Web meetings should just work, right? But what we tend to forget as users is that there is a lot more to a web meeting than just simply entering and taking part. In the same way as any face-to-face meeting, there are additional aspects you need to consider. But, of course, these are far more under your control in a web meeting. If something does go a little haywire, you usually have an extra pair of hands to solve the issue. However, if you’re meeting in person, any issues are likely to be out of your control – public transport delays, for example.
We all know how easy it can be to take web meetings for granted, so, here are our top-nine tips for preparing for your next one.
Web meeting connectivity
Connection, connection and yet more connection. We can’t repeat it enough. In the same way as it’s all about location (no kidding) in popular TV show Location, Location, Location, here, it’s all about the connection. If your bandwidth is restricted, then your web meeting experience will start to suffer. Although WiFi is usually strong enough for most web meetings, it’s always better for meeting hosts to connect to a fixed line, where possible. But meeting guests can get away with a slightly weaker signal and still make the most of web meetings due to the nature of their contribution.
Local dial-in numbers
A largely forgotten part of every web meeting or audio conference. Wherever possible, take advantage of toll-free local dial-in numbers for your audio conference or web meeting.
Web meeting audio quality
Many people come to us mentioning problems with the sound quality of web meeting audio. This audio is dependent on your internet connection, so why not go in early to check it before everyone is expected. Start the meeting, but ensure the room is locked and test away to your heart’s desire!
There are always stories making their way around the office about the latest background noise hiccup. Whether it’s a barking dog in the background or the cacophonous sound of the thunderous motorbike engine lingering outside the office window, we’ve all been there. Either way, it’s always worth thinking about how you might counteract this in advance of the meeting.
Web meeting preparation
Attendees and hosts share equal responsibility when it comes to preparing for meetings. No matter what your role, preparation is key so that everyone can get the most out of each meeting.
Upload your documents
Check in advance that you can upload documents and that your file type is supported. That way, you’re ready to go once everyone’s there. It’s all too easy to take this for granted as we tend to assume that any file type can be uploaded. Of course, you can also share your desktop, but not everyone wants to do that. But if you do opt for this, it’s worth remembering that document collaboration is not possible.
Passing the presentation rights
The capability to pass the presentation responsibility is something you can do in person to add flexibility and diversity to your meeting, so why shouldn’t you be able to do it in your web meeting? Well, fortunately, you can. It can be great to decide in advance on the presenters, but it’s a good idea to keep things flexible so that you can hand over control to someone else if appropriate.
Web meeting accessibility
If people can’t get into the meeting, there is no meeting, so being able to gain access is paramount, whether it’s a face-to-face or online meeting. If your meeting is difficult to enter and attend, then attendance rates will plummet.
Web meetings should be reviewed afterwards; they don’t just end when everyone leaves. It’s a good idea to start analysing the meeting and making actionable points to ensure that the purpose of the meeting is achieved.