Video conferencing platforms have already assumed a position alongside email as a core channel for communication and collaboration. According to a report, cloud-based video conferencing offers high fidelity and the ability to connect seamlessly, which is critical to increasing employee engagement in businesses.
Not to mention, video conferencing today can be used in a wide variety of situations and at a low cost. This makes it a viable option for businesses, especially in an increasingly remote world.
Chapter 1: Virtual Meeting Fundamentals
What Is a Virtual Meeting?
Virtual meetings are exactly as they sound. A meeting that is held online, or an event that takes place virtually. It is an online environment where people can interact, rather than meeting at a physical location. It is a gathering of people to interact, share ideas, and share an experience, all online.
This means that individuals based anywhere in the world simply have to dial in, as opposed to traveling to a meeting venue. It can take the form of video, text, or audio chats.
Virtual meetings ensure inclusivity, as they allow all employees to partake in important discussions regardless of where they are based.
Difference Between Virtual Meetings & Virtual Events
A virtual event is one which is held for your customers or target audience. It includes multiple sessions and activities to keep a host of attendees engaged. It could be hosted through a conference, a trade show, job fair, or education fair platform.
However, a virtual meeting is largely an internal event. It is usually for the sake of a company or organization to collaborate within itself, such as an annual review or a town hall. However, it need not be limited to just that. A virtual meeting can be between intergovernmental agencies or world leaders as well.
What Is the Best Way to Conduct a Virtual Meeting?
How you create a virtual experience using the tools available is entirely up to you. Whether it is a simple video call, or an entire immersive virtual experience, your imagination and creativity is the only limitation.
What Are Some Examples of a Virtual Meeting?
There are various types of meetings. vFairs asked their experienced HR manager for their keen insight. Here is an exhaustive list of meetings (and potentially ideas) for you to identify your meeting type!
These are company-wide meetings that can be held biweekly. The purpose is to connect with employees, share updates from each team/department and volunteer squads. Commonly led by team leads or any stakeholder/peer that is close to the update or project, you can use this opportunity to share celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, and employee spotlights.
It’s also a great place to play games and engage in wellness activities (mental or physical). Town halls can help you understand general employee morale, and create a sense of community.
Retrospective meetings occur at the end of a project to help teams pause and think about improving future performance. It’s a safe space for reviewing the project’s successes, identifying opportunities for process improvement, and solving issues that may have come up. Usually, managers do not attend these meetings.
Huddles & Sync-ups
Huddles are commonly held daily, weekly, or biweekly. These meetings are used for teams to connect on daily tasks and team goals. The purpose is to set priorities, manage everyone’s tasks and schedules, and share any information.
Friday Game Days
Game days are team-led initiatives where peers get together for casual catch-up and virtual games such as pictionary, two truths and a lie, trivia, and any other. There are two simple rules to these meetings: 1) have fun and 2) no work talk.
Pulse check-ins are meetings between HR and employees to measure satisfaction, performance analysis, engagement, any support needed, and morale.
These sessions are designed to brief new employees. You can show them around the virtual workspace and show them how you work. It is to help them ease into the workspace and get acquainted with the work culture.
These are company-wide meetings held quarterly. Commonly led by the CEO and leaders, the purpose is to share new quarterly goals for each team and report on the past quarter’s goals. This helps teams understand how you measured up against the last quarter. You can also conduct engagement and team building activities.
This is an optional meeting where the organization invites an external thought leader, customer, celebrity, author, or person in a position of influence. This individual coincides with an active company goal, mission or value.
The speaker is usually interviewed live by someone internally, and has questions gathered beforehand by employees that are interested in learning about something specific.
AMAs (Ask Me Anything)
Another optional meeting, this is where a leader, founder, or CEO of the organization is interviewed by everyone within the organization. Common topics include the vision of the company, revenue, personal hobbies, or passions.
Lunch and Learns
This is an employee initiated meeting that happens ad-hoc. The goal is for an employee to share a new process, a new tool, a new technology, or product feature with the entire team.
Skip Level Meetings
A meeting where the manager invites employees for a session with direct reports to discuss feedback, and conduct a performance analysis of the team and ideas.
A meeting where the CEO gathers employees from various teams. He/she makes a conscious effort to keep the teams, tenure, positions, and locations diverse with the attendees.
Each roundtable has a theme such as “What do you think of the gamification feature of the vFairs platform?” or “What are your struggles in a remote-first workforce and how do you overcome them?”
