How to create a modern online meeting experience
Meeting in person has become a luxury for many modern teams. The time people spend physically together is decreasing. Home office, Co-Working spaces and modern ways of working push people to work from everywhere.
If a company wants to be an attractive employer, it needs to offer its employees this flexibility to work from different locations.
If a team meets physical it should use this time for socializing, strengthen the team spirit, share knowledge and not for boring meetings that could have been done online.
The big question is how to increase the quality of online meetings? Only if online meetings are effective the time a team spends together physically can be used for other purposes.
To increase the online meeting quality, we need to digitize the meeting room. And this is what we do.
Most of the classical meeting rooms are equipped with similar elements people know to use for their meetings, like:
- Sticky Notes
- Beamer and audio and video conference solutions
These tools have proven over the last decades that they are supportive of physical meetings. If we think about an online meeting, then these tools are not applicable if they are not digital.
Digital Flipchart & Whiteboard
The best way to work with a digitized flipchart is using a touch- and pen-enabled device and a user-friendly app, that provides a digital canvas, which meeting participants can write and draw on.
The big advantage of an analog flipchart or whiteboard is that it is always accessible, and all the people know how to interact with it. Finding a digital pendant, that is as easy to use, is very difficult, but digital solutions are catching up regarding usability and are becoming easier and more intuitive.
A first option is to replace the flipchart or whiteboard with a large touchscreen in the existing meeting room. Equipped with CollaBoard, these devices become intuitive collaborative whiteboards. One or multiple people can work on the same screen, use digital pens and their hands to interact with the content.
As everything that is written down on the digital whiteboard is saved in the cloud, people can access the meeting notes from everywhere and at any time.
The second option is to equip people that are not physically in the meeting room with a digital whiteboard app. Instead of just watching a presentation in an online meeting they can now interact with others, write their ideas and comments on the digital whiteboard. This makes online meetings more engaging and improves the quality of the meeting.
At IBV we are using the following technologies to digitize flipcharts and whiteboards:
- Microsoft Surface devices (Hub, Pro, Book, Laptop)
- DELL Conference Room Monitor
- SMART Board
- Skype 4 Business or Skype
One example of how we prepare meetings with CollaBoard on our large touchscreens:
Digital Sticky Notes
Post-its or sticky notes are present in almost every company and meeting room. They can be used for thousands of different purposes in meetings, workshops, creativity session etc.
There is only one disadvantage of analog sticky notes, they can’t be used in an efficient way in online meetings. Therefore, if the quality of online meetings should be improved by enabling people to work with sticky notes, they need to be digitized.
Working with digital sticky notes is challenging, as people need to learn a software for that. The only way to convince them to make this step, is to provide an intuitive and easy to use app and show them the benefits of working with digital sticky notes.
From our experience we see the following advantages of digital sticky notes:
- Nobody needs to create a photo protocol or write down the content of the sticky notes
- The color of a sticky note can be changed at any time
- They do not fall off the wall
- People can contribute ideas to a meeting using sticky notes, independent of their location
Share images, movies and documents
For a lot of people, flipcharts and sticky notes are not enough for having an effective meeting. It is important that they can access information within documents quickly and present their content to the meeting attendees.
Sharing information and knowledge in online meetings is a big challenge as they are often stored in different documents and places.
What we learned in the last years visiting a lot of customers and using different meeting technologies, is that people want to have one solution where all the relevant data and information can be stored and accessed quickly during a meeting.
Out of these requirements, we integrated the possibility to work with Office documents, PDF’s, images and videos in our collaboration solution CollaBoard. The idea is to have all relevant data uploaded to a CollaBoard project that is used for the meeting.
What people exactly need to make online meetings more productive depends a lot on what they want to do during this meeting. For simple use cases a shared digital whiteboard fulfills the case. If people start to implement more complex collaboration scenarios in their online meetings more advanced software is needed that supports the use of digital sticky notes, office documents, images and much more.
Beside software, hardware is another important factor to improve online meetings. From our experience, modern touch- and ink-enabled devices are the best approach to help people creating a good online meeting experience.
If you are interested to create modern online meeting experiences at your company, let’s talk about how I can help you with that.