11 Great Virtual Meeting Ideas to Boost Engagement
Virtual meetings have become a staple in how associations operate over the last two years. Even as some organizations move back into a physical office, it’s clear virtual meetings won’t be going anywhere and will continue to be a staple in how we conduct business.
Virtual meetings have brought great benefits, including the ability to conduct business and connect with members without the expense and time spent travelling. But there are challenges too: decreased engagement due to Zoom and Teams “fatigue” chief amongst them.
As leadership expert and Hall of Fame speaker Randall Craig pointed out in a recent CSAE blog with fellow expert and Hall of Famer Michelle Ray, these challenges existed before COVID-19 — they just looked different.
“Bad meetings were bad well before Zoom and Teams made their debut,” Randall Craig said.
“Remember ‘death by PowerPoint?’ The difference today is that the ‘bad’ has been amplified with technology.”
The good news is there are a lot of ways to make virtual meetings more engaging for your team.
“There are literally hundreds of ideas that you can incorporate to manage Zoom fatigue,” said Michelle Ray. “. . . The antidote to boredom is fun and the implementation of simple, creative ideas will do wonders.”
Here are Craig and Ray’s top virtual meeting ideas to help keep your team engaged:
Virtual Meeting Ideas to Keep Your Team Engaged
1. Set up a few polls before each meeting. While some polls can be set up for fun, they are also a powerful way to determine whether there is consensus.
2. Ask attendees to tell something about themselves in the chat, such as their city, department, etc. This gets them used to using the chat.
3. Ask attendees to answer your question in the chat. This allows everyone to participate and allows you to understand how your attendees generally think. You can then explore some of the responses in greater detail.
4. Use a QR code on the screen to allow people to open their smartphone screen to an interactive activity online, such as Kahoot.it for a quiz competition.
5. Use a shared Google doc and ask everyone to contribute their ideas on it during the meeting.
6. Use simple props to make a point or add to a personal story.
7. When using the chat function, ask open-ended questions and acknowledge the responses to create greater engagement
8. Add fun from their personal environment. For example, finding something from their desk or home that is green or red as a symbol of “yes” or “no” when asking a question. Participants would then hold up the red or green object when responding.
9. Incorporate a short, fun activity. It can be scheduled during a presentation or to kick it off: Designate a team member to collect childhood photos of each person. The team member can take 3-5 minutes during the meeting to show the photos. The group guesses who is who in each photo by either answering out loud or noting their colleague’s name in the chat as each photo is shown.
10. Use music to create a particular mood or theme. This can be played while people are entering the meeting or while they are doing an activity. And, depending on the purpose of the meeting, you can even consider using sound effects.
11. Include or create short videos if/when applicable
The most powerful meetings are ones where there is engagement. While these ideas are focused on virtual meetings, most can be used when you meet in person as well.
Read more informative content for association leaders on the CSAE Blog.