Virtual meetings are an ideal option for many companies needing to provide the latest information to attendees without the need to consider travel, hotel, and other logistics. Since the cost is a small fraction of a face-to-face meeting, more and more companies are finding this option to be a valuable solution to educate and update attendees, especially within short time frames.
Reasons for a virtual meeting might include:
Budget: Virtual meetings are roughly 10% of the cost of a face-to-face meeting.
Convenience: Virtual meetings allow for efficient training with little impact on attendees’ and presenters’ busy schedules.
Reach: Virtual meetings reach a broader audience across multiple time zones and countries.
Attrition Redux: When training newly assigned people on your team, the virtual meeting may be the best method because there are limited logistics hurdles to overcome. You are able to interact with the attendees and pass on your very important message.
Important or Urgent Updates: Protocol amendments and other updated information can be shared in an open forum.
Virtual Meeting Tips
To ensure that your next virtual meeting is a successful one, our Virtual Events Team has compiled some useful tips:
Be Time Efficient
It’s a challenge for attendees to sit in front of their computers for hours on end. So make every minute count. We have some suggestions to ensure that your virtual meeting is time well spent.
- Streamline your meeting by compressing your agenda so the meeting fits within a 4-hours or less time frame.
- If more time is needed, consider a ‘multi-session’ meeting in which the agenda takes place for several hours over the course of two days to ensure that your message gets to your audience while avoiding meeting fatigue.
- If time is a constraint, create a ‘pre-trainer’ that allows you to capture certain presentations prior to the meeting. Invite the attendees to view it prior to your meeting via our proprietary On-Demand Trainer/Learning Management System. Presenters can concentrate on the specific or new content for the attendees during the meeting.
Have the Right Equipment
To avoid the common pitfalls of virtual meetings related to audio and visuals, make sure that you have the right equipment from the start to support a seamless meeting.
- If your virtual meeting consists of audio and slides only, the equipment needed is as simple as a headset and computer with an internet connection.
- If the virtual meeting includes videos of presenters, high definition webcams are a must. MTA provides these webcams and can support you with the setup. We can even go on-site to assist.
Be More Interactive and Engaging
One of the most important elements of any successful virtual meeting is to make your meeting highly interactive and engaging. This can vary based on the audience and the information that needs to be shared.
- In-session polling questions are very useful when engaging your audience. This gets the audience thinking about the content and it helps create additional questions around the information being shared.
- Ask your audience questions in a wide variety of formats, such as multiple-choice, rating, text responses, polling, voting, and even fun game challenges. With these methods of engagement, your audience will be more inclined to participate and interact with the presentation.
- Pose questions regularly and make it a priority to interact with participants throughout all your event sessions.
MTA can walk you through every step. We understand there can be multiple scenarios to a virtual meeting with many questions to consider such as – is it global, who is the target audience, and what message do you want to share. We are able to help you decide the best route to take when targeting your audience.
- When preparing for a virtual meeting, technical rehearsals are essential to your meeting’s success. MTA walks the presenters through the meeting platform in addition to the process of presenting virtually, which can be very different than presenting to an in-person audience.
- Among virtual meeting best practices, reviewing housekeeping information with attendees prior to the virtual meeting presentations ensures that your attendees are comfortable submitting or asking questions and understand where to access all support documents.
Implementing these key tips at your next virtual meeting can greatly improve its effectiveness and enhance the overall experience for your attendees. But you don’t have to go it alone. Miller Tanner Associates can walk you through our virtual meeting best practices to ensure an exceptional meeting for all involved.
For other great resources, check out our previous blog posts related to virtual meetings.
- Hybrid Events: The Best of Both Virtual and Face-to-Face - April 27, 2021
- Virtual Event Ideas for Social and Unique Special Events - February 16, 2021
- Case Study: How to Expand Recruitment Training Capability Using VALTs to Support Virtual Events - February 9, 2021