This has been the year for everyone to learn all about virtual meetings and events. With the pandemic induced social distancing, we have been forced to find alternatives to meeting in person. Thanks to today's technology individuals and small and large businesses alike have found ways to network and stay connected through virtual meetings.
Many meeting and event professionals have already pivoted to virtual events due to the pandemic. In case you haven't yet had the pleasure of experiencing one, let me explain.
What are virtual meetings?
Virtual meetings are meetings that take place over the internet. A virtual meeting can use audio, video, or both. Participants can interact with one another in real time from anywhere in the world if they have VoIP (Voice-Over Internet Protocol) or an internet connection. Some applications even have screen sharing and recording options available. They may also be known as virtual conferencing.
Types of virtual meetings
A virtual meeting can be a quick five-minute conversation, or it can be a day long virtual conference. It really depends on what the goal is and how many participants there are.
Teleconferences have been taking place for over a decade and use telecom equipment such as conference calls or dedicated conference networks.
Video Conferences use the internet and include both video and audio. These platforms usually include applications such as screen sharing, whiteboards, file sharing, and more.
Web conferencing is like video conferencing but doesn't always include video. These would include webcasts and webinar type presentations. These systems allow for audience interaction during the broadcast. It may require a software download before having access.
Benefits of virtual meetings
Although they are not the perfect solution, they are certainly a good alternative given our current circumstances. Mastering virtual meetings can be an asset to you and your business for many different reasons.
Virtual meetings allow you to continue to connect, ask questions, resolve issues quickly and keep your business moving forward.
With virtual meetings, you have less travel expenses. You can host or participate in one from anywhere with the right technology. This will prove to be less costly in the long-term for a business.
With the recent and expected rise of remote workers, virtual meetings are ideal. With no commute, employees have the potential to be more productive.
Flexibility is great with communication possible on the go for all involved. Employees also have freedom to live and work from anywhere.
I'm sure keeping your employees and meeting attendees safe and healthy is important to you. With the threat of a deadly virus all around us, a virtual meeting is the next best thing. You can still host a meeting or event while practicing social distancing at the same time. Just be sure to keep your audience engaged throughout the meeting whatever you decide to do. (More about this in another post.)
It's safe to conclude that virtual meetings show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. One statistic states that 93% of event professionals plan to use virtual events going forward. (Bizzabo, 2020)
Using virtual meetings can streamline your productivity and save you time and money. Even though you might need to learn a little more technology to plan one, my meeting planning guide and templates should still be of value and helpful in your virtual meeting planning process.
Planning any type of meeting whether in person or virtual still requires a PLAN and a PROCESS, Goals and Objectives and the right audience, an Agenda, a Timeline or Task List for getting things done, and most importantly, a team of experts to help you execute your PLAN and make you and your organization SHINE – especially when FAILURE is not an option.
To contact me via my website, click here here→https://www.maryjo-wiseman.net/contact
Thanks. Be well. Be safe. Never stop learning.
Mary Jo Wiseman, CMP | Author, “The Meeting Planning Process: A Guide to Planning Successful Meetings” https://www/maryjo-wiseman.net