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AANA’s Annual Business Meeting Was Redefined with Projection and Lumi Global’s Hybrid Approach

By June 28, 2024Projection

For the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA), the annual business meeting – held during the association’s Annual Congress – represents the opportunity for its 60,000+ members the opportunity to give their input on the policies and platforms that impact them before the voting on the organization’s proposed bylaw amendments or resolutions takes place at a later date.

With so much at stake, the AANA meeting planning team knew the business meeting must run seamlessly and professionally – and be a place where members can have their voices heard – no matter if they’re in the room, at their house, or in the airport. Meticulous planning and execution are crucial to avoid technical glitches and manage the diverse needs of members participating both in-person and remotely.

Past solutions did not allow viewers to actively engage in debates remotely, so Projection and Lumi Global teamed up to design and execute a solution that would cultivate a more inclusive and interactive experience and ensure each member has a voice.

The Complexity of AANA’s Annual Business Meeting

Like so many associations, AANA’s annual business meeting presents unique challenges. For example, every member must be given the opportunity to speak about the proposed amendments being discussed, but there is no way of knowing in advance which (remote or in-person) – or how many – members will attend the business meeting. This means a lot of cumbersome legwork for the planning team to ensure the platform is capable of handling more than 60,000 last-minute participants.

In addition, there is the hybrid component. With busy schedules and budget constraints, only a few hundred voting members are able to attend in person, so in 2023, AANA implemented a virtual element to ensure everyone who wants to can listen in and/or take part. In the past, the association tried a webinar format, after which members could watch/listen to the recording, but remote viewers could not actively participate.

Designing a Custom Solution to Address a Hybrid Membership

To address these challenges, AANA looked to their production and technology partners to leverage the teams’ expertise in meeting design and hybrid meeting solutions to create a more inclusive and efficient annual business meeting.

AANA’s unique needs called for a customized solution. Together with the Projection and Lumi Global teams, they defined and refined a platform that would:

  • Allow for the use of Robert’s Rules of Order by queueing remote and in-person participants simultaneously.
  • Display a synced speaker clock in the room and on personal devices.
  • Send custom content to remote participants when necessary.
  • Bring remote speakers seamlessly to the screen.
  • Give equal participation to those in the room and those elsewhere.
  • Enable in-person and remote participants to share the same view.

Lumi Global ensured there were enough secure logins for an unknown number of participants by uploading the full eligible voting membership to their database and allowing them to login with their specified credentials ––information both they and AANA already had.

Before the meeting kicked off, Projection, Lumi Global and AANA collaborated on efforts to educate members about the new platform, including call-in sessions and an in-person rehearsal. Real-time troubleshooting support was also available in the room during the meeting.

The Impact of the New System

AANA members were wary of this new technology, even with the educational component. Despite this hesitance, attendance increased by nearly 30% the first year of use. While many other tools lack the capability to integrate the in-person and remote portions of the meeting so that everyone sees each other and feels fully included, the solution designed for AANA worked as intended––the hybrid model allowed more members to participate, increasing the diversity of voices in decision-making.

Kelly McCohen, Governance Manager at AANA

Kelly McCohen, governance manager at AANA, said: “The transition was smooth and well-received. Our leadership was surprised and pleased at the success of the platform. Nerves were high, but the technology won out. In fact, the successful implementation led to plans to improve and continue to use the hybrid model this year.”

Lessons Learned

Continuous and extensive training is crucial to ease the transition to new technologies. While members were well informed about the new system in advance, many members were still unsure what to do and how the system would work. More work must be done to showcase how easy the platform is to use, and the benefits of the hybrid system moving forward.

Live rehearsals helped identify and mitigate potential issues, ensuring smooth execution during the live event. Projection, Lumi Global and AANA acknowledged the value of these rehearsals and plan to make them a greater priority in years to come.

Michelle Hovey, Operations & Finance Manager at Lumi Global

Michelle Hovey, operations & finance manager at Lumi Global added: “It can be easy to pass off rehearsals as unimportant, especially for a business meeting that has been done in similar ways over the years. But, it’s so critical to make sure that time is carved out to work with the person who will be on the stage and ensure they are comfortable with the cues; confirm what content will be on the screens at each interval, and identify the process and cues for speakers – both in the room and virtual. Having those buttoned up ensures a much more seamless experience for members – and higher satisfaction ratings post-event.”

Close collaboration between the association, Projection and Lumi Global was the key to this meeting’s success. As technology partners, we adapted where necessary in order to achieve AANA’s vision. Every meeting has different goals and specific purposes, so choosing a technology partner that goes above and beyond to meet these objectives – and not ignore them in favor of the way things are “always done” – helps our clients create innovative spaces that cultivate exceptional experiences.

Future Plans

AANA plans to build on this success by increasing the interactivity and engagement of remote participants. Together with the association and Lumi Global, we will continue to refine this hybrid model to serve the association’s membership and keep working towards the most inclusive and accessible annual business meeting possible.