Here, employees share their experiences, client information and/or personal views.
One on Ones
A private meeting between a manager and their direct reportee to understand feedback, performance, priorities, challenges, and successes. The common practice is to have a 1:1 with each direct reportee on a weekly basis.
A session held between HR and two or more employees who need assistance communicating with each other. HR acts as the mediator and helps the employees navigate the conversation and guides them to a healthy and mutual solution.
Brainstorming & Working Sessions
This is an ad-hoc session that gathers the contributors of a project or initiative to work together on a virtual meeting. The purpose of this type of meeting is to get creative, identify roadblocks, and play out a situation to see if it is sustainable and scalable.
Similar to internal retrospective meetings, an external retro will simply involve customers and the project team pausing and thinking about future performance. The project’s success and areas for improvement are identified, issues resolved and new plans charted out.
Quarterly Business Reviews
A meeting where the client service representative walks through how the company met (or didn’t meet) customer expectations. This is also an opportunity to review new product features, upcoming events, and find new areas of opportunity.
A meeting held by the team for an upcoming event. This is where you plan the event, set up actions, create expectations, and plan on how to provide a ‘wow’ experience.
This is the process that new users go through to get set up and start using your product.
This is an initial meeting with an employee from your company, with a prospective customer to understand what pain points and satisfactions. This is to help mutually build a beneficial partnership.
A meeting booked between your company and the prospective customer to demonstrate the value of your product/service, and how it can be applied to the customer’s goals.
In this meeting your company employees may reach out to a customer to follow up on a pending action.
These are meetings where human resources representatives or hiring managers conduct interviews with candidates for positions within the organization.
Chapter 2: Virtual Meeting Advantages & Disadvantages
Many of us have had a hard time letting go of the in-person experience. However, as time has progressed, there are obvious advantages to being virtual. Here is why you should consider keeping your meetings virtual.
Advantages of Virtual Meetings
With a device in your hands as a tool to connect to anyone across the globe, how can one deny the convenience of virtual meetings? Instead of preparing long beforehand, if one needs something resolved, they need only contact their team and hop on. This is much easier than finding a physical space, coordinating with people to join and finally sit down together.
- Reduced Expenditures
All you need for a virtual meeting is a stable internet connection and a mobile or computer device that enables you to join the virtual space. No more travel costs, food costs, rental costs for space. It is as simple as it sounds.
In doing so, you are saving expenses for other tools that you can apply to your organization.
Without a doubt, the reduction in costs and increased ROI will be a huge attraction for businesses. Virtual events are 75% less expensive than physical events. This creates leeway for companies to invest in and customize immersive experiences for their customers.
According TrustRadius’s survey, 67% of companies plan to invest in web conferencing software in the near future. This only means that the demand for customized virtual events will be even higher in the coming days.
- Employee Inclusion
You don’t want any of your employees to feel left out or alienated. In order for your business to grow, employee satisfaction is key. If they feel they at any point feel they are not part of the bigger machine, they may lose interest.
Inclusive leadership has emerged as a unique and critical way of helping organizations adapt to new markets, ideas and talents. According to Deloitte Insights, an inclusive environment can drive employees 70% more than those who are not.
- Low Carbon Footprint
In a world where climate change is at its brink, businesses and organizations too have to rethink their strategy. Your carbon footprint includes the GHG emissions every time an employee travels on a car or bus to the location and the electricity being used to power your building/room.
When you host virtual meetings, you are reducing this collective carbon footprint significantly.
- Greater Flexibility
If not entirely, the future is definitely partially virtual. For this reason, hybrid event formats will be necessary in order to ensure maximum participation.
Those who wish to continue working remotely will continue to do so, while others who still wish to have physical interaction, have returned to the office. For this reason, virtual meetings offer greater flexibility. Your work does not have to be pulled to an entire stop!
Not to mention, virtual event providers already offer virtual and hybrid event solutions. Now companies can use the same tools in different ways. Meetings can be made more interactive, and can include gamification in both physical and virtual spaces.
- Saves Time
With platforms such as vFairs that offer end to end project management, you no longer need to be overwhelmed with event planning. A dedicated project manager and their team will manage everything from event planning, creation, execution, technical support and post event analytics.
Your time is saved by allowing someone else to plan and create the meeting for you.
This way you will have ample time for other tasks.
Disadvantages of Virtual Meetings
There are a few small disadvantages of virtual meetings. However, they are only slight inconveniences which you can easily maneuver around.
