Tips for an effective virtual meeting
Virtual meetings are now here to stay. For some that strikes fear and dread. The fatigue, the volume and the effort are all too much to think about. It doesn't need to be onerous. Let's explore some myths and best practice around effective virtual meetings.
For over 8 months, I've been testing, with data, virtual meetings. Some small, some large, all with one thing in mind. Can we improve the event experience? The answer is yes. We've been able to almost DOUBLE the satisfaction of our Live meetings since COVID-19. In fact, Zoom did a global best practice study on our efforts.
Virtual meetings have a bit of a bad rap as repetitive and tiring. While that's possible, I wouldn't necessarily blame the platform for that. For instance, a bad speaker will never make a virtual meeting interesting. So what does make a meeting interesting?
I'm always reminded of the quote "Different isn't always better but better is always different". I think this says just as much to business in general but do we have a strategy to effectively engage online? Are we better in any way? How do we transform the way people experience our brand?
All meetings have require different outcomes. For instance:
- is it to raise ratings or satisfaction?
- is it for brand awareness?
- is it for direct sales?
- is it to expand or deepen markets or relationships?
Additionally, what do you know about your audience? Their experience, their knowledge, their sentiment to you, your product or brand etc
For each of the above you need to factor in:
- The TOOLS (tech) you use - each has advantages, disadvantages and limitations
- The MESSAGE- its structure, complexity and depth
- The CULTURE or MORALE - this affects receptivity
- The CONTENT DYNAMIC- saying the right thing at the right time to the right person in the right way eg content pacing and adaption to the audience
NOW IS THE BEST TIME IN HISTORY to write the rules about how people perceive and experience virtual meetings because there is no "norm". Even better, because it is digital, you have all this DATA (when they arrive, when they abandon, when they get distracted, when they engage, how often they interact etc). We can now adapt content in real time and see the response.
Keep in mind that some of the myths about events still seem to be around. eg Shorter is better but only if your content or presentation is boring. Otherwise, keep going. Don't try and replicate your Live events digitally. No one needs a virtual stage or just a talking head. Slides are not as effective in virtual. They were never that effective in real life either. Keep it simple, keep it dynamic.
By managing the 4 factors above you can quantitatively improve aspects of your meetings for greater impact. Let's chat if you want details. I want to keep this post short and simple. It gets complex quickly.