Re: Post-Covid Hybrid Meetings -- What is your community doing?
From: Jay KapLon (
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2021 14:14:29 -0700 (PDT)
I’ve been involved with a few Community Emergency Response Team hybrid meetings 
using low-cost equipment and have done an initial trial for use at our monthly 
community membership circles.

Our initial (cheapest) setup is a one laptop at the front of the room facing 
our semi-circle of members with a second laptop in the middle back of the 
semi-circle facing the front where we have a large whiteboard and our 
facilitator or presenters.

The laptop at the front is set to gallery view so members physically in the 
room can see online members. The speakers on the front laptop are on, but the 
microphone is muted. (Our online members are well trained by now to mute 
themselves except when speaking so having the front laptop speakers on all the 
time is fine.) The standard laptop camera seems to give a reasonable view of 
our semi-circle seating area where we typically (pre-pandemic) would have 20 to 
30 people sitting.

The laptop at the back of the room is set to speaker view just in case anyone 
in the physical room needs a larger view of an online member who is 
speaking…but any such member in the room would need to turn towards that laptop 
in the back so it isn’t ideal. The speakers on the laptop at the back are set 
to zero volume, but the microphone is set to on. Depending on the specific 
laptop we use (since these are all members’ random laptops it will vary meeting 
to meeting) the Settings: Audio: Suppress background noise needs to be set to 
Low instead of the default Auto so that voices are picked up from the 
facilitator and presenters at the front of the room. (We’ll need to be extra 
careful with background conversations by the members in the semi-circle so they 
don’t drown out the facilitator/presenters.)

This is a ‘zero cost’ setup as long as you have two members who will bring 
their laptops and test them in the setup beforehand. You can go up in price 
from here as high as you want to separate cameras, external omni-directional 
’snowball’ microphones, external speaker systems, and even business-class 
easy-to-setup conference room systems…but that takes funding.


Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, MD, USA

> From: Fiona Frank <fionafrank [at]>
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Post-Covid Hybrid Meetings -- What is your community 
> doing?
> Date: September 9, 2021 at 2:25:45 PM EDT
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> I just tried to do a hybrid thing last night - streaming a live service
> team meeting so that some prospective members could attend.  So it'wasn't
> fully hybrid ie we didn't have members in the zoom room wanting to
> participate..
> I set up a wide angle camera on a tall tripod, hooked up to my zoom on my
> laptop.
> I had the laptop screen on gallery facing the meeting so people could see
> the perspectives, whereas I had the pic of the meeting spotlighted for the
> zoom participants.
> I sat behind the laptop next to the tripod, and had the meeting also on
> zoom on my phone so I could check the chat and keep in touch with the
> participants.
> I think if we had members also wanting to participate, i could have set up
> an external speaker on the laptop and that would have worked.
> We're having a GM on sat that I'm trying to do this with too.
> Look forward to other thoughts!
> I tried to retire from my job at the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
> last sept and the last thing i did was submit a bid which was successful
> for a £50,000, 2 year project to develop hybrid meetings for the Scottish
> Jewish Communities. We've just appointed a dream team of a tech person, a
> project manager, and two 'on the ground' guys who'll run round scotland
> helping the communities.... we have a budget for equipment to set up in 2
> centres (Glasgow and Edinburgh) - I say 'tried to retire' - I ended up
> managing the recruitment process over the last 3 months and will keep in
> touch with the project... so I can feed in from that too.
> Fiona in Lancaster Cohousing, north west england
> On Thu, 9 Sept 2021 at 19:17, Jan Innes <freshfig [at]> wrote:
>> Here at Cornerstone, we are looking at how best to set up meetings which
>> can be attended both in person and via computer. Zoom has served us well in
>> the last year++ when there were no in-person meetings. Even after Covid
>> regulations ease up, we see reasons to have a hybrid model available for
>> members who cannot, for one reason or another, attend in person. Our
>> primary use would likely be our monthly general meeting with 20-35 or so in
>> person and anywhere from one to, say six, attending remotely.
>> We are interested in hearing how other communities are handling the switch
>> to a permanent hybrid option, and if is not being done, why.
>> Thanks,
>> *~ Jan Innes*
>> *Cornerstone Village Cohousing*
>> *Cambridge, MA *

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