Even with the full suite of tools and technology at the disposal of today’s AV integrators, putting on a virtual meeting can be a failure without the right approach. Business owners and entrepreneurs in AV integration need to leverage best practices to avoid the dreaded dull and ineffective virtual meeting and get the attendees involved as much as possible.
Your technology and setup can be impeccable but if your employees aren’t captivated –they won’t keep coming back for more.
The Tools for Collaboration
The difference between a seminar or lecture and a virtual meeting comes down to collaboration. Leveraging the diverse strengths of a team into a greater whole requires a culture of collaboration. Nothing is more important than being connected when it comes to achieving this. When 20 – 40% of team members are well connected from the start a team has a greater chance of successful collaboration.
Platforms like Cisco’s Spark allow companies to connect and collaborate more efficiently with a higher ROI. Regardless of the tools you deploy, they should integrate well with your existing software and provide an effective mobile interface. Research shows that only 3% of people come up with their best ideas when in the workplace. Providing the right tools to employees will help success continue beyond a single meeting.
Before The Meeting
Ask yourself: Is this meeting necessary? With all the benefits of engaging participants in virtual meetings one of the biggest enemies is wasting time. If a company schedules unnecessary virtual and online meetings you won’t just host a failure– you’ll also undermine your chances of success down the road.
But when the meeting is necessary there are steps to take before the day of. Give participants an agenda and tasks to prepare for prior to the meeting. It’s also important to only invite the required participants for the most effective virtual meetings. There should always be a clear goal articulated for the meeting as well.
Finally, all AV technology, content, and software platforms should be checked well before the start. The key components of successful virtual meetings include ensuring technology and tools can support team requirements and best practices.
Efficient and Respectful
Just as important as not holding unnecessary meetings is not wasting the time of your participants when virtual and online meetings do occur. You want to capture their attention in an efficient and collaborative spirit.
Resolve to start and end on time. This communicates mutual respect and encourages participants to be respectful of time as well. In that spirit, these virtual meetings should be kept short and to the point. Encouraging collaboration does not require meandering. 30 minutes is usually a good rule of thumb.
For example, at Conference Technologies we host regular “Town Hall” meetings over live stream. These stream’s are focused on one topic, like “All Hands on Tech!” and don’t go over 30 minutes. This live stream can also be recorded, saved and uploaded later to our employee server to watched anytime. Hosting a meeting in a live format allows employees in different offices to connect in real time, fostering a collaborative environment beyond a single meeting room.
Part of individual preparation might include personal refreshers on their interface with collaborative technology. Successful video conferencing means participants are getting the most out of their access point. Refreshing their skills on microphone and audio, lighting, and hands-free participation can help their comfort level and the overall success of the meeting.
Directing Outcomes and Evaluating Results
The art and science of virtual meetings is getting attendees to actively participate with their strengths while keeping things on track. If anyone gets off topic, or if discussions get out of hand, a moderator should not hesitate to head off the trouble before it escalates. This allows participants to know in each virtual meeting they can feel comfortable knowing they are collaborating in a respectful and efficient environment.
Each virtual or online meeting should also include an assessment of results. Did everyone participate? Were the goals achieved? Did the meeting start and end on time? Did technology perform to requirements?
Helping Your Meetings Succeed
Passing on these tips won’t just help make the most of your next virtual meeting. Once you know the foundation points for virtual meetings to be a success you can help advise them on the best tools to deploy.
Collaborative technology will allow your team to increase productivity and reduce costs. By creating a collaborative environment—and ease of access to required data and documents in a team setting—the results will extend throughout the corporate culture. Pair the right tools to these proven processes and you can help select, implement, and deploy the technology required to make every virtual meeting interesting and helpful to business as a whole.
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