During this time of personal and commercial upheaval, we’re all having to find different ways of doing things. One of the biggest changes that’s emerging is how we interact and communicate with each other.
Since physical contact is now limited, video conferencing, live streaming and online conversations are all now bigger than ever before. In home offices across the globe, virtual meetings are becoming a regular part of the day-to-day life for many industries.
The business benefits of virtual meetings are numerous – not only can they be much more efficient, saving your company valuable time and resources, but they often incorporate advanced communications technology, which has the potential to take the meeting to another, more compelling level.
Yet these benefits don’t just have to be associated with the virtual world, by bringing them into our physical interactions, they can help to streamline the process, improve connections and make meetings more beneficial for everyone involved.
In short, we want to help you bring the physical and digital sides of your business together to create more effective meetings, at 30 Euston Square we have the technology for you to hold small or large meetings at the venue and at the same time you can video call another member of the team that can not be there, or a larger group of people.
In the last few years, cutting-edge tech has been used with great success in the events industry. We have taken this opportunity to extend our services to our clients and customers with a 3D virtual tour. If for some reason the client does not get to the venue for a show round or would like a recap on a particular room before they secure the booking, our events team can send unique links and guide them around the venues come dolls house. What’s more, with virtual product demos and intelligent chatbots, brands can find out more about attendees and use that data to create a unique experience just for them.
With the rise of virtual meetings, we’ve seen software that can provide customised backgrounds and URLs, send out personalised invites and recommend features based on how its users behave. This idea of tailoring meetings to attendees is more likely to produce positive results than just using a one-size-fits-all structure, as delegates will appreciate that you’ve made the effort to personalise the meeting for them and will be more inclined to provide you valuable information in return.
In your next meeting, whether virtual or physical, take the time to greet attendees individually as they arrive and mention an interesting fact about them when you introduce them to everyone else (make sure to agree this with them beforehand!).
Design the structure and content of the meeting around the expertise and skills of each delegate to make sure each person has something to contribute. Send out an email in advance to ask for a summary of what each person would like to get across in the meeting, and make sure to give them time to do so.
Ask people what their favourite aspect of virtual meetings is, and the majority will say that they save time, money and effort. Since the people who take part in them will likely have been using their computer to do work anyway, an online meeting slots perfectly into the structure of their day.
We can use this idea to streamline physical meetings. So much of the admin work that people find tedious – finding a time that suits everyone, sending out invites, registering attendance and figuring out how to integrate other applications – is done for you with meeting software.
This automation of necessary but boring tasks leaves you free to focus on what matters: the content of the meeting. Think about how to keep concentration levels up and attendees engaged throughout. Just because software takes the effort out of admin doesn’t mean delegates can sit back and leave the computer to do all the work.
One of the most valuable outcomes of virtual meetings is how they encourage more creative contributions from attendees. Tools like polling, chat boxes and electronic mind-mapping offer more visual methods of decision-making to keep delegates engaged, while allowing introverts to have a say.
These tools can also be used in physical meetings, alongside Q&A sessions and speed dating-style discussions to mix it up and stop energy levels dropping. Live note-taking in software such as Google Docs one One Note allows delegates to add to and expand on points in real time, and it can be tidied up and sent around afterwards as minutes.
In virtual meeting software, members of the main meeting can split off into online breakout spaces to discuss problems or suggestions in more detail. This allows delegates to dig deeper and return with a number of different approaches which would have been lost in the wider meeting.
This type of tech has enabled a company-wide collaboration for many brands, where delegates who would have never met before can combine their expertise, skills and ideas to form a fuller, better picture.
To sum up
Rather than removing the need for face-to-face interaction, events tech is helping to improve and enhance physical meetings and events. It’s giving us wider and more creative choices as to how we communicate with each other, which is forcing brands to evolve in order to keep attendees engaged, excited and wanting to do more.
We believe that the current trend of virtual meetings will help to shape the future of events by merging the physical and digital worlds to offer the best of both.