- Setup Cost
If you are a small business or a non-profit, cost can be a consideration for virtual meetings. Setting up and planning for a virtual meeting can be costly depending on how elaborate you want it to be.
However, platforms like vFairs are happy to accommodate your costs. Your dedicated project management team will guide you to make use of the most relevant features, based on your objectives. They will do this keeping in mind your budget, whilst also setting you up for success! In any case, these meetings will cost less than regular physical meetings.
- Keeping Participants Engaged
This can be challenging, given that the meeting aims to achieve a certain goal. How can you keep participants engaged? It can be confusing, so virtual event platforms like vFairs provide tools that can be used to keep participants involved without digressing from the purpose of the meeting.
You can include polls and Q&As to allow employees to provide input. You can also include trivia and spin the wheel that can help make the meeting more exciting!
Chapter 3: Virtual Meeting Preparation
Preparing for virtual meetings at your workplace might be a bigger task than you imagine. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some important tips and considerations.
How Do You Decide What’s Working and What Isn’t for Your Employees?
Always keep an eye on employee experience. There are a suite of products in the market that you can use. But how do you decide which collaboration tool will best suit your organization?
Step one is to democratize the process. If your organization is about to purchase a new piece of software, don’t push it down their throats. It is important to let them have some input. For instance, which tools do they like? Which vendor features do they like?
The best way to do this is by having a cross-department survey. Conduct frequent polls for your users. As your business and products evolve, take into account if previous softwares being used serves their business function. Is it still working for them? Did it ever work for them? It is a continuous process, so you know how the best technology is adopted.
Essentially, have them choose the tool that you will now deploy.
Create a Great Employee Experience
Southwest Airline prides itself on employee satisfaction. As they say; “Happy employees make happy customers.”
Creating a great employee experience is of utmost importance. This can be ensured by simple ‘how to use’ group training and one on ones. A lot of the time people aren’t used to certain technologies. Are your employees shifting from Microsoft to a Mac, Slack, and Google environment? Don’t assume they know everything already.
Employee experience starts from the day they are onboarded. It is not just about technology, but knowing your employee. Knowing what they are bringing to the table and what they are trying to accomplish.
Also prepare for what employees need. Do they need a noise-canceling headset? A second monitor? A spare mouse? Do they need a more reliable internet connection? How can you make their experience easier?
Choose the Right Tools
Make sure you have a reliable internet connection. If your connection falls apart, the whole meeting falls apart. The same goes for your employees. Make sure they too have a reliable internet connection. Is that something you can provide? Or is there one you can recommend for them with a decent payment plan?
Decent Technological Apparatus
Make sure your own camera and microphone are top-notch and working properly. Also prepare for what employees need. Do they need a noise canceling headset? A second monitor? A spare mouse? How can you make their experience easier?
No one wants to see you in a dark room, with the laptop glow on your face. Make sure you are visible and the lighting suits the monitor. This way your mannerisms are clear. You want to seem professional for your meeting.
Figure Out Scheduling
It is crucial that all those involved can make it to your meeting. Do not simply place the meeting time without considering other employee engagements, or time zones.
Share a form or poll with indicative times that employees can choose that best suits them. Now, Google Calendar makes things easier anyway. With a shared calendar, you can see everyone’s commitments and schedule a time accordingly.
Tools such as Calendly and Hubspot also enable you to schedule slots that your employees can choose times from!
Set a Meeting Agenda
Meetings are pointless if there isn’t an objective. Decide what you want to accomplish. Are you solving a problem? Are you trying to meet a goal? Do you want sales team feedback on product engagement? Is the marketing team brainstorming new ideas that need to be shared? You will want to have a clear idea of what you expect from the meeting. You can then create a congruent plan.
Before employees join the meeting, this makes sure they know what to expect. They should not be coming in blind. If they are aware of the objectives of the meeting, the likelihood they will come prepared with feedback and input is high. This will also make sure they are feeling included.
You can share the agenda through a designated landing page provided by your platform.
Draft an Invitation Email
Once you have decided a schedule and a meeting agenda, you can begin inviting your participants. Your invitation email should be clear and precise with the information. Here are a few steps to get you started.
Make sure you have a clear subject line. Such as:
- Important sales team meeting
- Project kickoff on Wednesday at 1pm
- Meeting to welcome the new VP
- Marketing brainstorm meeting
Share the when and where in the email even if it is clear in the calendar and the subject line. Reiteration is important.
