graphic facilitation components, focused conversations, engagement of the distributed team members, and develop quality meeting results.

To learn more about virtual or blended-virtual meeting solutions give us a call on +44 (0)1628 471 114 or send us an enquiry with a few details of your situation. We’d love to help sort out a good meeting solution for you.