There are 7 strategies for creating successful virtual meetings that I have used to increase engagement and retention of the information while making the meetings fun!
Since the COVID-19 pandemic organizations around the world have had to adapt to the new normal especially when it comes to virtual meetings using technologies such as zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams to stay connected. Employees skill sets need to be updated to adapt to the changing policies and direction of their organization and its outreach to clients.
How to create a successful virtual meeting.
Creating a successful virtual meeting is an art, and many different elements must be utilized to optimize the experience and create engagement for the employees.Having delivered virtual presentations successfully since 2006 I have identified 7 strategies for creating successful virtual meetings.
7 Strategies for Creating Successful Virtual Meetings
- Create a detailed outline, Do your homework.
Organization is the cornerstone of creating a successful virtual meeting. By creating a detailed outline including exercises, polling and question and answers planned out in advance you will be able to keep the attendees engaged and on topic.
It is essential to have a guideline to ensure all the vital content is covered. Also, it’s important to design companion material for employees to support the virtual training long after the meeting is over.
- Understand the goals and objective outcomes of the meeting.
When planning your virtual meeting it’s important to have a clear understanding of what the primary goals and objectives are for the attendees. When you create your meeting planning with the management team you will better understand what needs to be accomplished.
This will keep you focused on the material any interactivity and engagement necessary to achieve outstanding results!
If your team needs to learn specific skill sets during the virtual meeting, you can incorporate exercises, discussion topics, and real-world examples that can help them develop those skills.
- Make sure to communicate details about the meeting/training well in advance.
It was one said that “luck is when preparation meets opportunity”. If you want the full participation and engagement of your team for the virtual meeting you must prepare. Make sure to constantly communicate the details of the meeting and the benefits of the attendees for showing up.
Since so many of us are operating remotely sending out reminders, emails an including the details in your company newsletter and message board will help to assure full participation.
- Make it easy to access.
Your virtual meeting should be easy to access, even for team members who are not tech savvy. Access and navigation should be simple and straightforward, and everyone should know how to log onto the system to attend the live event or webinar.
Another alternative is to record the virtual event and upload it to the company’s website for future reference or for those who have missed the live event. In addition, some companies may prefer a recorded version to assure there are no technology glitches for their live meeting.
- Include polling, Q&A, and interactivity to drive engagement
Creating a virtual meeting or event is always enhanced when polling, Q&A opportunities and interactivity of the attendees are included. Many times, using breakout rooms and pre-planned interactivity drives retention and assures a positive experience and results for the attendees.
- Encourage and promote group collaboration on social media.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn can be valuable tools in supporting collaboration and discussion before, during and after the event.
Entertaining questions from people who are on the platform or watching the live stream enhances the meeting and encourages and motivates the attendees to collaborate long after the event is over.
- Avoid information overload.
When delivering a virtual meeting it’s easy to want to pack 25 pounds of information in a 5-pound bag. That’s a mistake! Try to keep the sessions as short as possible and include only the information that is necessary. It’s important to still have fun to keep the attendees engaged while staying on topic. I believe if you follow these seven strategies for creating successful virtual meetings you will find that your attendees are more engaged, motivated, and productive, even if they are operating remotely.