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Event Planning & Management
22 June 2022 

Event Types: A Guide to Multi-department and Multi-site Meetings

Bizzabo Blog Staff
Bizzabo Blog Staff
Event Types: A Guide to Multi-department and Multi-site Meetings

The most productive teams can make the most of meetings when they stick to Jeff Bezos’s two-pizza rule. Unfamiliar? Here’s the gist: You should be able to feed every meeting attendee with just two pizzas; otherwise, that meeting will have too many people and be unproductive.

Okay, okay. We hear you. The two-pizza rule will help you run more efficient meetings throughout the year, but there are times when you need to bring the entire organization together to align and focus on high-level initiatives. In these instances, companies with employees from different geographies bring everyone together for multi-site or multi-department meetings.

What are multi-site meetings?

A multi-site meeting is an internal event that brings employees together to discuss company updates, lay out plans for the coming fiscal year, highlight top performers, and get everyone aligned on the future.

In most cases, multi-site events include employees from multiple departments and are hybrid events. While some attendees participate virtually, other groups of employees meet in physical locations and then connect via software.

What are some examples of multi-site meetings?

Organizations host several kinds of multi-site meetings, including the following:

  • Town halls
  • All-hands calls
  • Quarterly business reviews (QBRs)
  • Global planning meetings
  • Award ceremonies (internal)
  • Analyst days (external)

What are the benefits of multi-site meetings?

Multi-site gatherings are an excellent choice for many organizations due to the benefits they deliver, including the following:

  • Accessibility. By using event software that enables people to join from any location, you ensure that your multi-site meeting is genuinely inclusive and that people can attend in whatever way they’re comfortable.
  • Sustainability. Multi-site meetings help you reduce your organization’s carbon footprint by decreasing the distance your team has to travel to participate in the event (assuming they’re going to one of the physical locations). Rather than requiring folks to fly to one corner of the world, for example, people can attend from satellite sites — and even their homes.
  • Team-building. In the wake of the pandemic, many organizations — particularly those with globally distributed teams — are struggling to find opportunities to bring everyone together. By connecting everyone virtually, multi-site meetings provide a unique team-building opportunity — particularly when you use feature-rich event management software to power them.

team building

Who attends multi-site meetings?

At multi-site and multi-department events, you’ll find employees of all stripes from a variety of departments, including the following:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Finance
  • HR
  • Engineering
  • R&D
  • Business development
  • Customer success
  • Management
  • C-suite

What is the organizer’s objective for multi-department meetings?

Companies host multi-site meetings because they want to educate their employees on where the company’s been and where it’s going. These events also help increase employee retention by bringing everyone together and keeping them in the loop on what’s most important. Additionally, organizations host multi-department meetings for strategic alignment.

At the end of the meeting, everyone should understand more about how the organization is doing. They should also know about the company’s focus and its role in its success.

What is the attendee’s objective for multi-site meetings?

Employees go to multi-site meetings expecting to learn more about the state of their organization, its new initiatives, and their role in the company’s vision for the future. They are also interested in business alignment and ensuring everyone across the organization knows what they need to do to work together effectively.

How To Plan a Multi-site Event

Ready to start planning your next town hall meeting or a similar multi-site gathering? Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure everything goes smoothly.

1. Pick your sites carefully.

As you begin planning, do your due diligence to make sure you pick satellite venues in convenient locations. At the same time, you must ensure that the venue is technology-enabled and can support high-quality, no-latency live streaming video and the bandwidth needed to accommodate everyone’s devices.

2. Create an agenda and rehearse.

Successful town hall meetings start with detailed agendas outlining what event organizers want to cover throughout the session. Of course, putting together a schedule and running it by critical stakeholders is only half the battle. You also need to rehearse, so presenters and facilitators are comfortable during the event.

five men looking at a computer screen

3. Mix things up.

You can’t expect your employees, particularly those joining remotely, to stay entirely engaged during your town hall meeting if they’re staring at a screen for the bulk of a day. Keep their attention by making the event more fun.

For example, incorporating ice-breaker activities throughout the meeting can spice things up while bringing the team closer together. Additionally, be sure to schedule breaks throughout the day so that everyone can recharge.

Need some advice on out-of-the-box activities you can include in your next event? Check out our list of 22 fresh meeting ideas.

4. Have a contingency plan.

No matter how much planning you put into your event, you never know when something will go wrong. For this reason, it’s always a good practice to have a contingency plan in place. That way, you bring continuity to your multi-site meeting if something unforeseen happens.

5. Collect feedback and use it to improve your next event.

To make sure future multi-site meetings are even better, solicit feedback from attendees once the event is over. Ask them what they liked best and least about their experience, and use that information to improve later events.

For example, if you used an emcee, ask your attendees what they thought. Or, if you had satellite venues, poll attendees about their experience and what they thought about each location.

Make Your Next Multi-site Meeting a Success With Bizzabo

Multi-site meetings are much easier to pull off when using purpose-built event management software to facilitate the experience. For example, Bizzabo’s Event Experience OS gives organizations the tools they need to ensure their next cross-site meeting is a success. Imagine hosting your next event with the ability to do the following:

  • Use polls, surveys, Q&A, and more to gauge employee sentiment in real-time
  • Let attendees react with emojis or virtual applause
  • Build a community and give attendees a way to learn about and socialize with colleagues
  • Initiate, manage, and attend 1:1 meetings — even between remote and in-person attendees
  • Create instant networking opportunities with AI-driven matchmaking
  • Empower attendees to chat during sessions to share their ideas and concerns

With Bizzabo, you can bring employees worldwide together in one centralized platform. It’s an easy way to facilitate unforgettable multi-site events that truly make a difference for your organization. Want to see how Bizzabo stands above the competition? Request a demo today.

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