Virtual meetings are the "new normal": Tips and solutions to help you succeed

In recent weeks, virtual meeting solutions including video conferencing, live streaming, chat, pre-recorded presentations and a whole host of other options have become the "new normal."

With the world dealing with pandemic, going into the office and sitting with co-workers for face-to-face meetings is no longer possible. And now that many corporate workers are finding themselves operating from home for the foreseeable future, technology has become the lifeblood that enables them to connect.

A study from Deloitte found that the average household has seven connected devices with screens from which to watch content, and 11 connected devices in total. These open portals to a range of different, digital meeting solutions that can help bring us together, even when we can't be physically.

In this age of virtual meetings as the "new normal," the solutions that power these digital gatherings are more crucial than ever before. This is what we explore in-depth in our new whitepaper, "Business as (Un)usual: Virtual Meeting Solutions in 2020."

Your company needs to pick the right solution to ensure that you and your workforce can successfully weather the current storm.

Virtual meetings take the place of in-person gatherings

As countries across the globe continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we as a society adjust to social distancing measures, previously long-held practices like in-person meetings aren't something we can safely engage in. And this is a shift that will in all likelihood be in place for a long while.

This reality has resulted in businesses and consumers turning to virtual solutions to enable them to speak to, see and share moments with their families and co-workers. In the enterprise sector, this uptick in virtual gatherings is important, as workers still need to connect and collaborate with other employees, as well as the vendors and partners that make their operations possible.

On top of this, other events including larger-scale presentations and conventions are going digital as well, and require participants to have access to virtual meeting solutions.

Some of the platforms that fall under this umbrella include:

  • Video conferencing.
  • Live streaming.
  • Q&A sessions.
  • Audience polling.
  • Pre-recorded presentations.
  • On-demand playback.
  • Digital calendars and meeting reminders.
  • Private messaging or live chat.

As we point out in the whitepaper, the purpose of these virtual meeting solutions is three-pronged, as they serve to inform, enable and enhance digital meetings for user participants.

"Technology helps to inform us ahead of our events, collecting data we can use to guide content creation and develop a meaningful event for our delegates," the whitepaper stated. "Next, it enables virtual meetings, whether that's through simple live streaming, chat or conference calls. Finally, it enhances our events, giving us the ability to measure and inspire engagement at various touch points."

Empty meeting room with a table and chairs.
As meeting rooms remain empty, there are still options for hosting engaging virtual meetings.

Best practices for virtual meetings

While this shift to digital may appear simple, there are actually quite a few moving parts and considerations to make. It's not so much a "turn it on and watch it go" scenario, as some may think.

A few things to keep in mind with virtual events, particularly in the short term:

  • Everyone is feeling the impact: No one has been exempt from feeling the effects of this "new normal," and that includes your digital meeting audience. Now is the time to make a human connection with your audience and demonstrate empathy.
  • Cost-efficiency is crucial: In addition to the public health pandemic itself, there have also been considerable economic effects. In this landscape, stakeholders need to watch their spending more than ever, and ensure that any purchase they make supports substance, and above all, a strong return on investment.
  • Translate live to digital accordingly: As we point out in the whitepaper, where a live event can offer the opportunity for immersive activities, virtual events can appear a bit like a television broadcast. It's best to keep digital events short, sharp and bold, and punctuated with entertaining and interesting content to keep your audience engaged.
  • Select the right virtual meeting solution: As you choose the platform and technology that will support your digital event, it's important to think about the purpose of the meeting, your target audience, the message you're working to convey and how you want your event participants to receive and engage with this message. Making these considerations will help you choose technology that supports your event, and not just the platform that's popular or available.
  • Keep your strategy in mind: However, it's imperative that you don't focus too heavily on the tech, or overlook your cornerstone strategy. Your event needs to be relevant to your audience, exciting and engaging, yet easily accessible for meeting participants.

We're all grappling with this new normal, and as we shift to adjust to virtual meeting solutions, cievents is here to help.

Check out our whitepaper, "Business as (Un)usual: Virtual Meeting Solutions in 2020," as well as our webinar series for more.

A major focus for cievents was, is and always will be your safety.

Get in touch with us to make your event dream become a reality.

 

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