If it’s to cut down on time and costs on travel, give more flexibility for board members or improve communication virtual meetings are becoming increasingly frequent. The benefits are obvious but they’re not without pitfalls. Virtual meetings can be as effective as those held in person if they are well-prepared. However there are some points to consider when planning and hosting these events.
Ensure everyone has the right equipment and software. It can be difficult to keep everyone interested when technical issues prevent participants from speaking to each other, seeing presentations, or using their cameras. It’s a good idea provide everyone with clear instructions on how to check their cameras, microphones and speakers before the meeting starts to eliminate these problems.
Make sure the agenda is set in advance to keep discussions on track. Boards can get entangled in a conversational snafu if you don’t have a calendar to guide the meeting. Be sure that all topics are covered within the time frame you have set to ensure that your attendees don’t feel that they didn’t accomplish anything or that their time has been wasted.
It’s hard to recreate the click now camaraderie experienced during board meetings in person. However, there are ways to improve the virtual experience with engaging and enjoyable activities such as breakout sessions or even a quiz. Also, use regular feedback loops to gather information on how each participant and director is participating in the meeting, what they feel is working and what could be improved next time.