Alcea Consulting is all about bringing people together, using communication as a way of building connection and since the coronavirus pandemic I’ve had several people asking for advice in hosting and facilitating successful online meetings and networking events.
So, I thought I’d share my top tips for hosting a successful online meeting and event – hopefully it’ll give you some ideas for your next meeting.
None of it’s rocket science, but we don’t know what we don’t know, and many businesses are being asked to make big changes to working practices over-night, so I hope this helps. If you’ve any more questions or need some advice just drop me an email at email@example.com charge, no worries, just advice if you need it.
Top tips for online meetings
1. Choose a well-known collaboration tool with video such as Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams, even Facetime can work if it’s a small team – but video functionality is important, especially if people are meeting for the first time.
2. Share logging in and download instructions at least a day before the meeting, especially if it’s the first one. Some people experience anxiety in trying out a new piece of tech so make it as easy as possible for them with a step-by-step guide and some helpful tips on how to log on for the first time.
3. Make sure it’s possible for everyone to download / access the tech needed – if admin rights on the system restrict access make sure this is dealt with before asking people to download the tech.
4. Give yourself time to log in and be online at least ten minutes early. The last thing you need to be when showcasing a new way of working and connecting people together is flustered and unsure. Log in get yourself set up and welcome as many of the participants to the meeting personally as you can.
5. If your meeting is a large one and you’re using a facility like Zoom which enables it, you can do some quick break-out sessions with smaller groups. This will help not only break the ice and increase connections but build in a more personal touch helping attendees create more meaningful moments within the wider session. This will be helpful to give attendees the confidence to speak up and share throughout the meeting.
6. As with any meeting be clear on what it is, you’re aiming to achieve by getting everyone together and stick to the agenda point. The best and most productive meetings are those that are clearly shown to be useful and effective in moving a point of business forward. That’s not online specific but I do think sometimes it’s more obvious when it's virtual.
And finally, a bonus tip – don’t panic! If the tech goes down or someone loses their connection, just take a breath, keep calm and carry on. These things happen and there may be a few kinks to iron out before everyone gets used to it. But it's worth it. It’s just like in a face to face meeting when you must evacuate because the fire alarm goes off. You deal with that; you can deal with this.
If you want any further advice on how to run successful meetings and facilitate events online as I said above drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’m happy to help and in these difficult and disruptive times let’s support each other however we can.
Before I go, what are your top tips for running successful online meetings?