By Laura Gramling, President, EnSpark Consulting
Google “virtual meeting technology” and you will get over 500,000,000 hits.
That’s a lot of technology!
And more technology is being created and built as more and more organizations are moving traditional in-person meetings to online.
What technology is best for your meeting?
It depends on what your meeting is focused on, what your outcomes are, and how you want to engage your participants.
Our recommendations below are based on three factors: 1) ease of use, 2) low cost options, and 3) ability to tailor to specific requirements (in some cases). For all of the technologies listed below, we do have any stock or investments with the companies or any of their affiliates.
Let’s review technology options for 3 kinds of online meetings:
- Weekly Team Meeting
- All-hands Town Hall
- Interactive Workshop
Using Two Virtual Meeting Technologies to Maximize Collaboration
Many virtual meetings can be engaging and productive with the use of just one virtual meeting platform. And I encourage the most simple and straightforward use of technology whenever possible.
When you need to create a highly collaborative online meeting – beyond using a simple poll or screen sharing – you will need to use more than one technology.
Our solution for collaborative online meetings is to use two virtual meeting technologies open and running on two web browsers. The first web browser will run your primary platform technology focused on presentation and connection, and the second browser window will run your secondary platform technology focused on collaboration.
On their computers, participants open both browsers, and either have them on screen side-by-side or actively toggle between them depending on the instructions given by the meeting facilitator.
The primary platform is the virtual meeting technology that enables to you to present and interact with your participants.
Features you need for your primary platform are:
- Easy to share documents
- Participants can be seen on camera
- Chat feature
- Simple polling
- Breakout rooms
- Host control functions
Our current go-to primary platform technology is Zoom. [NOTE: We are aware of the current issues with Zoom. We are monitoring their updates and technology changes. If we change our recommendation, we will provide an update.]
There are many other well-known technologies that work well as a primary platform such as Adobe Connect, Webex, GoToMeeting and RingCentral.
The secondary platform technology is needed when you want the participants to collaborate together. Below is our list of desired features by meeting type and our recommended secondary platform technologies.
There are many collaboration technologies that we are experimenting with, these include: Miro, Mural, Stormboard, Stormz, Powernoodle, Group Systems Thinktank and MeetingSphere.
Contact us to discuss your upcoming team meeting, all-hands or workshop!