How to Host Effective Virtual Board Meetings

Virtual meetings are becoming more common due to the fact that they help save time and money by reducing travel expenses and also give board members more flexibility, or enhance communication. The benefits are clear, but they don’t come with no pitfalls. A well-prepared and executed virtual meeting can be as effective as an in-person one but it’s essential to keep in mind some key elements when organizing and hosting these kinds of events.

Make sure everyone is using the appropriate equipment and software. It isn’t easy to keep the entire board engaged when there are technical difficulties that prevent participants from speaking to one another and watching presentations or using their cameras. It’s a good idea give all attendees detailed instructions on how to check their cameras, microphones and speakers prior to the start of the meeting to avoid these issues.

Make sure the agenda is planned prior to the meeting to ensure that discussions remain focused. If you do not create a plan, the meeting may be slowed by side-bars. Be sure that all topics are addressed within the time limit to ensure that your attendees don’t feel that they did nothing or that their time has been wasted.

It is difficult to replicate the sense of camaraderie and friendship that is shared during board meetings in person. However, there are ways to enhance the online experience by incorporating fun and engaging activities such as breakout sessions or even a test. Also, use regular feedback loops to gather data about how each member and director is taking part in the meeting, and what they think is working and not working, and what they would like to improve next time.

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