The way in which business gets done on a daily basis has changed considerably in the past several months, thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic pushing people out of offices and into their homes on at least a part-time basis. The fact of the matter is that this is a trend that is likely to continue for some time, even as more work returns to traditional settings, as people have grown accustomed to virtual meetings and are increasingly comfortable with them.
As a consequence, any managers or event planners that are thinking of expanding their use of virtual meetings — whether it's for a 1:1 chat with a co-worker or an event designed to appeal to thousands of professionals — need to understand the trends that are now developing around this technology. Those certainly include, but are not limited to, the following:
Meeting security needs
First and foremost, someone putting together a virtual meeting of any size will need to keep in mind that people are understandably concerned with security risks, Hello Endless says. There have been a number of notable instances of someone "Zoom bombing" an event and effectively hijacking it, which is not ideal for anyone involved and can be quite worrying in some cases. The more you can do to "lock down" your virtual meetings, the more at ease attendees will feel.
Specialised breakout groups
While it's certainly advisable to have a great central meeting, people these days may want a little more engagement around whatever topics you might be discussing. For that reason, it's a good idea to build time into your meetings for smaller breakout groups, whether it's just between members of a team or for virtual conference attendees. That kind of extra engagement can really help hammer home the point of a discussion and leave everyone more satisfied with the experience.
Upgrading meeting spaces
Increasingly, organisations across Australia are getting back to something resembling business as usual and simultaneously recognising the value of hosting ongoing video-chat events, according to Express Virtual Meetings. For that reason, companies are now doing a little more to make their private and communal meeting spaces a little more virtual-friendly so that everyone involved can be comfortable and get the most out of these meetings, whether they're attending in person or just dialing in.
Your policy can't be 'set it and forget it'
Again, things are evolving quite quickly in terms of what people expect from virtual meetings, and what was common at the start of the global pandemic perhaps just isn't applicable in some instances anymore. You can expect more of the same as the global situation continues to evolve and people's expectations change with it. As such, you can't have any hard and fast policies about how your virtual meetings are going to work going forward.
Functionality for multiple languages
When talking about international business events or other meetings, you may occasionally have encountered situations where translation was needed. Unfortunately, that often can't be done quickly or easily over even a good video chat platform, and it could put a damper on such proceedings as a result. Airmeet notes that some companies are developing technology that effectively translates meeting content from one language to another automatically, meaning they can be more inclusive and enticing for people no matter what language they speak.
Some video chat platforms are great for 1:1 or small-team meetings, while others are more intended for hundreds or even thousands of attendees. Digital Information World finds that you should therefore consider which one is going to be right for any given event and choose from the various options that might be available to you. Becoming familiar with all those platforms and choosing the best options that may be available to you will be critical to hosting successful virtual meetings going forward.
A uniform experience
While you certainly can't account for the quality of everyone's internet connection or that their microphones work well, you can do more to set rules and expectations for all attendees. Basic things like requiring people to either turn their video off or on (depending on your preference), staying on mute when not asked or expected to speak, virtually "raising a hand" when they have a question and so on will help keep everything moving smoothly throughout the meeting.
Whether your next meeting is planned for five, 50, or 5,000 attendees, you want to make sure it goes off without a hitch. At cievents, we are here to help you host the best possible meetings and virtual events of all sizes. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can do just that, and check our website to get more information about the many different services we offer to ensure your next effort is a smashing success.
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