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Virtual Meeting Rooms: The Key to Successful Online Collaboration

Connect online using messaging, audio, and video to share critical data/information

Virtual Meeting Rooms: The Key to Successful Online Collaboration

In the past, an executive had to meet the team members physically in an expensive-looking room to discuss crucial company strategies.

However, this has changed, and now executives can discuss all these strategies via virtual meeting rooms. In fact, COVID-19 has helped us reassess the way we use technology as this pandemic is being fought with technology in the forefront, and shifting to virtual meetings turned out to be one of the easiest transitions we could make. Virtual meetings give executives the most inexpensive means to interact and allow members to share ideas efficiently and quickly.

Virtual meetings allow people to connect online using messaging, audio, or video to share critical data/information in real-time. They do all these without presenting themselves physically in one location.

Virtual meetings were not the most preferred in the past, but they have gained popularity as most businesses keep implementing remote working.

However, successful virtual meetings need some essential planning and following some best practices. Through this, you'll manage virtual sessions more manageable than traditional face-to-face events.

Virtual Meeting Rooms

Virtual meeting rooms are shared spaces that make it easy for a cloud service to host online collaboration. You can also define virtual meeting rooms as online meeting spaces where several participants from various places use video conference calls to collaborate.

Besides this, virtual meeting rooms make it easy for organizers to host face-to-face (real-time) virtual meetings with remote attendees. Also, note that virtual meeting rooms require only a browser and a webcam.

Instances That Require Virtual Meeting Rooms

Virtual meeting rooms eliminate the travel costs and time waste linked with traditional face-to-face events. Besides this, virtual meeting rooms allow participants to use cloud video conferencing to connect and collaborate face-to-face.

Remote Work Meetings

Companies can now use collaboration tools, such as virtual meeting rooms, to hire top talents from parts of the world. Besides this, companies can use virtual meeting rooms to conduct productive/engaging group meetings without considering the employee's area.

Company-Wide Meetings

Virtual meeting rooms can bring your team together if you want to give a virtual presentation or host a webinar for the entire team.

With virtual meeting rooms, you'll get the most efficient means to carry out all-hands and secure meetings.

Meetings Involving Long-Distance Clients

Face-to-face client interactions help to maintain healthy relationships and celebrate joint business successes.

With virtual meeting rooms, you can find it easy to connect with long-distance clients from time to time.

Why Use Virtual Meeting Rooms? 

Increased Productivity

Virtual meeting rooms offer intuitive collaboration tools, resulting in a more collaborative company workflow. Besides this, these collaboration tools use content sharing to boost productivity.

Also, team members who missed the meetings can view them later by using collaboration solutions, like recording online sessions and screen sharing.

Flexibility

You'll always find it hard to attend all company meetings if you stay away from the meeting place. However, with virtual meeting rooms, you can participate in all business meetings without considering your location.

Save Time

Consider virtual meeting rooms if you want the most efficient and quickest means of bringing together your team members. Moreover, virtual meeting rooms are the perfect option if you're after immediate or urgent decision-making.

You only need seconds to click the invite link and join any virtual meeting room.

Cost-Efficient

You're likely to spend a lot on face-to-face meetings because of food expenses, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and the price of flights. However, you don't spend much when it comes to virtual meeting rooms.

Better Documentation

With virtual meeting rooms, you can easily record a conversation and keep it where you can access it with less hassle.  You don't have to frantically scribble a meeting summary or notes because everything is under record.

Ease/Simplicity

You only need to join the meeting by using a single link and the right video conferencing tool. Therefore, virtual meeting rooms are incredible ways of joining discussions.

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How to Run Successful Virtual Meetings

Give Full Attention

Successful communication/navigation is the only way to confirm that each individual is working towards a specific objective and attaining excellent results together.

Research shows that most people consider traditional face-to-face meetings as the best ones. Therefore, it's vital to know the best way of transferring face-to-face meeting experience to virtual meeting rooms.

Thirty-four percent of people consider video conferences as the best ones, while 27 percent prefer telephone conversations. Conventional emails take only 14%. Therefore, consider monitoring the communication quality if you want to run successful virtual meetings.

For example, ensure that you use only clear and transparent working processes. Also, pass on important information from time to time and use targeted activities to enhance efficiency. Focus on all these because research shows that successful virtual collaboration cannot come automatically.