Specify how long you think the meeting will run, so that attendees block out the specified amount of time. This way they are also mentally prepared. It’s always good to indicate the maximum amount of time. So that even if you run within that time frame, you don’t specify a shorter amount and run over time. Participants usually hate that.
Explain the purpose of your meeting and why it’s important. This will help those involved determine how relevant it is to them. If it isn’t relevant to someone, they can let you know and thus allocate their time to other deliverables.
Share the meeting agenda so that all steps and discussion points are clear. Your employees can then bring their input accordingly.
Ask for an RSVP! This way you know who is attending and who might have missed the email altogether.
Don’t forget to include the meeting link!
Sign off with a professional signature including your full name designation and company logo!
Pro-tip: Keep your entire email brief. They just need the gist.
Sample Email Template
Virtual Meeting Background
It’s always good to have a professional meeting background that best reflects your organization. It could be the company logo, or even the company lobby. It brings some added professionalism to your meeting presence.
Virtual Meeting Recording
With everyone’s consent, you should record your meeting. Most platforms offer this feature. It is essential so that, should anyone miss the meeting due to unforeseen circumstances, they can have a look when they are able.
This is also a good way to make sure all your employees are included.
- Make sure you have a reliable internet connection. If your connection falls apart, the whole meeting falls apart.
- Be sure to be in a space without ambient noise and without interruptions.
- Make sure you have made use of the tool before, so there are no surprises on the day of the meeting.
- Make sure your mic is on mute to avoid excessive noise.
- Speak only when asked to avoid overlap – use tools such as the chat room or raise hand in order to keep things organized.
- Be sure to keep all kids/pets outside of your space to avoid distractions.
Chapter 4: How to Run a Virtual Meeting
There are certain etiquettes you should be sure to follow when conducting your meeting. They are very different to those of physical setting meetings. You would be surprised how many times people don’t follow these simple rules. If they are not adhered to, it is easy for your meeting to go haywire.
Keep in mind:
Start & Finish On Time
When you scheduled this meeting, you kept in mind other people’s engagements and availability. Now that they have blocked out time, do your best to start on time and end on time.
If you are the host, and late, attendees will not like waiting around for you. Especially since they can’t start the meeting without you. You should be on the line before everyone else!
This will help your employees see that you are cognizant of and value their time. Meetings sometimes have a tendency to run over time. You want to be sure that this does not happen with your meeting and it is completed in the specified amount of time.
Locate Yourself Appropriately
If you do not have a virtual background, it is important that you locate yourself in a space that is professional. If you are working remotely, your personal office would be the best. If you do not have such a space, pick a spot with a plain background. Make sure it is not a room that is used frequently by other employees, or (if at home) family members.
You want to avoid any distractions as well as look professional. This sets the tone and mood for the meeting.
Stick to the Agenda
Sticking to the agenda makes sure there are no surprises for the attendees. They are also prepared for the agenda set, and have likely brought relevant information. Not to mention, sticking to the agenda will help you stick to the time limit.
If you are recording the meeting, it is important to let the attendees know beforehand. This way, if they are uncomfortable, they can let you know. In addition, they can also protect any private information they want. Consent is always crucial in both the virtual and physical spheres!
You can’t expect to just wing it at any presentation. In order to stick to the time and prevent any last minute haste, come prepared! Here are some helpful tips:
- Be sure you know how to work the software. Do a test round once so you are aware of all the tools at your behest. No time will be wasted if you aren’t searching for certain toggles or tools.
- Plan and time your presentation so that you are sticking to the agenda.
- Make sure all your audio and video tools are working properly.
Many of us have taken to dressing appropriately just from the chest up, due to camera views. However, we would recommend dressing professionally from top to bottom. This helps you set the mood and tone for yourself.
Not to mention, it provides fewer chances of embarrassing yourself!
Don’t Talk Over People
Who is leading the conversation? It is important that this individual acts as a moderator. When you start the meeting, it is important to share housekeeping rules. Such as keeping the mic on mute to avoid background noise. If you have a raise hand option, ask individuals to use that in order to speak. Simply unmuting a mic and speaking will only cause disruption. Remember to allow sufficient time so that everyone can provide their input.
It won’t be easy to manage multiple people speaking simultaneously. Moderators usually have complete control over the meeting so they can even control who speaks when.
