Virtual meetings may have started from a place of necessity, but as many companies move forward with hybrid work environments with at least some remote participants, it is a clear signal that virtual meetings are here to stay. One of the biggest challenges with this setup is how to keep virtual meetings productive and engage participants. The solution can be three-fold: putting engaging practices in place, enlisting the help of an AV integrator, and using the right technology to facilitate it all.
How to Keep Virtual Meetings Productive
In a virtual meeting, it can be all too easy for bored participants to look like they are staring at their computers when they are actually streaming videos or playing a game of Solitaire. The solution is to implement new practices to keep individuals engaged and participating throughout virtual meetings.
If determining how to keep virtual meetings productive has been a challenge for you, consider employing some or all of the following tips:
- Stay face to face. Most virtual meetings ask participants if they would like to turn on their computer camera for the meeting. While applications offer the choice of a camera, it is best for businesses to request that the video feed remain on for the duration of the call. This helps hold participants accountable and keeps them involved.
- Eliminate distractions. Whether a remote employee is at home or working from a nearby coffee shop, distractions are everywhere, largely in the form of background noise and scenery. Consider asking participants to use a green screen effect to limit visuals of things happening around or behind them. Keeping participants on mute until a discussion period opens or someone virtually raises their hand may be the best way to eliminate unwanted interruptions and background noise.
- Create accountability. Consider having each virtual attendee have a specific job for the duration of a call such as an attendance taker, note taker, etc. While this can seem elementary, it keeps individuals involved and in tune with the call as they each complete their specific task.
- Be bold. To keep a virtual meeting productive, it may help to think of putting together a presentation for the topic. Be bold with graphics, color usage, and special effects. The more interesting a presentation is the less tempted participants will be to tune out the presenter.
- Make it a need to know basis. Time is valuable, even while on a virtual call. Show event participants that you are respecting their time by including only useful information in the presentation, and when applicable, presenting supplemental information in the chat.
- Let participation be fun. Do not just ask individuals to pay attention and participate in a virtual meeting, give them an exciting avenue to encourage them to do so. Some of the most popular ways to engage individuals is to ask them to participate in a poll to keep interest.
How an AV Integrator Can Help
A professional AV integrator can help businesses establish remote virtual meeting spaces that not only make communicating more feasible, but that also integrate seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure.
This step is key in making virtual meeting technology user-friendly, sustainable, and cohesive. Integrators are able to not only set up a proper system designed to fit a customer’s budget and make their virtual meetings productive, but they can also put together staff training to ensure that individuals understand how to use the technology to their advantage.
What Types of Solutions Can Help with Productive Virtual Meetings
Customizing a videoconferencing system designed to meet the unique needs of a business while being mindful of the budget constraints is a specialty of reputable AV integrators. Their knowledge is invaluable when it comes to knowing what digital technologies will work the best for each client.
Some of the more popular technology solutions for productive virtual meetings include:
- Cameras: A high-quality audio-visual camera should do more than just facilitate video. Look for a camera that limits noise interference while providing excellent audio, is compatible with multiple devices, and offers multiple views. Some of the most popular companies providing cameras that assist with productive virtual meetings are AVer, Logitech, Lumens, Poly, and Vaddio.
- Feedback suppression devices: While there are things such as a room’s acoustics that cannot easily be changed to decrease audio feedback, companies like Biamp and Poly are offering products that offer feedback suppression. Biamp Crowd Mics, an app-based solution, allows text and voice capabilities during a meeting, as well as moderator control options and a poll-based participation feature. Poly Headsets are other devices that ensure clearer communication and works well with other platforms such as Zoom.
If a virtual meeting is a part of a hybrid work environment, the following technologies can also be helpful for businesses to employ:
- SimplyConnected ZoomRooms: A ZoomRoom allows employees at a place of business to set up interface opportunities with colleagues and clients that are working remotely.
- Simply Connected Huddle Package: The Simply Connected Huddle Package works much the same way as a ZoomRoom with the exception that it generally caters to a smaller group of on-site employees communicating with remote clients or colleagues.
No matter what type of technology solutions you use for virtual meetings, having an AV integrator assist with it all from start to finish may be the most important factor. If you are struggling with how to keep virtual meetings productive, schedule a consultation with a trusted and reputable AV integrator today for a smoother tomorrow.