Virtual Meeting Etiquette From Cvent
Thursday, November 19, 2020
By Cvent staff
Almost everyone is familiar with and practices some standard rules of meeting etiquette: Don’t show up late. Look professional. Don’t interrupt others when they are speaking.
However, with the recent pivot to virtual, we have revised some of our previous behaviors. For example, no one will know if you’re wearing sweatpants with your blazer. But people will catch on if you always run over your scheduled Zoom meetings. In this article, we will teach you how to maintain virtual meeting etiquette (even in sweats).
BEFORE THE MEETING
Even the simplest meetings require prior planning. Below are some tips to organize your virtual meeting like a pro:
Overbudget your meeting time. When planning your virtual meeting, it is always better to overbudget than skimp on the allotted time. If you don’t know whether you will be able to accomplish all your meeting goals in 30 minutes, schedule an hour.
Offer multiple ways to join. There may be circumstances when a computer breaks and an attendee must be able to join a meeting through a mobile device. Make sure that your virtual streaming provider offers multiple ways for attendees to access the meeting: through computer audio, a dial-in phone option, or headphones.
Send an agenda. An agenda lets your attendees know beforehand what topics are to be discussed and if they should invite any additional teammates to join the conversation. If you are thinking that it is difficult to create an agenda for your meeting, that may be a sign that you don’t really need a meeting in the first place. If you do not, simply solve the problem over email.
DURING THE MEETING
You’ve sent out a calendar reminder, you’ve created an agenda, and now it is time to begin the meeting. Follow these steps for a successful virtual gathering:
Have a “leader” and a “notetaker.” Keeping the conversation on track is much easier if there is one leader in charge of the meeting and limiting side conversations. Have them encourage your attendees to address only the points on the agenda. Designate a notetaker to scribe during the meeting and send out the information to attendees later.
Collaborative meetings. A collaborative meeting is one where all attendees are encouraged to contribute equally to the conversation, almost like a brainstorming session. Discourage interruptions and side conversations, and if you notice that someone has not contributed, ask them directly to share their thoughts.
Presentations. A presentation is a virtual meeting where only one or a few people present a topic to a larger group. During a virtual presentation, it is important to keep the meeting on track by encouraging your attendees to hold their questions until the end. Set aside at least 15 minutes for questions, so there is plenty of time.
AFTER THE MEETING
Congratulations, you hosted a successful virtual meeting! Complete the following steps to make sure that your meeting was as effective as possible and to show your appreciation to your attendees for participating:
Send the recording. For those unable to attend the meeting, a recording is the best way to make sure they get all the information that they missed. Make sure that your virtual streaming provider has recording capabilities and that you record from the beginning.
Communicate follow-up actions. Send a follow-up email to your attendees that includes an action plan for each participant as well as reminders and deadlines.
THE NEW NORMAL
While we are all sick of the phrase “the new normal,” we can all agree that for the time being, our lives will more or less revolve around our computers. But just because we are physically apart does not mean that we can slack off on the common courtesies of everyday life. Be sure to practice virtual meeting etiquette to show respect toward your coworkers, your organization, and yourself.
The Cvent Event Cloud offers software solutions to event planners and marketers for online event registration, venue selection, event management and marketing, onsite solutions, and attendee engagement. Cvent’s suite of products automate and simplify the planning process to maximize the impact of events. The Cvent Hospitality Cloud partners with hotels and venues to help them drive group and corporate travel business. Learn more.