Maintain Eye Contact
It’s hard enough that you aren’t in a physical space. People cannot see your body language. That’s why it’s important you maintain eye contact. You can look directly at the camera, so attendees can feel like you are actually speaking to them. To get used to this, just practice as if the camera is the audience.
This doesn’t mean that you become a robot! You can switch between your notes or look at the different participants. The point is that you are making everyone feel like you are looking at them.
If you are well prepared for your presentation, this should be easy enough!
Provide a Wrap Up
How you close your virtual meeting is vital. At the wrap up of your meeting you can ask people to drop some closing remarks in the chat or turn by turn over audio. This allows everyone to have the opportunity to speak and get something off their chest.
You can then provide a summary of the meeting. At this point, you can reference the time to show you are time conscious.
Pro tip: If you are the host, be sure to be the last one to sign off. This way, if anyone hangs back to speak to you, you are available.
Chapter 5: Features to Use During a Virtual Meeting
Hosting a virtual meeting is as much work as holding an in-person one. However, if you are connected with event organizers like vFairs, you are in for a smooth ride.
vFairs offer a wide range of features to host a successful virtual meeting. Following are some key features that can help your participants interact and collaborate in a virtual but visually rich environment.
Suppose you are part of a business that interacts with clients over video chats. In that case, you need to collaborate with virtual event organizers to add a personalization feature to your event.
With the personalization feature, you can add exhibit halls, lobbies, and theatres to ensure your participants experience a unique virtual environment. You can also add a keynote session sponsored meeting and networking lounge to upgrade the dialogue opportunity with your attendees.
To host a successful virtual event, you choose platforms that are easy to navigate. With vFairs, you get end-to-end support and excellent easy-to-navigate features for a great virtual environment.
Make it Interactive
What is a successful virtual event if it’s not interactive? vFairs offers plenty of features that make virtual events super interactive for the participant but live chats, Q&A, and polling features make it stand out from the rest.
If you are looking for ways to make your virtual event more interactive, then vFairs offers social media integration features to boost your social media presence. With this feature, you also get to highlight your audience with walls.io.
Every integration feature has its function and adds effectiveness to the event. However, the payment integration by vFairs easily captures payments at the time of registration. The platform uses PayPal and Stripe for payment integration.
There are many more features, including sponsorship, event builder, virtual event marketing, event gamification, etc. Click here to understand virtual event features by vFairs further!
Chapter 6: Virtual Meeting Engagement Ideas
Make sure you have some activities planned to keep your employees engaged. Here are some suggestions to make virtual meetings more fun!
Virtual Ice Breakers
Ice breakers are a great way to get you and your participants to feel more relaxed and comfortable. Otherwise, you will have an audience that does not speak up. You can pose a question or have them share something about themselves. When people realize others are pretty much in the same boat as them, they ease up. Here are some suggested icebreaker activities for your virtual meetings.
- Quick Round of Introductions
The easiest and general way to get everyone to ease in is by doing a round of introductions. However, this is best only for when you are meeting for the first time. Prompt them to just say their names, and a quick intro to themselves. Add a twist by asking them to share a fun fact about themselves.
- Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego?
Get your participants to share a view of their window, and have individuals guess where each of them are.
- Hold a Trivia Game
Why not conduct an office trivia round. Break people into breakout rooms, and have them answer questions in a set amount of time. Whichever team gets the most answers right, wins!
Pro tip: Throw in gift cards as prizes for some added competition.
- Share a Talent
You can either get individuals to simply share a talent or perform their talent, depending on their comfort level (don’t put them on the spot either). This can help them get to know one another better too.
- What’s Your Spirit Animal & Why?
Share the definition of what a spirit animal is, and get everyone to think about it. Each then shares why they likened themselves to that specific animal. This is a good self-exploratory exercise.
As part of your virtual environment, you can create a scavenger hunt. As people move between rooms in the virtual lobby or exhibition hall, make them keep an eye out for either the company logo, a company product, or anything under the sun! As they gather these, whoever finds the most wins!
If you have included a virtual scavenger hunt or trivia session, there can be a board that consolidates scores. Create friendly employee competition as they gather their scores and try to outdo one another. You can also allocate points to various activities in order to incentivize participation.
Pro-tip: Encourage employee engagement by providing gifts to the winner, second place runner up, and third place runner up.
Mindfulness Meditation or Yoga Class
In today’s day and age, mindfulness and well being are a great part of individual lives. Have a session between group meetings where people can relax or stretch it out. A more relaxed employee is bound to be a happier employee. Remember happy employees = happy customers.
