According to a study conducted by Wainhouse Research, only 30% of companies use online meetings. This is despite the fact that cutting down on employee travel can save a company a lot of money. And, along with its practical and financial benefits, web conferencing can also be a way to re-energize your business meetings.
To make your web conferences successful, you need to get the most out of the collaborative tools available to you as well resources available on the web. Turn meetings into a platform for a true exchange of ideas. With distance no longer an issue, web conferences can actually be far more productive than traditional meetings. Here are some simple tips to make your web conferences more productive.
1. Be prepared
Practice, practice! Familiarize yourself with your conference tool before scheduling an online meeting. You want to be ready to quickly and efficiently deal with any technical problems that arise so that you don’t lose your audience’s attention. You should also make sure each participant understands how to manage the technical aspects of web conferencing.
2. Communicate what it’s all about
Send an invitation to each participant using a computer tool such as Google Calendar and be sure to introduce the meeting’s main topic and agenda. Participants should know why they’ve been asked to attend, what your goals are, and what you’re expecting of them.
3. Be creative and encourage participation
Be lively and creative in your online meetings, and don’t let participants become too passive. Avoid speaking in long monologues which can cause people’s attention to wander. Spice up your conferences and keep invitees awake by using multimedia content and links.
Get participants involved in the conversation by creating genuine dialog between you and your invitees. Use an online survey tool such as Survey Monkey to get their feedback. Use a tool such as Google Drive to upload documents, and allow participants to look them over and make changes while you’re speaking.
5. Share meaningful meeting notes
Keep track of what was said during the meeting and don’t just send out a simple summary. Add documents and links which delve deeper into the topic. Include comments from participants: this shows you value their input and motivates them to get more involved in your next online meeting.
Web conferencing is a great tool, so make the most of it! When it’s properly organized and includes collaborative tools, an online meeting offers many more possibilities than a traditional one. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission has done so successfully. The Commission, held a large web conference, conversing with their entire region at once. The organizer disseminated maps and documents to participants throughout the meeting and anyone could submit written comments without interrupting the proceedings.