Video meetings and conference calls have always been valuable tools in business. These technologies allow leaders to connect remote workers, bridge the gap between employees in different branch locations, and collaborate with other industry professionals around the world.
But now as we navigate the working world in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the power of these virtual tools is greater than ever. If you’re new to the virtual meeting—or have suddenly found yourself relying on it more than you ever anticipated—use these tips to keep employees engaged and productivity high across the screen!
1) Start by introducing participants.
Just like in any in-person meeting or conference, it’s important to help people feel connected from the beginning. When participants feel familiar and comfortable with one another, they’ll be willing to share more readily their ideas and opinions.
If everyone in your virtual meeting knows each other, start off with a quick personal and professional update. If you’re working with a newer group, have everyone introduce themselves with their name, job, a little bit about themselves, and a funny story to break the ice. Don’t forget to turn on the video to make the experience feel more authentic!
2) Encourage discussion and collaboration.
The purpose of any meeting is to bring people together to offer new perspectives and innovative thinking, so plan your virtual meeting with this in mind. Allowing everyone to work together on a shared problem or goal will be a far more productive use of your time than just rattling off reports or the latest numbers.
Ask people for input individually, or break participants into smaller groups to brainstorm (many virtual meeting tools have breakout features to facilitate this) and have them present their ideas to the larger group. Providing slides with questions, asking participants to take a few minutes to write out their ideas and then share, and encouraging them to respond using chat features are all effective ways to promote creativity and teamwork in a virtual setting.
3) Carve out time and responsibility for everyone.
Make your virtual meeting more interactive on an individual level by assigning everyone a role and allotting time on the agenda for each participant to address issues they deem important.
Start by delegating responsibilities at the beginning (or even before) your meeting—facilitator, note taker, time keeper, document reader, etc. Then, give everyone a chance to bring up points for discussion. This will encourage further collaboration as well as make participants feel valued and heard.
Hopefully, the time will soon come again when business leaders and industry professionals can come together in person to share ideas, make developments, and celebrate achievements in their respective fields. When that time does arrive, you’ll need someone to help you make the most of every minute.
The team at HPM Associates has the knowledge and expertise necessary to simplify the planning process and ensure any meeting, conference, or convention goes smoothly. Give us a call at 305-274-0030 so that we can skillfully and efficiently handle the details of your next event!