Almost across the board, large companies use online meetings to bring teams together while cutting costs of travel and time. Associations can certainly appreciate the need to bring members together while working with limited resources. Does that mean online meetings are right for your association? Before chiming in with your automatic yes or no, read through the seven items below that you need to know.
- Telecommuting is a growing trend, so scheduling in-person meetings may be harder than ever for associations. Online meetings are excellent solutions when you’re trying to juggle packed Google calendars. According to an August 2015 poll by Gallup, 37 percent of American workers have worked remotely, a number that is higher than at any time in the past. The trend is not only among the young professionals who have grown up with technology, though many in that age bracket have leveraged telecommuting to their advantage for lives of travel, but also applies to older Americans, who according to Pew Research Center are staying in the workforce longer than ever before and look to remote work to help them juggle family and health responsibilities.
- Online meetings, such as webinars and event streaming, can meet the needs of busy and faraway members without cannibalizing attendance from your live events. In fact, some associations find they end up recruiting more members based on their streaming content. Learn more in our recent blog post.
- If you record your online meeting and save it for later use in your learning management system, you can kill two birds with one stone. Not only will you take care of today’s matters now, but you’ll also build content on your lms for future use by your members, leading to more engaged members as well as non-dues revenue.
- You might not think your members will be receptive to a move toward online meetings, but they might surprise you. Remember that more older Americans are trending toward telecommuting just as young professionals are. With high speed internet more accessible than ever before, members have fewer and fewer barriers to entry to online meetings.
- When hosting online meetings, it’s important to be as engaging as possible. At a live meeting, you’d feel guilty as an attendee for the presenter to catch you on your phone or email, but with an online meeting that social pressure is off. Plus, just as in in-person meetings, attendees in general won’t feel engaged until they have participated. As a result, meeting hosts need to engage the audience throughout the meeting with polls and chat prompts to keep viewers focused.
- As an online meeting presenter, you’ll need to keep an eye on the clock. What does every workplace cartoon have in common? Snark toward meetings that drag on for no reason. While your online meeting may save your association money in terms of replacing travel costs, it can still cost your organization if you decrease productivity by keeping staff in too-long meetings. Be efficient with your time to maximize cost savings through online meetings.
- You don’t have to figure it all out alone. TelSpan offers excellent customer support that goes well beyond searching an FAQ page. If you’re in the middle of a meeting and all of a sudden lose audio or can’t figure out how to take questions from the audience, just dial *0 to connect with technical assistance. TelSpan takes care of the platform so you can concentrate on your message.
Learn more about online meetings with TelSpan at https://telspan.com/web-conferencing/.