The pandemic has forced us to take simple professional concepts such as business meals, client & sales conversations, and board meetings online. While this is not so much an issue, we face numerous hurdles in the way we engage our attendees virtually. Here are our top 5 tips to increase client engagement and uplift the moods of your virtual meeting attendees. 

Tip #1: Have a Solid Agenda 

Have a check list to note down important topics

Time is of the essence. It’s easy for meetings to get boring and drag on when the host is unsure of what comes next. List down topics you want covered with a strict time limit for each topic/speaker to help keep unrelated discussions at bay.  For example, a typical plan would include the information and location of your meeting (date, time & room link), meeting purpose, topics and speakers arranged according to time, goals to achieve for each session, and the expected etiquette from attendees. 

Tip #2: Go Beyond Video Conferencing Tools 

Go beyond video tools to engage your virtual meeting attendees

Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Webex have made it easy to communicate but, to actively engage your attendees, you need to go beyond the surface. Some great options to consider: 

  • Prezi to create an interactive presentation;  
  • Lucidchart helps create flowcharts and diagrams live while collaborating with your attendees; 
  • Raw Shorts and Vyond are easy-to-use software to display information in an animated video form. 

Tip #3: Implementation of F&B 

Incorporate meals with virtual meetings to create a personalised experience

When hosting important virtual meetings, it’s natural to want to impress. By incorporating meals, you can elevate the virtual meeting experience for your attendees.  However, implementing the wrong type of food in your meetings can either put them off or lead to them falling asleep and feeling too full. Personalise your meals down to the dietary requirements, aesthetics and eco-friendly packaging. Your F&B partner should use fresh & healthy ingredients that provide a hassle-free dining experience.  

We at Esseplore are experts at using healthy and light gourmet meals crafted by our certified chefs to assist you in upscaling your meetings, improving engagement with your attendees, and adding a sense of intimacy to your virtual events. Our range of tantalising menus designed by our chefs in small batches, that consist of family recipes passed down for generations, will aid you in creating personal connections with your valued clients and leaders. 

Tip #4: Set the Etiquette Rules 

Set professional standards for virtual meetings

If you want to replicate the professionalism of a physical meeting, do not be afraid to set certain standards for your attendees. Include a dress code, virtual background rules, tone of the meeting, and expectations of respect and communicate this to your attendees in advance so that they can prepare mentally and physically. 

Tip #5: End with Purpose and A Follow-up 

End with a purpose for productive results

Unplanned virtual meetings usually end with no productive results. If you want your attendees to remember the points discussed in a meeting, follow-up and summarise the key takeaway points and individual action items along with datelines in a slide. You could also implement a ‘parked bin’ -where all non-crucial discussions are parked and run through at the end of the meeting. Finally, before you end, have a 2-minute buffer that allows your attendees to exit. This helps with noting last-minute questions or points. 

These tough times have turned our attention towards a future where meetings have different rules and expectations. With these tips, we hope you’ll be able to add a personal touch and engage your stakeholders with lively, productive, and interactive virtual meetings.   

Arvinder Singh

Author Arvinder Singh

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