What is a Virtual Meeting?
Virtual meetings have been around for years. However, they exploded in 2020. From workplaces to schools, to government meetings and friend hangouts; we needed a way to stay connected. With the success we’ve seen from virtual meetings, there’s no putting the genie back into the bottle. Meeting virtually is here to stay.
Some may still prefer in-person meetings, but when that’s not possible, virtual is the best option. Virtual meeting success comes down to how they’re managed. Managing a virtual meeting is a skill, and skills can be learned. Once the skill is acquired, meeting virtually in any setting can add great value to a communication strategy.
Why Should You Use Virtual Meetings?
There are many reasons to use these types of meetings. Meeting either through audio or video is a great chance to connect and focus on what another says. Yes, some meetings should be emails—but some emails should be virtual meetings!
A virtual meeting is convenient for teams, managers, employees, peers, and even whole companies. You can connect from wherever and have a person-to-person connection. No more worrying about planning meetings around colleagues’ travel schedules. Similarly, you can forget about scheduling conference rooms. You won’t have to cut a meeting short if another group is waiting for the room after you, too. Virtual meetings make everyone’s life easier.
Some meetings require all hands on deck. In the past, that meant paying for employees’ trips including airfare, lodging, and their food and beverage expenses. However, now people can connect virtually from home or in the office. No plane ticket needed. In fact, these meetings can save companies an average of $1,293 on individual business trips. That’s money you can recycle back into your budget for more immediate needs.
Everyone is Involved
With virtual meetings, everyone has the ability to participate as long as they have an internet connection. If your traveling salesperson is on a trip, they can easily call into the meeting. If your workforce is spread across the country, they can log in from their home office. Similarly, you won’t have colleagues who feel out of the loop because they miss the strategy meetings.
What Are the Benefits of Virtual Meetings?
We’ve already hinted at some benefits, but there are a few more we want to highlight.
Allow for Remote Business Organization
With virtual meetings, employees don’t need to live within commuting distance of the office. Therefore, your talent pool just cracked wide open. You can hire people in different cities, states, and even countries. When it comes to virtual meetings, you just need an internet connection, not a cubicle at the office. You can identify the right people for the right roles and you’re no longer limited by relocation budgets.
Allows for Sharing in Real-Time
Your employees can share ideas as they happen. When an executive needs to talk through a new strategy, they can immediately share it with their team. You can use virtual features to present charts and decks to your audience allowing for instant feedback.
Virtual meetings also allow for brainstorming sessions between team members. If they’re working on an advertising campaign or project, they can work together virtually. Meeting virtually helps connect colleagues when they can’t meet face to face.
Saves Infrastructure Costs
Aside from the fact you won’t need to be in the office all the time, you also cut down on costs that go into running meetings. These expenses may include TVs, valuable square footage, and endless printed presentation decks (that usually end up in the trash shortly after the meeting). When everything is digital, there’s no need for paper, fixtures, and office space.
Enables Quick and Important Conversations
Virtual meetings allow you to hop on a call with a coworker and hash out details instantaneously. Once, you needed to walk over to a colleague’s cubicle. Now, you can send a quick ping via chat and schedule to meet virtually whenever it’s convenient. You can share your screens, drill through data, ask simple questions (or complex ones), and solve a problem from your desk.
What’s the Best Way to Run Virtual Meetings?
While there are many benefits to meeting virtually, like the ones we’ve outlined above, there are also best practices to keep in mind. Here are some additional tips.
If You Can Say It in an Email, Do It
While it’s great to meet with colleagues, use discretion when planning a virtual meeting. Try to respect your colleague’s time. Therefore, if you can get your point across in an email, send it. Or, if you need to schedule a meeting, only invite those who absolutely need to attend. Likewise, if you still wish to host a virtual meeting, you can send the slide deck to your participants instead of reading every line from the presentation. This will save you time and provide the audience with useful digital materials to reference afterward.
Connect with People
Take advantage of meeting virtually to connect with others. You can use icebreakers to kickstart the call or use a funny, but a professional virtual background to lighten the mood. If your workforce is hybrid or works remotely, make the most of your virtual time together.
People can tell when you’ve zoned out of a meeting. Maybe you’re not contributing much, or you’re focused on your other computer screen. If you’re meeting virtually, be present and attentive— even if you’re the organizer.
Ready to learn more?
Explore how Connex can help with your web conferencing.