Advancements in technology have revolutionised the way people around the world interact and communicate with each other. The rising trend of people working remotely, the increasing demand for instant communication, and globalisation of businesses is forcing corporations to meet those needs and adopt new ways of communicating. Video conferencing software facilitates meetings online using conferencing systems and webcams on laptops and mobile devices. Here are some advantages of video conferencing, 6 examples of video conferencing software, and tips for running a successful online business meeting.
Video conferencing software allows us to work remotely, conduct large-scale conferences, handle individual interviews, and manage intimate business meetings from any part of the world without having to change locations. The face-to-face aspect of video meetings helps to cultivate or maintain human connections despite physical distance. With its ability to screen share, transmit files instantly, share recordings, and utilise whiteboard features on any device, users are able to collaborate creatively in a consolidated platform, securely meet in small group settings, and coordinate large business meetings effortlessly. The convenience of the online interface along with its HD video and audio technology reinforces productivity, conserves time and saves money in the workplace.
Video conferencing software:
Zoom allows for simple and easy meetings in your personal meeting room. Its user-friendly, high performing interface provides rich features while being competitively priced. Their generous free account, which supports up to 25 people to join in a conference, is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. The ‘raise hand’ and group messaging feature makes sure that all voices are heard.
With its HD video and audio technology, ability to share presentations, give keyboard and mouse access to other attendees, and utilise drawing tools, GoToMeeting is an affordable alternative for smaller-scale businesses. Although it does not have advanced meeting options like polling, this video conferencing software is optimal for those in the global market with its translated control settings.
Join.me is an easy-to-use, cost-effective video conferencing software solution with its modern user interface and numerous features. Its generous free plan, scalable options, huge network in 40 different countries, machine control to other participants feature, ability to personalise the conference space and customisable URLs make this a good option for those looking for video conferencing software.
BlueJeans, with its high-quality Dolby Voice technology, background noise cancellation features, hardware-based conference room systems, and enterprise applications, is ideal for online business meetings. Since it runs in the cloud, it can share videos and content easily while requiring no hardware or software installations.
Google Hangouts Meets is perfect for those that are already standardised on Google’s other productivity and email tools. Its dedicated dial-in number allows employees on-the-go to join in while maintaining the line quality. This accessible video conferencing software doesn’t require downloading and is compatible with other external software.
With the ability to host meetings of up to 1,000 people, OnStream Meeting stands out from other video conferencing software. Save time with the intuitive user design, polling option, sharing capabilities, recording facilities, and highlight feature.
Tips to run a successful online meeting:
Video conferencing can be very useful for communication and collaboration. Here are some tips for running successful online business meetings.
1. Prepare sufficiently
Schedule online meetings in advance and prepare an agenda for all the attendees. This can ensure that all participants are on the same page from the very beginning. Provide a general overview of the discussion topic and give each meeting participant a full list of the attendees so that they are aware of who they will be speaking to and prepare accordingly.
Having a precise agenda can help guide the online discussion and serve as a reference document after the meeting.
Consider limiting attendees to those that are essential. Having too many voices can dilute the efficiency of the discussion. Instead, send a memo or a document after the meeting to inform those that need to know. Preparing a timetable for long meetings and giving participants the option to join only when relevant can increase the meeting’s effectiveness.
2. Test all technology prior to the meeting
As a host of the business meeting, test all applicable technology such as camera, video, wi-fi, and screen sharing prior to the meeting time. This can help make sure that the meeting will go smoothly.
3. Keep everyone engaged during the meeting
Since online meetings are not confined to a physical space, it is easy to get distracted during meeting times. Find ways to keep all the attendees involved in the conversation. Turn them into active listeners and participants to the discussion. One way to do so is by introducing everyone during the meeting and assigning a job or role to each person. Select one person to write down questions that come up during a brainstorm session, another to take notes on key discussion points, while someone else manages the slides. Having the different roles can have the additional benefit of forcing everyone to contribute which can provide a sense of meaning and empowerment to the individuals involved.
Meetings can help to boost engagement between the different members, strengthen company culture, and deepen relationships within the team. This can be slightly more difficult through video conferencing. Think about having a short time dedicated to just having casual conversations to check in and catch up with each other. Be intentional, generate trust, and build the necessary rapport for successful and productive meetings.
Structure the meetings so that everyone has the opportunity to speak during the session. This can be done by scheduling a time where everyone gets a few minutes to share a specific insight or experience that they had regarding the meeting topic. For those that have difficulty speaking in a public setting with big groups of people, contemplate setting up a supplementary one-on-one meeting. You can also create a communal space or a document online during the discussion where attendees can add their thoughts, insights and suggestions in real time to make sure that no one’s voice is lost.
4. Take advantage of the technology
One of the biggest benefits of video conferencing is the unique features that it provides. Meetings can be more informative, engaging, and memorable with the use of visual aids and screen sharing. This can increase the productivity and work efficiency of visual and auditory learners. Video conferencing software gives you the option to record the meetings. This can be helpful as a reference or for those who were not able to attend the meetings.
5. Meeting follow up
Compliment your online business meeting with a meeting follow up. Successful meetings should fulfil its objectives as well as provide deliverables and next steps. Each person in the project should know who is responsible for what, when those deliverables are due, and when the next check-in will happen. You can also send a follow-up email to make sure everything is aligned. Use this opportunity to answer any questions that were not answered during the video conferencing and include reminders of anything that is still needed. Attach a link to the online recording if the meeting was recorded. Online documentation guarantees information is accessible to all and that no one misses out on any details.
At Garage Society, we understand the power of online engagement and sharing. Join us here to connect with founders, inspiring leaders, fellow entrepreneurs, and industry experts through our online community platform, Garage Commons. Take advantage of video conferencing software to develop a global, collaborative, and innovative network for your company.
25 May, 2020 - HK
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