Virtual meetings have quickly become our society's new normal. But what exactly is a virtual meeting? And how do you determine which variation is right for your business goals? Continue reading as we help to demystify virtual meetings.
Virtual meetings used to be a great alternative – a second best option – to meeting face-to-face. They helped us connect across distances, forming teams out of strangers, and helped decrease cost. Today, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge, they are the only game in town for businesses that need to stay connected.
There is a lot of noise about what virtual meetings are, the technology you need, and how to do them effectively. Here is our take on demystifying virtual meetings and delivering a great experience for attendees who need connection now, more than ever.
What is a virtual meeting?
“Virtual Meeting” is a broad term used to describe any event reaching remote audiences through technology, versus gathering together in person. In the past, this has often been an extension of a live event, such as a webcast. Using a variety of different virtual meeting platforms, remote audiences have been able to tune in to (or even interact with) large-scale live events from all over the world.
In addition to bringing remote attendees to a live event, virtual meetings often incorporate remote presenters. Industry leading speakers, high profile customers and other internal or external presenters are able to share their message and story without being there in person.
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However, with the current health and travel concerns we are facing today, fully virtual meetings – where no one is gathering together at all – is the real and current definition. The best virtual meetings are produced up like a news broadcast or late-night television show, combining the best practices of both live events and broadcast TV to create an engaging, impactful meeting that prioritizes the experience of remote audiences.
Virtual meetings technology – Myths and realities
Flawless technical execution is key to making any virtual meeting look and feel like a TV news broadcast or late-night show. This includes using a secure and redundant transmission of content, technical support provided via remote support engineer, security options and the use of an event-inspired, browser-based, easy-to-use webcast platform.
There are a variety of webcast platforms that can be used for virtual meetings, from Zoom to Microsoft Teams to WebEx and many, many more. Ultimately, any of these platforms can be used, depending on the specific features needed for your event. Many companies have platforms they already use and are comfortable with, which can be utilized to make their virtual meeting a simple and user-friendly experience for remote attendees.
Where a little investment goes a long way is into the video production elements of a virtual meeting – especially for remote presenters. A simple lighting kit; a laptop stand for computers with webcams; a lavalier or high quality ear pods with a strong microphone; and an ethernet cable are all a remote presenter truly needs to elevate their virtual delivery from a typical daily video chat to more of a TV news style presentation.
Once again, content is king
Once we get the technology settled, the real heart of a good virtual meeting lies in the content and storytelling. With attendees tuning in from remote offices or even their homes, it’s more important than ever to create an experience that captures and keeps their attention.
Related article: How to Create Engaging Virtual Meetings
Like with any event, an impactful opening video will instantly set the tone for the meeting, while powerful storytelling pieces allow your audience to emotionally connect with individuals on their team, customers or the communities they serve. Additional elements like interstitial videos, animated graphics, event bumpers, transitions, lower thirds and more not only helps the meeting transition seamlessly from one segment, speaker or location to the next, but creates a completely branded experience.
Focusing on the storytelling, and how attendees will be engaged in it – is the best place to focus in order to deliver a great virtual meeting.