• Four Advantages of Virtual Meetings

    Written by:
    Noah Maislin, CEO, Minutes Solutions Inc.
    Marko Lindhe, VP, Minutes Solutions Inc.

    There’s no doubt that the last few months of the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the rise of virtual meetings. While it might seem like online meetings would make holding discussions or developing processes disjointed, virtual meetings have several advantages – especially when gathering in person is difficult or impossible.

    Many organizations recognize the importance of meeting virtually to keep their staff, teams, board or shareholders informed on next steps, decisions and actions. Whichever platform your organization decides to use, the following advantages of online meetings will help ensure progress when physical distancing is encouraged or required.

    1. Virtual meetings accomplish the tasks and processes that wouldn’t otherwise be possible

    The varied approaches to reopening across different provinces, countries, and continents make it difficult to host not only small in-person meetings, but also large gatherings such as multi-team sessions, board meetings, or AGMs. Virtual platforms overcome the physical obstacles by allowing those meetings to take place anyway and for decision-making processes to move forward in an informed and timely fashion.

    Without virtual meetings, organization-wide or even smaller team meetings might not be possible. This results in your team putting off decisions and actions that need to be addressed now. Virtual meetings allow those next steps to take place and accomplish many other tasks that couldn’t otherwise be completed when in-person meetings are challenging or out of the question.

    2. Virtual meetings are effective and efficient

    Virtual meetings make the decision-making process more productive and efficient.  Sometimes progress can only be achieved with regular verbal and visual check-ins and ongoing communication — a tangled e-mail thread amongst team members just won’t cut it. Virtual meetings keep things moving.

    Especially when accompanied by an agenda, a virtual meeting tends to keep attendees focused. Although online attention spans can be shorter, this creates a sense of urgency to efficiently address the agenda. There is less table talk and more productive conversation and streamlined decision-making — teams can concentrate on action items and execute them effectively. Face-to-face online conversations between team members keep the flow of decisions and actions moving forward and keep organizations and businesses up-to-date and on track.

    3. Virtual meetings are cost effective

    In this time of financial difficulty, businesses everywhere are seeking savings wherever possible. Virtual meetings lower overhead costs including travel, venue rental, and the refreshments typically provided at in-person meetings. Meeting materials and office expenses can also be reduced, such as when hard copies of documents that might normally be printed for an in-person gathering are replaced by electronic copies presented virtually using screen-sharing features (also very environmentally friendly!).

    4. Virtual meetings are universally accessible

    The accessibility of virtual meetings is second to none and ensures that all the people who need to attend can do so. All one needs is a device with an internet connection (e.g., smartphone, tablet, or computer) or an old-fashioned telephone.

    Virtual meetings also open up the opportunity for additional parties to easily attend. This could include other teams within your organization or business, service providers, or your minute taker, if you use an external vendor. The accessibility of virtual meetings is reason enough to take your discussions online to ensure that those who are required to participate are able to and are comfortable doing so.

    Conclusion: the organization that meets together stays together

    The changes to the way meetings are being conducted right now doesn’t mean that your processes will be ineffective. Take your meetings online to keep your organization on track and moving forward through good virtual communication to allow for streamlined discussions and decision-making. The cost-saving and accessibility benefits of virtual meetings facilitate these needs and they are key elements in maintaining the viability of your team as you move through challenging times together. 

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