Virtual Happy Hour
After a long day of meetings and brainstorming, why not end the day with a virtual happy hour. You can have gift boxes sent to your employees prior to the meeting with a drink and ask them to hold onto it till the end of the day. Everyone can then join a group call, or relax in the networking lounge with a drink in hand and some friendly company.
Interact on Social Media
As part of the meeting, have your employees participate in social media activities. For instance, they can post an office activity they conducted onto their social media profiles, with a custom hashtag just for the virtual meeting. These posts will then show up on the social media wall within the virtual meeting. Have employees like their favorite ones and you can share a prize for those that did the best!
This will create wonderful engagement both before and during the meeting. It will break the ice, give your employees something exciting to do, and also show how inclusive your company is on social media platforms.
Host Quizzes & Contests
With integrations such as Kahoot, you can create fun games like quizzes and have employees compete against each other. Ask fun questions about the company or bosses. Your employees will find it a great way to unwind and relax whilst initiating friendly competition with their peers. Winners can get a company gift hamper.
Virtual Photo Booth
In the age of social media, everyone loves a friendly photo sharing their experiences. Why not bring a photo booth to your virtual meeting and have employees take group or individual photos together!
Lest we forget, the meeting is happening for a reason. You are all trying to achieve a company goal. Breakout rooms are essential when you are having a company-wide call. You can make use of tools such as Miro Whiteboard in order to jot down everyone’s ideas in an interactive manner that can then be brought to the main meeting room.
Breakout rooms can also be used if you are hosting a virtual party. Employees from different departments can be paired up so as to create more company peer engagement.
Put The Employee First
Remember, you have to help make the employees feel they are an integral part of the organization. Think about what they would greatly benefit from. What would they truly enjoy as part of the meeting? Why not include them in the decision-making process?
Share a poll or survey prior to the event. Gather information that can help you create your agenda as well. Ask them what they would like to be included in the event? Maybe there are certain skill sets they would like to brush up or acquire new ones. You can offer webinars with certifications at the end for this reason.
During the event, you can ask them to share their ideas or vision for the company in breakout sessions. They can do this using miro whiteboard or create posters that can be displayed in the virtual poster hall. This activity will help them feel part of the company and thus more invested in achieving its mission and goals.
Chapter 7: Choosing the Right Virtual Meeting Platform
How to Choose a Virtual Meeting Platform
There are certain things that you need to remember when choosing your virtual meetings platform. Here are some questions you can answer to evaluate whether a virtual meeting tool is right for you.
Does this tool have the bandwidth to support company-wide calls?
You need software that is reliable. It should be able to support multiple speakers and attendees. More importantly, should there be a glitch or technical fault, a support team should be ready to resolve it as it arises.
Does this tool have engagement tools?
Formerly, we mentioned the importance of creating great employee experience. Providing them with engagement adds to that experience. This can be in the form of gamification or even a survey on company feedback.
Can it offer more than a Zoom call?
Simple video calls? Snore. Now, there are platforms out there that provide an entire virtual environment. These platforms include integrations with software like Zoom and MS teams, an auditorium, exhibition hall, networking lounge and more.
Does this tool offer data analytics?
Who joined the meeting and from where? How many people from the company joined? What are their profiles? What was their feedback?
Can you personalize meeting rooms?
Maybe you have a townhall for the entire company. But then you have a meeting room specifically for board members or other stakeholders. You can create meeting rooms so that only those individuals can partake.
Does the tool save materials?
Not everyone will be able to make it. You need to ensure your platform provides on demand materials. This includes any webinars , PDF or other resources you wish to include. You can even upload these as part of the virtual swag bag.
What Are the Best Platforms for Running Virtual Meetings?
There are so many solutions out there and the task now is to choose the right solution. Find one that best fits your meeting needs and goals. Choose a solution that can be integrated and is best suited to all your stakeholders.
One that is a tool, not a barrier. So, they have to be easy to use and easy to understand. These tools are essential for greater collaboration, more dialogue, and more employee input.
vFairs offers everything you need for virtual meetings that go above and beyond your traditional video conferencing tools. You can create a 3D virtual lobby that can be customized to look like your building reception. You can even customize your avatars to look like individuals in your company. There is a networking lounge where individuals can move their cursor and chat to those in close proximity to them. They can then speak to them over audio or video chats.
With vFairs features and integrations, you can include softwares that your company is most used to. This could be Zoom, Ms Teams, Miro Whiteboard and more!
