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By Kevin Iwamoto, GLP. GTP, Chief Strategy Officer | Bizly
In collaboration with Richard Wilder
Every company who is subject to the Shelter in Place protocols during this COVID-19 pandemic are using virtual meeting platforms more than usual. For those who aren’t used to or acclimated to meeting virtually, here’s some best practices and advice from us at Bizly, your go-to simple, self-service meetings technology partner.
Before the Meeting:
- When scheduling the meeting, always be sensitive to time zone differences, especially if it’s a global participant meeting
- Be clear on the agenda. What is the content, goal and outcome of the session?
- Invite only the people you need
- Limit the call to no more than an hour — 30 or 45 minutes is even better
- The meeting organizer should logon at least 5 minutes earlier to ensure the technology platform is running with no problems and open for participants; not doing this in advance delays the meeting start time
During the Meeting
- Be on time
- Do a quick roll call and brief introductions especially if there are new participants or clients attending
- Mute the phone or your platform audio line when you aren’t speaking. This also helps to reduce-eliminate background noises and the infamous feedback and echoes. Don’t forget to unmute the line when you want to say something
- Mandate the use or video capabilities or on-line visuals to help people stay focused and also to gauge participant engagement levels. In person you can read body language to gauge participant engagement; virtually you have to read facial expressions
- Restate the agenda and summarize the outcome before the end of the call
- Always try to engage the audience during the call; use anecdotal stories that people can relate to, use tasteful humor. Try gamification; you’d be surprised how a gift card or other incentives motivates participants
After the meeting
- Thank everyone for making time to attend the meeting
- Always send a meeting summary afterwards with action items, owners and timeline dates
A Sign Of The Times — Online conference providers are being tested in ways they have never experienced. Consider starting your meetings at 10–15 minutes after the hour to avoid heavy access traffic and bandwidth issues.