By Laura Gramling, President EnSpark Consulting

In the early days of the 2020 global coronavirus pandemic, organizations and communities have had to swiftly pivot from convening in-person meetings to virtual meetings.

Thousands of team meetings to town halls to multi-day conferences are now conducted and facilitated online daily. With many great technology options to use, the ability to meet virtually with anyone, anywhere is now possible.

And yet, we must ask ourselves – Why Meet?

As with any in-person meeting, we should be clear about the purpose and design of the meeting, what results we want to achieve as well as who needs to be there. With the added complexities of a virtual meeting, we need to recalibrate and refine those criteria to ensure we really achieve the outcomes we want.

When to Convene a Virtual Meeting

Clarity of purpose
  • Timely and compelling
  • Clearly articulated
Right mix of people
  • Determine who’s participating and why
  • Share in advance how will they participate
Strong design and facilitation

Best use of technology

  • Share agenda in advance
  • Create clear instructions and expectations for engagement
  • Match the technology to the meeting design
Focused on results and what happens next
  • Connect to larger goals or purpose
  • Build momentum before and after the meeting
  • Articulate the “so what”/value of the meeting

When Not to Meet

No clear agenda or outcomes Holding a meeting ‘just because’ we always have a weekly meeting doesn’t work well for in-person meetings and really doesn’t work for virtual meetings.
No interaction

No Collaboration

Information Sharing Only

If the meeting is primarily to convey information or reinforce existing messages and is not going to be collaborative or interactive, consider posting or emailing the information.

When to Modify the Technology of a Virtual Meeting

Lack of access to technology Ensure everyone who needs to participate, can participate with the chosen technology. For public meetings, this means offering a variety of ways for people to participate who may have no access to the internet or limited technology.
Wrong technology fit If you have a large group and no ability to do breakout rooms, you may need to change the design of the meeting, or lower the number of participants or use a different technology platform.  Don’t be stymied by the technology, select the best technology for the type of virtual meeting you are convening.

 

Virtual meetings that are well designed, well facilitated, foster trust and connect to a strong purpose will stand out and make a difference. They will produce tangible and intangible results in forwarding larger organization or community goals.

Contact us to discuss your upcoming team meeting, all-hands or workshop!

Free Guide for Creating
Successful Virtual Meetings

Free Guide for Creating Successful Virtual Meetings

Please check your email and confirm your address. NOTE: You may need to check your Promotions folder or your Spam folder.

Free Guide for Creating
Successful Virtual Meetings

Free Guide for Creating Successful Virtual Meetings

Please check your email and confirm your address. NOTE: You may need to check your Promotions folder or your Spam folder.