Not to mention, the platform is entirely mobile accessible. So, employees can hop on during transit, or wherever they might be.
The vFairs platform is entirely intuitive and user friendly. However, it offers training modules for their clients as well. These can aid employees to understand the platform better.
Chapter 8: Key Features for Virtual Meeting Tools
In order to better understand what you should be looking for in virtual event platforms such as vFairs, here is a quick run down.
Single Button Sign-On
Participants can just click to login, or type in their email address to register for your meeting. This you can do by already having their information available from the back end from your company database. This ensures security and privacy.
Is your company used to specific software? It would probably be best to make use of the same tools during your virtual meetings, so that your employees don’t feel like they have to understand the entire platform when they arrive.
Whether MS Teams, Zoom, WebEx or any others, your virtual event platform should be able to provide you with these integrations. This software will have HD audio & video features so that you can effectively communicate during your meeting.
Networking: Direct & Group Messaging
Meetings require a lot of discussion, and there should be space for people to be able to do that. Be it a team meeting or 1:1 chats, you can have audio, video or text enabled features for people to get talking.
Networking has become more efficient and easy within virtual platforms. Networking tools such as auto matchmaking align individuals with similar profiles. This can make it easy to form teams in breakout sessions.
Do you have meetings with outside stakeholders? With attendee profiles that have a virtual business card, you can now save attendees and export their information at the end of the event into an excel sheet. All this makes networking so much more efficient and easier.
Powerful Administrative Controls
With an event builder, vFairs offers you an intuitive and user friendly backend interface. This way, both you and your dedicated project management team can make tweaks as you deem fit. Here, you can set up everything from your landing page, registration process and more. You do not need to be an IT whizz to make use of the platform. After a short training session, you are good to go!
Recordings & Transcriptions
Various accessibility features will also make your meeting even easier. With consensual recording, you can be sure that individuals can find the meeting content available on demand. During the meeting, you can also have transcriptions available. These tools are essential for ensuring that people have access to content in case there are technical issues.
You can add specific meetings to your Google calendar, Outlook etc. This way attendees don’t forget about your event!
Make sure your event is mobile accessible. With the vFairs mobile app, you can be sure that your attendees will join from wherever they are.
Enable custom backgrounds that represent your company logo or even office space. This is great for building connection with your brand!
With event gamification, you can make the experience so much more gratifying. During speaker sessions, you can hold interactive Q&A’s and polls or integrate with softwares such as Kahoot for an engaging experience. Within the event, you can have scavenger hunts, a virtual leaderboard, trivia, and so much more. You need only test your limits.
Virtual Meeting Best Practices
Here is a checklist for best practices during your meeting:
- Segment longer meetings – The best way to do this is dividing it into 15 to 30 minute segments.
- Send email reminders (with agenda) – make sure you send an email reminder a day before your meeting with the schedule, lest participants forget.
- Do not tolerate disrespect – Be sure to let everyone have the opportunity to speak but do not tolerate any rudeness or disrespect. Whether it is being rude in speech, or arriving much later than other participants.
- Signal to others you’re in a meeting – To avoid any disruptions, lock your door or let other colleagues/family members know you are in a meeting.
- Log in early – If you are the host and moderator, you have to be the first to arrive. The entire meeting depends on you.
- Start with video on – Whether others turn theirs on or not, as the host you should keep your video on. It is the best way to keep attendees engaged. Otherwise they will simply be staring at a screen.
- Muting – No matter how many participants are present, make sure they’re muted. This will keep all disruptions from their end, out!
- Know when to speak – Make you or anyone else speak at the same time and have the etiquette to give others space to speak.
- Inform before leaving – If you are an attendee who has to leave early, it’s always best to drop a message in the chat to let others know you will be leaving. Do not turn on the mic to interrupt someone speaking.
- Protect sensitive information in screen sharing – A very easy thing to do, because we usually forget. Make sure all your filled passwords are not visible, or remove the self filling password option. If you have any images of family members, it’s best to not have those visible either.
- Too much typing – Don’t disturb your audience with endless point taking and typing. The sound can be displeasing.
- Don’t eat on camera – You wouldn’t eat in a physical setting during a meeting. The same rules apply in a virtual one.
Chapter 9: What Is the Best Way to Host a Virtual Event?
To host a virtual event, you must familiarize yourself with the basics.
Similar to organizing an in-person event, a virtual event demands solid planning. It requires stepping into your attendees’ shoes to find all they expect from a virtual event.
