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March 17, 2021

Business meetings in a time of coronavirus

If you’ve done any social interaction online in the past few months, it’s safe to say you’re probably familiar with Zoom. Since the start of the health crisis, the company’s revenue skyrocketed as businesses turned to online meetings, with a user base that at one point boasted 300 million meeting participants every day.

But even as we’ve gotten used to Zoom, it’s pretty hard to claim that virtual meetings are just like their in-person counterparts. Running a business meeting online can be surprisingly tricky, even if you have plenty of experience with face-to-face meetings. If you’re looking to nail your first virtual business meeting or polish your skills, here are a few things you should consider.

Don’t Forget the Standard Best Practices

Virtual meetings may seem like a different beast from in-person ones, but they still demand the standard best practices you’d carry out for any meeting. This includes basics like creating an agenda, considering the right stakeholders to invite, and assigning action items. Brush up on the critical components of a successful meeting before you dive in.

Test Your Tech Tools

To keep your meeting’s momentum going, it’s important to avoid long delays to set up your software tools. Make sure you’ve downloaded and tested every piece of tech you’ll be using for the meeting. From trying a new meeting platform to sharing your screen, it’s helpful to know the ins and outs of their use beforehand.

Explain Your Etiquette Expectations

Virtual meetings—especially for a large group—can feel hard to manage. Video chat offers a lack of visual and social cues, which means your guests may end up talking over each other a lot! To help with this, explain your etiquette expectations up front. Should people mute themselves when not speaking? Will they use a platform’s “raise your hand” tool to indicate their wish to speak next? 

Consider In-Person Meetings

With three vaccines available and over 2.2 million shots administered daily, it seems safe to say that there will come a time when business meetings don’t look any different than they used to. The CDC still recommends that Americans avoid large gatherings, but it’s also released a set of new guidelines for those lucky enough to have gotten vaccinated. While standard precautions are necessary for people who haven’t had the vaccine, if you’re running a smaller team meeting with participants who have been fully vaccinated, it may be time to have an in-person meeting instead! 

No matter the type of meeting you’re running, planning in advance can make all the difference. Be sure to set goals and outcomes up front to see more success! Just like other aspects of remote work, it’s possible to adapt to virtual meetings with a little practice. 

For more guides on making the most of your business, don’t forget to check out our other posts!

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