The traditional boardroom meeting where everyone comes together to one physical table at a specific time to sit down and have a meeting seems on the way out. Corporations and other organizations are more spread out. Business is more international. It is becoming less feasible to conduct business in the old fashioned way as time goes on.
So what do we do about our boardroom meetings? Well, like everything else, they go online. Luckily, this is a pretty straightforward task with only a handful of points that you have to navigate around.
Most software that you use to do video conferencing will have the abstract concept of sessions or ‘rooms’. This can seem a little vague at times, but really they work a lot like hotel rooms do.
With a hotel room, you have a room number, and a reservation for a set period of time. If your time is running out, you can ask to extend your reservation. If it does run out, they may give you another room number with your next reservation. The rooms are supposed to be identical.
Virtual meeting rooms conceptually work about the same way. You have a URL. That’s like the key to your hotel room. That link will only work for as long as your session is set to last – just like your hotel key card.
You can share the URL for your meeting room session with anyone else who wants to join. Once they follow the link they are taken to the same session as you.
Once your virtual meeting room session runs out you have to register a new one with your solution provider.
Meetings run smoothly when you get your conference room layouts correctly and it’s not the meeting vs the technology.
Tables and chairs can be arranged in a number of room designs that can accommodate online attendees in a couple of different ways. Your layout choice should depend on what you aim to do with your meetings.
Online attendees have to be present through conference room equipment, a camera that lets them see the rest of the boardroom, and a screen that lets the rest of the boardroom see them.
Brainstorming sessions are going to call for a different room setup than video conferences with a panel.
If you do have a panel of experts addressing a lot of people, you might opt for having the panel arranged banquet style facing the camera, and the other attendees arranged classroom style where they all face the front of the room.
A brainstorming session may require ways for remote employees to share concepts through something like screen sharing since they can’t just grab a pen and paper and pass it around for all to see.
With more people working remotely these days, having your boardroom set up to be able to accommodate remote workers will be a worthy investment, because typically this is something that will actually be used.
This is more or less a uniform requirement that all businesses have to accommodate in some capacity moving forward. You’ll find that your business partners had the same idea, so a lot of your project management and sales meetings will be able to coordinate with more people in a way that’s less costly for everyone involved, quicker, and gets all the necessary points across without anyone being left out of the loop.
The other beauty of this is the flexibility in how many different ways it can be used. It opens up a lot of possibilities that weren’t there before. For instance, you could have your top level of executives all connected to field personnel to be telepresent on-site for any momentous occasions if need be.
Also, a boardroom set up with the right equipment can also cover as an impromptu studio. If you have to record a company announcement, or make an address, the overhead cost of using your swiss-army boardroom vs scheduling a time to rent a studio is very favorable for your boardroom of the digital age.
You can communicate any decisions made by the board to any level of your organization on the fly when you start adopting this technological shift. A lot of opportunities will open up because of it.
Photo by Jacob Lund from Noun Project
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