Virtual meetings are nothing new, but they are now experiencing an unparalleled boom given the confined situation we are in due to the COVID-19 crisis. Precisely because of this new challenge, we have all been able to experience firsthand the countless failures that can occur in a virtual meeting.
That is why we believe that today, more than ever, these practical tips were pertinent. They will undoubtedly help you to effectively organize your day-to-day videoconferences and your international events.
1. Plan your virtual meeting well
Planning is very important. Send an invitation to all attendees well in advance. Take into account the different time zones of the participants. If necessary, you should try to adapt the time of the meeting to one that suits everyone. Also, you should try to add the agenda or objectives online so that everyone is clear about the topics to be discussed.
2. Choose the right platform
The right technology is very important for your online meetings. You should research your options carefully.
There are an infinite number of platforms on the market, but not all of them are the same. Make sure you choose one with good sound and image quality, and that guarantees security and confidentiality during virtual meetings. A recent example of the dangers of non-compliance was the Zoom security breach.
What types of platforms should you consider using? There are many different options. One idea is to host virtual events with VConference.
3. Check the operation
Testing the effectiveness of the platform is paramount to avoid having to ask your participants awkward questions like “Can you hear me?” or “Can you see the video now?”
In addition, ideally each participant should be able to familiarize themselves with the platform so that there are no problems on the day of the meeting. This is going to help you make sure that everything goes a lot more smoothly afterwards.
4. In the event that you need an interpretation service, not everything is possible on every platform
Not all platforms allow interpretation. There is a wide range of platforms on the market that specialize in events with interpretation, which allow you for simultaneous translation into one or several languages and even for relay interpreting (i.e. interpreting from an interpretation, not from the original). Some of them can be easily embedded in your usual platform so as not to complicate your life.
A number of experts have studied all of them to see which is most feasible. If you want to organize an event with interpretation, do not hesitate to contact your technical support team. They will be happy to advise you and solve any doubts you may have.
5. Choose the meeting leader
If you want to keep your virtual meetings tidy and not feel like you’ve gone back to the school yard or feel as worn out as if you’ve been hit by a truck, it’s imperative to appoint a meeting leader. This person will be in charge of distributing the turns to speak, remembering to mute the microphone if you are not intervening and allowing everyone to participate during the video conferences.
6. The video is mandatory
Even if it is a long-distance meeting, non-verbal language remains paramount. It is not enough for your attendees to just listen. They must be able to see and look the meeting leaders in the eye.
7. Remember: the good, if brief, is twice as good
Virtual meetings are not like having a chat with your friends in a bar. You have to get to the point and not digress. Be on time to start and finish.
8. Ensure optimal sound quality
It is always applicable, but even more so if interpreters are involved. Not just any sound is good enough: not the Apple wireless headphones that are so fashionable now, nor putting your laptop right next to the window! It is important that the sound arrives well in order to interpret well, so ideally you should have a headset with a USB connection and a built-in microphone. In addition, it is preferable to work with ethernet rather than wifi, because it ensures greater network stability.
Do your due diligence before hosting a virtual meeting
You need to be prepared before organizing a meeting. A lot of things can go wrong if you aren’t careful. The tips listed above should make it a lot easier.
Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.