Successful virtual meetings – 7 tips

We, MVC Mobile VideoCommunication GmbH; have been helping our customers conduct better, virtual meetings for 27 years now. We have helped hundreds of companies to implement and optimize video communication and other forms of virtual communication. We usually focus on the technical side of meetings, but we have found that it is the non-technical aspects that determine the success of a meeting.

Benefit from our probably somewhat unusual tips for virtual meetings.
Accept that meetings are necessary.

This first tip will confuse some because, if you look at the literature on meetings, you’ll find that most meeting guidebooks aim to avoid meetings, keep them as short as possible, or put as few participants in them as possible. Ultimately, there is a desire not to have to hold meetings at all, with the ideal being that ultimately all the work will be done alone. However, this idea is insane, since a large proportion of people work in companies where meetings are the tried and tested means of reaching agreement or finding solutions to problems. It is simply madness to believe that you can run an organization without holding meetings. But this assumption is behind many meeting guidebooks.
Meetings must give energy, not take it away.

This point is closely related to the first. Because many meetings are so boring and unproductive, many people believe that we should greatly reduce meetings, preferably even eliminate them altogether if they are not absolutely necessary. However, the opposite is true: we need more meetings, not fewer. However, these meetings need to energize us, not wear us out. My advice: Let your gut decide if the meeting was good or not and act accordingly.

Do virtual meetings the same way you do face-to-face meetings.

This point will probably surprise some, since the MVC is a virtual meeting and video conferencing provider. So you’d expect me to sing the praises of virtual meetings. However, our ambition is to make virtual meetings as easy as face-to-face meetings.
Decide what you want to get done in the meeting.

This is a very crucial point because the confusion of different meeting types often leads to confusion and little productivity. In addition to voting on day-to-day issues, resolving tactical problems, status updates, should you then cram discussion of a strategic issue into a meeting? That simply does not work.

Roughly, these different meeting types can be distinguished:

  • The daily coordination. So, what’s up, are there problems, are things stalling somewhere?
  • The review and status meeting. This is used to solve tactical problems that prevent employees from achieving their goals.
  • The meeting about strategic issues. This is where discussions and brainstorming take place and, of course, decisions are made about, for example, product launches, the emergence of a new competitor or a new technical solution.
  • The so-called time meeting is similar to the 3rd type, but covers a larger time frame. One or two days are set aside to discuss strategic issues, review the strategy and analyze the trend market and the competition.

Same way of joining.

The way to join the meeting should always be the same, whether it’s phone, web or video conferencing: the optimal way is “One Click to Join”.
Create the minutes during the meeting

Another essential point is the protocol. It is always mandatory to create the minutes during the meeting and not just afterwards. The best way here is to always show the minutes on another screen, so that all meeting participants have the result in front of their eyes.

Keep a reasonable time schedule

Closely related to the success of a meeting is the length of the meeting. If the meeting lasts longer than 50 minutes, make sure to take a break of 10 minutes, otherwise the energy level drops too much that the participants are no longer fully concentrated. Use this break actively, which does not mean making phone calls or checking e-mails. No, if possible leave the office or at least the conference room and go out into the fresh air and move around.

Distribute roles

The following people should definitely be in every meeting: The meeting leader, the Meeting leader sets the agenda and checks that meeting objectives are met. The minute taker records results and to dos, and the person who keeps track of time ensures that tasks are completed within the appropriate time frame.