Today, there are two critical components to running virtual meetings. First, find the best virtual meeting platform for a reliable, trusted service. Second, establish virtual meeting best practices to ensure success for your teams.
Two years into a pandemic, we all understand how the virtual meeting saved us. The problem now is that many companies still don’t understand the best practices for their virtual meetings. This blog features nine tips that will improve every virtual meeting you attend and organize.
Top 9 Virtual Meetings Best Practices
There are all kinds of challenges with remote virtual meetings. Do you ever wonder what someone is doing when they go off-camera? What about that meeting attendee who forgets to mute (and you know what they’re doing because you hear the flushing water)? How do you capture the same kind of camaraderie of an office when everyone is remote?
These are all problems that call for a set of best practices for your virtual meetings. Consider these nine as a good place to start.
Before the Virtual Meeting
1. Set the Agenda
You would think this is meeting etiquette 101 by now, but the pandemic threw things off-kilter as we scrambled to move remote. Some organizations simply haven’t recovered.
Start with your goals for the meeting. Is it for idea generation or do you have specific tasks to solve? Map out your agenda and share it at the beginning of the meeting for a more productive use of the time.
2. Select the Best Virtual Meeting Platform—and Test It
There are dozens of virtual meeting platforms on the market today. Choosing wisely will help your next meeting run more smoothly. Some considerations include:
· Look for security encryption of your data while it’s in transit and at rest.
· Consider a browser-based platform that requires no risky downloads from the internet.
· Also look for a white label video conferencing solution that allows you to fully brand the meeting as your own for more unified experiences for participants.
Once you’ve selected the best virtual meeting platform for your business, carefully plan out for any disruption, such as slow or dropped internet, or microphone problems. Test and retest the video solution to ensure you’re comfortable.
3. Consider Your Background and Lighting
You’ve heard this before, but consider the professionalism of the backgrounds you choose. If anything is distracting, try to remove it. You might want to add a virtual background as well as minimize noises. Set the ground rules that participants are muted during the call. Also, make sure the lighting is from the front of your screen and not the back, to ensure you and your participants are seen as something more than a dark shadow.
During the Virtual Meeting
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork for your virtual meeting, here are a few best practices to consider when the meeting launches.
4. Assign Roles
Ask for volunteers to take notes and track the timing of the meeting. Or, you can do this before the meeting. That way, the facilitator of the meeting, whether it’s you or someone else, can focus strictly on the agenda items.
5. Avoid Screen Fatigue and Keep Meetings Short
Staring at yourself on a video conference for three hours is not conducive to a productive event. If the meeting must run more than an hour, break it up. Allow for “bio breaks.” Or, split the meeting into teams. Do something to break up the monotony and keep the attention of participants.
6. Use the “Holding Tank”
There’s a virtual waiting room at the beginning of most video conferences now. It blocks unfettered access to a meeting. It’s a direct response to the Zoom Bombing incidents from a year or so ago. But the virtual holding tank at the beginning of your meeting could also serve other purposes. For example, if you have a white label video conference solution, you could brand the waiting room with your company logo and colors. That room should also allow participants to watch a video that you choose to show them (before entering the main meeting room). Alternatively, you can provide a custom message for them; you can make this information marketing or training related, or even show the agenda for the meeting. Most companies fail to use the waiting room to their advantage; we think it should be a standard virtual meeting best practice.
After the Virtual Meeting
What follow-ups to your virtual meeting could enhance the overall experience for your participants? Here are a few best practices to follow.
7. Summarize the Meeting
A short, punchy summary of the virtual meeting is like a group huddle after the game. It ends the meeting with a team-centric activity that reinforces a positive bond. In the case of a virtual meeting, you can reiterate what was decided during the meeting and remind everyone of action items. Suggest when the group might reconvene (if appropriate) and thank everyone for their active participation. Also, if you recorded the meeting, is it available somehow for anyone who missed the live event?
8. Meeting Summary Email
Remember how we suggested having a minutes-taker at the beginning of the meeting? Have that person write up their notes and send them to you. Review the notes and make sure they are concise and punchy, with action items noted. After the virtual meeting, send out a short email with the notes either attached or dropped into the body of the email. Then, save those minutes for the next meeting where you can open by reviewing what happened at the last virtual event.
9. Ask for Feedback
All of these steps may sound like a lot, but they are best practices for any virtual meeting that will help the entire team be more productive. With that goal in mind, you should ask participants either privately or as a group to share their feedback on the meeting. You could also send out an anonymous survey to get feedback. Your goal is to improve the quality of your meetings so that people feel engaged in the process.
Virtual meetings are challenging; engaging dispersed teams in a video conference requires some best practices to ensure your success. If you’re seeking the best virtual video conferencing provider, consider MegaMeeting. Our secure, intelligent platform can be branded fully for your business. Find out why companies choose our service by starting our 14-day free trial.
MegaMeeting solves the biggest challenges of modern video conferencing. For users, it is an all-in-one platform that delivers both video conferencing and webinars in a single, simplified interface. For attendees, it is 100% browser-based, making it highly accessible; joining a meeting is instantaneous from a single click. For enterprises, it is highly customizable, with white-labeling options for a private branded solution. For developers, it is API-driven and easy to integrate.
Powered by WebRTC, Node.js, React, and GraphQL, it is a cutting-edge platform that is fun and easy to use for users and developers alike.