Use the Right Tools

Your virtual meetings cannot run well if you don't use the right tools. Some of the tools needed to make virtual meetings possible include:

1. Teamflow

Teamflow refers to the virtual office that gives an office-like and team-like feeling. It's the right tool that allows you to minimize the friction to talk/interact with your colleagues/team.

With Teamflow, you'll move/walk to attend a meeting conversation the same way you'll while in an office. In addition, it features spatial audio that maximizes random chats, natural happy hours, and hangouts.

Besides this, Teamflow is the tool to select if privacy is one of the things you always check. It makes this possible by allowing you to choose what to share.

2. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is also the most preferred tool for virtual meetings because of its top-notch workplace features. These include file storage, video/chat conferencing functions, and more.

However, Microsoft Teams work excellent when used by businesses that already use Microsoft programs. This feature is because Microsoft Teams has a shared working space with PowerPoint, OneNote, Excel, and Word.

3. Slack

Slack makes it easy for clients, employees, and businesses to pass on important information in real-time. Besides this, the tool introduced a voice feature that makes it easy for project members to document notes as per the project.

Note that Slack offers different price points that vary depending on the project size.

4. Zoom

Zoom gives companies a top-notch channel for audio/video conferencing. It's the most preferred for virtual meetings because it offers one communications suite for a productive workplace, chat, and meeting collaboration.

Besides supporting up to a hundred participants, Zoom also has high-quality HD audio/video (you can get this even if you're in low-bandwidth locations).

5. Asana

Asana allows companies to track their project statuses and to-do lists. Unlike other tools, Asana features keyboard shortcuts, which improve note-taking and editing.

Moreover, you can use Asana to manage your to-do lists and even sort assignments. As a result, this tool is the perfect option if you want to manage complex projects.

The inbox feature allows you to send notes within the tool instead of using email systems and other communication programs.

Create Trust and Promote Collaboration

Leadership is the core requirement when it comes to collaboration across various organizations and locations. As a result, trust must exist between team members and team managers.

Good virtual team members must:

  • Share information
  • Show initiative
  • Be team-oriented
  • Be socially competent
  • Give helpful feedback
  • Be well organized
  • Help other team members

Get all Participants on the Same Schedule

Virtual meetings allow team members to be in the right place, but this will happen in their own context. However, it can be challenging to decide the best time to conduct the virtual meeting, especially if the participants come from different time zones.

Check time frames that favor every individual's time zone to get each individual on the same schedule. Here, you can choose various tools to select the perfect time frame that favors each individual's time zone. Examples of tools to use, in this case, include Every Time Zone, Worldtimebuddy, and World Clock Meeting Planner.

Set an Agenda

Plan your agenda if you want to conduct a successful and efficient virtual meeting.

Prepare a plan beforehand to allow participants to prepare well for the meeting. The best agenda must include:

  • Meeting structure
  • Key talking points
  • Those who will attend
  • Relevant research, files, or documents
  • What each participant will bring

Another crucial thing to consider is the meeting guidelines. These include the expectations/rules on how the team members will participate in the virtual meeting.

Ensure the team members join the virtual meeting knowing what they will do and the procedure they will follow to control the virtual space. 

Let them know if they need to turn their cameras on or only the presenter can do that.

Also, you can let them know if they need to mute the mobile phones when one is speaking. Through this, each team member will be on the same point before the virtual meeting.

Etiquette

Each virtual meeting comes with its own rules, but team members should follow crucial etiquette practices every time for a successful online meeting experience. These include:

  • Introducing all members and giving them a chance to share ideas
  • Not staring at the phone during the presentation
  • Not interrupting those who are speaking or not speaking over them
  • Testing all technology before the start of the meeting
  • Preparing yourself by reading the agenda
  • Avoid working on other projects, such as checking email messages during the meeting.
  • Conducting the virtual meeting in a quiet location free from all unnecessary distractions

Always practice common courtesy whenever you find yourself in doubt. Remember each participant needs respect and to be heard and seen during any virtual meeting for a successful session.

Conclusion

Most businesses will still keep virtual meetings even if the workforce goes back to the office. Therefore, it's crucial to arm yourself with the critical skills needed to run these meetings successfully and make them engaging and productive. 

You'll find it easy to drive collaboration and member participation to keep the business running smoothly through this.

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About the author
Rithesh Raghavan is the Director at Acodez, a Digital Agency in India. Having a rich experience of 15+ years in Digital Marketing, Rithesh loves to write up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the world of IT and software development.


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