Here are some questions you should consider when planning a virtual event.
- Will your virtual content be live, semi-live, on-demand or a mix?
- What are your KPIs for the event?
- What tools and features are you going to use in the virtual event?
- How would you deal with connectivity issues?
The answers to these questions will help you with the basics of planning a virtual event. However, here are some more tips to go in-depth about how the actual event is scheduled.
When organizing and executing a virtual event, you must deal with many features and technicalities. While virtual event technology can do wonders, all users may not be tech-savvy. Therefore, to host a flawless virtual event, it is essential to join hands with experts in the industry. Gladly, vFairs provides complete front and back-end support to assist you in hosting a virtual event.
From improving your attendee engagement to helping you score event objectives, the vFairs experts are ready to serve all your event needs. If you want to know more of what vFairs offers, this informative piece – Guide on Virtual Events, might help!
Chapter 10: How Do Virtual Meetings Work?
Let’s clarify: hosting a virtual event is a meticulous undertaking. A virtual possibility may seem like clicking a few buttons on Zoom. Well, it can be as simple as it looks, but the virtual event scope expands beyond a virtual meeting.
If you want to ensure your virtual event is scheduled on time, runs seamlessly, and reaches a broad audience, you must put in a similar effort. As we said above, several virtual event platforms can take the burden of creating, managing, and executing a virtual event on their shoulders.
If you are looking for a reliable virtual event platform, you do not have to sweat over searching for one. vFairs is an all-in-one event platform that offers multiple features to host a successful virtual event. From selecting the suitable theme and format for your event to helping you explore a wide range of virtual venues, exhibit halls, gamification, and a lot more fun activities to keep your audience engaged.
Furthermore, vFairs help attendees increase their networking opportunities. From virtual matchmaking to embedded live chat rooms and 1:1 audio calls, there is so much that vFairs offer to keep the virtual event lively and interactive at all times. You can make your event more interesting with a Q&A session that helps speakers and attendees engage effectively.
vFairs has just so much to offer, which might take us forever to mention. Therefore, click here to get all the information on how the platform creates and conducts highly engaging virtual events for its clients.
Chapter 11: What Makes vFairs the Best Choice for Virtual Events?
By now, you may have developed an understanding of how hosting a virtual event is different from hosting an online meeting on Zoom. However, if you still need assurance about choosing vFairs as your next virtual event partner, here are some facts.
The previous year, vFairs delivered hundreds of super-interactive, engaging, and successful events that gained a lot of attention from people at G2, the software review website. vFairs was declared the High Performer for the G2 Winter 2023 Report bagging 41 collective badges.
Not only this, we have scored the highest in the Customer Satisfaction category, which we continue to maintain to date with eighty-seven percent 5-star reviews!
Several factors make vFairs a user favorite. Exceptional support, an easy-to-use platform, and our in-house event experts have made it stand out among other popular virtual event platforms.
However, with the pace at which technology is pervading the events arena, it seemed essential for the platform to introduce a mobile app to aptly cater to clients. vFairs mobile app is another addition to the platform’s wide-ranging advanced event features. The mobile event app complements in-person, hybrid, and virtual events. The vFairs mobile app offers a wide range of features that can create a tailored experience for you and your attendees. Here are more updates on the vFairs mobile event app.
What tools do I need for a virtual meeting?
Brainstorm with your team what you want to achieve from the meeting. Based on your objectives, your dedicated project management team will help you ascertain the best tools to achieve said goals.
How long should a virtual meeting last?
No more than an hour! Remember to break your meeting into segments and take breaks to keep attendees from losing attention. End early if you think attention spans are plummeting.
How should I end my virtual meeting?
A quick wrap up with a summary of the meeting main points should do the trick!
What do you do in a virtual meeting?
Your virtual meeting should be set with an objective in mind. You will most likely need webinars, networking features and more in order to achieve those goals.
What is the best platform for a virtual meeting?
vFairs offers you customizable features, integrations, gamification and much much more in order to ensure your event is a success. With end-to-end solutions, you have yourself sorted for planning and execution.
How to ensure inclusivity in your virtual meeting?
Ensure inclusivity with vFairs accessibility features such as multiple language captioning, color adjustments, or other options!
How to make virtual meetings available on demand?
Once your meeting is over, you can ensure that the material is available for upto a month. If anyone wants to revisit or if anyone missed the event, you can keep it accessible for their use.