How to run a successful online meeting
While nothing is as good as face-to-face meetings, as a vendor, it’s often more efficient to gather a group of people together in an online setting. This is especially true if you are including people from different locations, and an in-person meeting isn’t feasible. But what is the best way to organize and run an online meeting? Glad you asked.
As with any meeting, you need to determine what you want to achieve. Are you reviewing web designs and documents? Discussing project timelines? You should pick the best method or technology to use based on that. Screen sharing options like Zoom make it easy to share presentations, view webpages and review project management tools like Redbooth together.
Create an Agenda, Get Organized, Control the Meeting
Any successful meeting starts off with an agenda. Whether it’s two items to discuss or twenty, ensuring you know what you want to discuss and work on, and then communicating that to participants ahead of time, will keep a meeting on track and focused. No agenda? You’re probably going to wander off topic. An agenda allows you to talk about what’s important, and then “park” or move off-topic items to an icebox for later discussion.
At 4Site, I create an agenda early enough to share in advance, allowing me to get input from internal and external attendees on additional topics that should be included. Redbooth makes this easy.
I make sure meetings start on time (in fact, I often start a few minutes early in case a customer shows up early), and I make sure we end on time. When you run the meeting, it’s your responsibility to ensure that attendees are engaged and connected. Make sure everyone can hear (and see if using video). When there are several people on the call, request that people state their name before talking so everyone knows who is speaking
When It’s Over is Just as Important
These next points are true for any type of meeting. At the end of a meeting, go over the key points discussed and clearly define action items. I always end with a summary statement like “here are the next steps I heard us all discuss and the owners of those action items.” And then ask if anyone has any final questions.
Once you’re off the call, type up your key points and send them out, reiterating action items and who owns them. At 4Site, we share the notes from Redbooth. I may also follow-up with the notes via email in cases there are some attendees not in Redbooth.