Are you hosting your first remote meeting? Unsure of how to get started? You’re in the right place! In this short guide, we’ll cover four easy steps to hosting a remote meeting on any platform. From video conferencing software to audio-only tools and everything in between, the process is essentially the same. Remote online meetings can be just as productive, if not more so than in-person meetings, and can save money on both travel and phone costs.
If you’re stuck with a landline plan or traveling for important meetings for your organization, internet-based conferencing tools might be able to help your business trim expenses and move into the future. Here are four easy steps for hosting a remote meeting.
1. Use The Best Software
Without a good conferencing platform, your meeting won’t go over well. You’ll need HD audio and video tools, a stable platform to host on, as well as a customer service team that can answer your questions and troubleshoot any problems. Not all conferencing tools are the same, and only the top online tools offer all of the above. There are hundreds of options available for online conferencing tools, but to choose the right one, you’ll need to consider:
- Monthly cost: will it save you money no communication costs, or add to it? What features are you getting for your monthly premium?
- Reputation: the old saying “the customer is always right” is something to consider when you’re shopping around. Customer reviews can offer an in-depth look at what features the software offers and how responsive the customer support team is.
- In-Call tools: As the host, you’ll want to be able to invite, kick, and mute people from the call when necessary. Some services also include in-call text chat, video tools, and even cloud storage and sharing.
Many platforms offer a demo of their conference services, so you can get a better idea of how the software will function before you buy. Be sure to try out all of the app’s features to be certain it’s a good fit!
2. Plan Accordingly (Use An Agenda)
Now it’s time to plan your first remote meeting. First, you’ll need to write down the details regarding the meeting’s subject matter, the time it will take place, and any relevant links or call-in numbers. All meetings should have an ultimate goal or desired outcome, so be sure to include that in the agenda as well as the guest list. It’s a good idea to send out your agenda to the call’s participants a few days beforehand, so everyone has time to prepare.
Set your expectations early on, to avoid any problems during the call itself. Don’t be afraid to use the mute button! Some remote conferencing tools can actually synchronize with other tools like Google Calendar, so you’ll never miss another meeting and can share invites via Gmail.
3. Send Invites And Reminders
You’ve planned your meeting, decided on a platform to host it, and now it’s time to send your invites, as well as your agenda. If you’re using Google, you can just integrate your meeting with the calendar software and send invites that way. Otherwise, you might have to send out email invites with direct links to the digital conference room.
It’s a good idea to send a reminder the day before a meeting just to make sure everyone’s on track. It’s better to know if someone can’t make it before the meeting starts, rather than find out during the call.
Be sure to include a copy of the agenda and the guest list in your email, and require an RSVP to the meeting so you can plan for the right number of people. Most conference calling apps and software don’t have limits like landlines, and most of them can host hundreds of people simultaneously!
4. Utilize Conference Tools To Maximize Productivity
One of the best features of online conferencing platforms is the impressive number of in-call tools that allow you to maximize productivity. For instance, the mute button. While it’s true that landlines have a mute button as well, online conference services allow you to mute specific callers (or yourself).
This helps eliminate background noise and distractions and makes for a more productive call overall. Other tools include sharing tools for files, text-chat tools to send specific links or messages during the calls, the ability to record calls for later review, and more. Can your landline do all of that?
Don’t be afraid of the mute button (did I say that yet?). It’s there for a reason! Encourage other callers to use the mute button when they’re not speaking (this is basic call etiquette) so everyone can focus on the meeting instead of the dog barking in the background.
You’ve successfully hosted your first remote meeting! It’s a good idea to record your first call and review it for tips on how to do better later on. Don’t be afraid to ask for caller feedback as well on how to make future calls more productive. Use the right software, plan ahead, send invites a few days in advance, and utilize all of your software’s call tools to maximize your call’s productivity.
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