How to Host Effective Virtual Board Meetings
Virtual meetings are becoming more common in the sense that they reduce time and cost by reducing travel costs and give board members greater flexibility, or increase communication. The benefits are clear, but they don’t come with no pitfalls. Virtual meetings can be just as effective as those held in person when they’re well-planned. However, there are a few aspects to be considered when planning and hosting these events.
Ensure everyone has the right equipment and software. It isn’t easy to keep the entire board engaged when there are technical difficulties that hinder participants from speaking to one another, seeing presentations or using their cameras. It’s a good idea to inform all attendees of the instructions on how to check their cameras, microphones, and speakers before the meeting starts to prevent these issues.
Plan an agenda in advance to keep the discussion on track. Boards can be entangled in conversational side-bars if you don’t have a plan to guide the meeting. Also, ensure that all meeting topics are covered within the timeframe that you set to make sure that your attendees do not feel as if nothing was accomplished or that their time was squandered.
It is hard to recreate the camaraderie that occurs during board meetings in person. There are ways to enhance your experience online by adding exciting and enjoyable activities like breakout sessions or a test. Also, you can use regular feedback loops to gather data about how each member and director is interacting with the meeting, and what they think is working and not working, and how they can improve next time.