Looking forward to your next meeting? Around 11 million of them are held each day in the United States alone. The average worker spends nearly three hours a week in meetings. Since the onset of the pandemic, businesses across the globe have witnessed a surge in the use of video conferencing tools and virtual meetings.
The results? Not good. Long, boring, and ineffective meetings can leave your attendees exhausted. Nearly half of American workers experience virtual meeting fatigue. Seven out of 10 workers feel that meetings waste their time. With avenues for multi-tasking, losing track of what’s being said in a meeting and daydreaming is all too easy. What’s worse? Around 39% of attendees admit to falling asleep during the meetings!
To ensure you don’t lose productive work hours or attendee sentiment on less-than-riveting virtual meetings, you need to engage your attendees better. From shorter meeting duration to fun games, there are plenty of strategies to hold your attendee’s attention during a meeting. In this article, we cover some effective ways to make your virtual meetings more memorable and less painful.
Here are some best practices and tips for raising the energy in your next virtual experience:
<span class="mid-size-title">1. Schedule meetings only when necessary </span>
Over 56% of workers feel that too many meetings impact their job performance. Avoid scheduling a virtual meeting if it is unnecessary or likely to be rescheduled/canceled. Remember the saying, “This meeting could have been an email.”. Your meeting should serve a specific purpose and include only people who are relevant to the project. Be considerate of time-zone differences and the availability of attendees before scheduling the meeting.
<span class="mid-size-title">2. Keep meetings short, simple, and sweet with a clear agenda</span>
Set the agenda and expectations for participants. Stay on topic and keep the session brief by sticking to the agenda. If you have multiple presenters, allot time slots to each presenter so that no one ends up talking for a long period on the same topic. You can also assign a virtual moderator or host to ensure a smooth transition between presenters and sticking to the planned timelines.
<span class="mid-size-title">3. Be punctual</span>
Meetings that start late are annoying to just about everyone. Use automated email reminders to ensure that everyone joins the meeting on time. Make it easy for attendees and speakers to find the meeting link and the agenda in your invite. Give them enough time to prepare and send timely reminders to join the meeting.
<span class="mid-size-title">4. Make everyone feel included with interactive layouts </span>
Meetings are meant to aid collaboration for focused work. If your conference meeting format encourages only one-to-many communication, you will miss out on the flow of ideas you can generate through the meeting. Encourage active listening and participation with interactive meeting formats such as Open Space, Fishbowl, Notes Day, and Peccha Kucha. With an interactive meeting format like World Cafe, you can encourage your attendees to discuss in groups and interact freely with each other at the meeting. Drive organic interactions in real-time to brainstorm and generate new business ideas. A structure like an enhanced session layout supports focused attention and engagement. You can give every participant the chance to contribute and ensure that all are included in the discussion. Instead of being passive participants, attendees can actively connect with each other and share their unique perspectives during the meeting.
<span class="mid-size-title">5. Start the meeting with icebreaker sessions</span>
A fun way to start a virtual meeting and avoid awkward silence is ice breakers. The topic could be something simple and fun that gives everyone a chance to come on video and speak, such as pet updates, productivity tips, workplace trivia, or streaming show recommendations. You can also follow a meeting theme and encourage attendees to try interesting virtual backgrounds based on movies or TV series.
<span class="mid-size-title">6. Start engaging Watch Parties</span>
Allow attendees to join watch parties and watch meeting content with peers while actively chatting and interacting with them. By taking in the content as a group, deeper collaboration and learning can take place, plus the event will be more memorable for participants.
<span class="mid-size-title">7. Encourage the use of emojis and GIFs</span>
Got a favorite emoji or GIF you always use? While the event content is presented, put those reactions and GIFs to good use! With emojis/reactions, your attendees can tap or click their reactions to the content. . It also enables everyone to see the engagement in real-time.
<span class="mid-size-title">8. Improve the audio and video experience with Immersive Theater Mode</span>
Your attendees will have a hard time focusing on the content of your presentation if the audio and video quality is poor. Ensure the video quality of your meeting is good and consistent. For increased focus, give your attendees the option to go into an immersive theater mode to watch the content on a much bigger, larger screen without distractions. With a better viewing experience, they can take in the content of the meeting better.
<span class="mid-size-title">9. Use digital whiteboards to collaborate </span>
Instead of leaving attendees bored as mute spectators, involve them actively in a project with Whiteboards. Drive collaboration by integrating an interactive whiteboard app into your session to invite participants to contribute to the project as you present.
<span class="mid-size-title">10. Avoid interruptions and delays with dedicated Q&As</span>
Create opportunities for learning during presentations by incorporating a dedicated Q&A time at the end of the session. You can also use Q&A chats to field questions without interrupting the presenter. Highlight relevant questions to get everyone’s attention on the topics you wish to focus on. Make your attendees feel heard and valued in real-time without going off-topic.
<span class="mid-size-title">11. Collect feedback with surveys and polls</span>
Include interactive polls and surveys to increase involvement from your audience and know their sentiment in real-time on various topics covered in the meeting. The findings you gather can also be used and repurposed beyond your event for research and data needs.
<span class="mid-size-title">12. Include interactive games </span>
Getting distracted and multi-tasking in a virtual meeting is all too easy. Capture your attendee’s attention with interactive digital games. Give them something to do throughout the meeting. You can include trivia questions and puzzles in your presentation to keep your attendees attentive.
<span class="mid-size-title">13. Encourage participation with leaderboards </span>
Humans have a natural tendency to compete and be the best; put that energy to practical use in your event! You can use a real-time leaderboard to reward the most active participants and encourage healthy competition between attendees. Assign points based on activities that align with your event goals, such as participation in polls, likes, and comments.
<span class="mid-size-title">14. Leave time for informal discussions</span>
Allow attendees to catch up and have informal conversations in lounges or breakout rooms. Informal discussions encourage attendees to share their ideas and network for lasting connections beyond the end of your event.
<span class="mid-size-title">15. End with a Group Portrait</span>
A fun way to end a virtual meeting is to capture a Group Portrait with all the participants and speakers, making the experience memorable and engaging for everyone. With a group image in hand, everyone can share the moment to their social media feeds or with their peers.
Virtual meetings play an important role in your goals, whether that’s simply human relationships or business results for your bottom line. A well-planned, interactive virtual meeting will do wonders for your marketing strategy as you create core memories with each moment.
From an immersive layout that mirrors in-person experiences to an interaction panel that spurs organic social interactions, Hubilo’s Enhanced Session Layout offers you unique ways to make virtual attendees feel heard, valued, and engaged. With Hubilo’s engagement suite, you can improve audience engagement and retention for virtual events and meetings. Get in touch with us to strategize on future events and learn how Hubilo can help you grow your revenue.
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