Virtual Meeting Tools
Virtual meetings are becoming the new normal — which means virtual meeting tools are now practically a necessity for most businesses. Finding the best free online meeting platforms is essential if you want to equip your teams for the most productive meetings possible. With the best online meeting tools, you don’t need to worry about disorganized or poorly run meetings derailing productivity at your organization.
When we think of virtual meetings, we usually think of video conferencing. There are a few different types of video conferencing tools you can use to facilitate business meetings, like Zoom. However, you can up the value of a video conference app by combining it with a meeting organization solution like Docket.
By improving virtual communication at your company, you can keep up with evolving business norms as remote work becomes increasingly common. There are likely already a large number of virtual communication examples that happen at your organization every day. Embracing tools to make these communications even more efficient can create a significant advantage for the company. Using virtual meeting tools that enable more streamlined, productive remote meetings can eliminate many inefficiencies associated with poor remote communication.
There are similar virtual meeting and video conferencing tools for education — however, virtual education meetings often have a very different set of goals than virtual business meetings. Virtual meeting tools like Docket are primarily intended for improving the organization and productivity of business meetings, not streamlining virtual education courses.
Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll explore some of the benefits of using virtual communication platforms to improve business meetings. We’ll also look at some of the best virtual meeting tools and offer some tips for running better virtual business meetings.
Virtual Meeting Technology
The rise of remote work has forced nearly everyone to adapt to virtual meeting technology. Whether you believe in the advantages of virtual meeting software or not, it’s now important for everyone to be familiar with virtual meeting etiquette. Simple matters like how to start a virtual meeting aren’t necessarily obvious to someone who is completely new to virtual meeting technology.
To make things even more complicated, there are many different types of virtual meetings. The kind of meeting you’re running or attending has an impact on the way the meeting should be handled. You may only need one virtual meeting app to facilitate different kinds of meetings, or you might need separate platforms for different purposes.
Here are some good habits to be familiar with if you regularly host virtual meetings:
Use agendas: Each meeting should include an agenda that participants can view ahead of time. It’s difficult to keep agendas for virtual meetings organized, but virtual meeting platforms like Docket make it easy to track which meetings currently have agendas and which don’t.
Schedule follow-ups: It’s important to get a follow-up meeting on the calendar right away, but it can be difficult to coordinate schedules after the meeting has ended. Virtual meeting management tools can enable you to schedule follow-up meetings from directly within the current meeting so you already have a follow-up planned when you log off.
Avoid scheduling conflicts: Some calendars and scheduling software will let you schedule meetings for any time — even if it conflicts with another event on your calendar! A virtual meeting tool like Docket eliminates this issue by notifying you when there are conflicting meetings in your schedule so you can address the problem immediately.
Free Online Meeting Tools
What is meeting technology? There are some free online meeting tools you can use to improve the productivity of your meetings. Free online meeting apps for video conferencing like Zoom can be great for companies with limited budgets that need tools for virtual meetings. Some free online meeting tools also have paid versions that include additional or upgraded features. As a hypothetical example, a video conferencing app might only allow 10 participants at a time, but a company that needs a free meeting app for 500 participants could upgrade to remove the limit on the number of participants.
Although free online meeting tools are great for some tasks, there are other times when paid online meeting tools are necessary. Often, you can supplement free virtual meeting tools with paid ones. For example, you could use one of the free apps provided by video conferencing companies like Zoom in combination with a paid meeting organization platform like Docket. Integrating different virtual meeting tools in this manner can help you create the ideal remote meeting environment for your team.
Virtual meetings are now so ordinary that many people consider virtual meetings new normal. It’s more important than ever to understand how to do virtual meetings successfully. No matter which types of virtual meetings you participate in most frequently, it’s a good idea for everyone to familiarize themselves with how virtual business meetings work. Many of us know exactly what to expect from traditional meetings, but virtual meeting etiquette can be a bit different.
There are all kinds of virtual meeting examples that demonstrate the important differences between traditional and virtual meeting styles. For instance, anyone who has ever been in a virtual meeting with someone else who’s located somewhere noisy can attest to how distracting it is. Being aware of your surroundings during virtual meetings is just one example of virtual meeting etiquette that you don’t have to think about when attending a traditional meeting.
Virtual meeting apps can help you run more efficient meetings and make it easier for everyone to succeed in a virtual environment. Virtual meeting platforms like Docket are great for preventing common time-wasting activities like:
- Waiting around on-camera as people gradually show up
- Meandering through disorganized agendas that don’t actually accomplish anything concrete
- Extending agenda items far past their allotted time segment
- Searching frantically for links or other digital resources so they can be shared with the group
Interactive Meeting Tools
There are many different kinds of interactive meeting tools. Simply searching for “how to run an interactive workshop online” will return a wide variety of options. You can even find some useful interactive meeting tools free of charge. For example, interactive tools for Zoom like Docket make it possible to share agendas, resources, and meeting notes without leaving the meeting. Here are some of the other helpful features included with Docket:
Agendas: Every meeting needs a clear agenda to keep it on track. Docket makes it easy to build effective meeting agendas that you can share with your team before the meeting starts. This ensures everyone is on the same page so the meeting can progress efficiently.
Meeting Templates: Online facilitation tools for meetings can also provide templates that simplify the process of setting up different types of meetings. For example, Docket’s agenda templates can help you plan team meetings, one-on-ones, all-hands meetings, performance reviews, and more with greater efficiency.
There are other tools as well that can help you streamline your virtual meetings. You can use an online meeting survey tool to allow everyone to contribute their opinions in a meeting or to collect feedback. This is a great way to run a more engaging meeting. Tools like Slido or Poll Everywhere are great examples of online meeting survey tools. You could also improve engagement at your meetings using a tool like Mentimeter.
Fun Tools For Virtual Meetings
It’s important for meetings to be engaging as well as informative. While all meetings have a practical purpose that needs to be the main area of focus, it can be helpful to introduce some fun elements as well to keep everyone engaged. You can add a creative spin to your meetings with fun tools for virtual meetings like Kahoot or Poll Everywhere. Not only do tools like these encourage more participation from everyone, but they also break up the monotony of a typical meeting structure.
One positive aspect of hosting virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings is that there are a lot of free interactive tools for virtual meetings that you can combine with virtual communication tools for business. Additions like polling tools for virtual meetings or interactive tools for Zoom can help keep meeting attendees interested and combat Zoom fatigue.
Meeting Management Tools
One of the biggest meeting-related challenges companies face as they switch to virtual meetings is figuring out how to manage them effectively. Typical meeting management tools don’t always work as well when meetings are virtual. Instead, you can use meeting management apps (like board meeting management software, for example) to facilitate better virtual meetings.
A meeting productivity platform like Docket is a great tool for improving your virtual meeting management skills. Docket’s features like meeting templates, an agenda builder, resource sharing tools, note-taking tools, integrations, and more make it easy to stick to meeting management best practices, such as:
- Setting clear and effective meeting goals
- Encouraging on-time attendance and full participation
- Creating a meeting agenda and sharing it ahead of time
- Keeping thorough notes throughout the meeting
- Assigning action items and following up
You can use meeting management software free of worry or frustration with a platform like Docket. Docket’s robust meeting productivity features enable you to elevate your meetings so you can keep your team engaged and on the same page at all times.