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10 tips for a winning annual virtual meeting | Regulatory bodies

Virtual conference, a term we are all too familiar with now, thanks to the pandemic situation that has made it necessary.

A virtual conference is a meeting held over the internet with the help of virtual meeting software and relevant hardware like speakers, microphones, and a computer system.  Most virtual meeting apps are also available for use from a smartphone or a web application.

So, virtual meetings allow anyone with stable internet and access to a virtual meeting app to connect with similar people from anywhere in the world anytime. In addition, many virtual meeting apps also provide additional features like screen sharing, presentations, and more that make them virtually the same as any meeting you would otherwise hold in a physical conference room.

Thus except for direct physical contact, you can accomplish everything you would do in an actual conference like sharing your ideas, communicating plans, discussing issues, brainstorming, and more, all through the help of the internet and the right software.

What Is A Virtual Conference Strategy For Regulatory Bodies?

Now there are many different types of conferences that happen in an organization. For example, you could meet up for a casual employee check-in, daily stand-up calls, project planning meets, and more.

Regulatory meetings are a specific type of meeting where the participants get together to primarily discuss various topics or issues and achieve a consensus on these topics. The outcomes of regulatory meetings are crucial for the operational aspect of any project or product. Regulatory meetings are also when the decisions regarding the approval or validation of your product will be made.

Hence you need to be well prepared before a regulatory meeting. Some pointers to help you prepare are listed below.

10 Tips For A Winning Annual Virtual Meeting

Have A Clear And Engaging Agenda For Your Virtual Meeting

A clear agenda will help you steer the meeting in a favorable direction and get a beneficial response from the review teams in a regulatory meeting. You need to be aware of the main discussion topics and be prepared with all the relevant details.

As virtual meetings offer less room for nonverbal communication, you should be well prepared with the relevant infographics, well-prepared documents, and detailed presentations to help communicate your ideas.

Write down the list of most common questions and prepare the answers beforehand. You should research into the topics that will be talked about and make sure you have the correct answers ready

Be clear on the meeting logistics, such as the number of attendees, the meeting time, the number of questions that will be considered for discussion, and all other details. Remember to communicate your plan with the participants well ahead of the meeting time.

Choose Speakers Carefully

Regulatory meetings are strictly official meetings, and hence you should never forget to carry forward a professional environment even when the meeting is held virtually. So always choose your speakers carefully and train them with the meeting agenda and meeting etiquettes well ahead of the actual meeting.

You should also share accurate information and make sure your speakers are aware of the details under discussion.

Run rehearsals and make sure your speakers are well prepared. The moderator must ensure that only authorized speakers are allowed to speak during the meeting and are aware of the meeting rules and regulations. This can be enforced by establishing meeting rules like assigning turns to speak and muting the listener’s mic to avoid interruptions and using the hand raise option to seek speaking turns.

The Elements Of Surprise

While regulatory meetings are indeed a highly professional arrangement, you still need to ensure active participation and engagement. A little bit of surprise elements can help ease tensions and make your participants feel more relaxed during the meeting.

You can schedule digital coffee breaks and add in surprise elements like using different meeting skins, better presentation techniques, and more.

Build Awareness

You need to build awareness of the meeting to your relevant stakeholders and participants so they can be well informed of the topics to be discussed and have the necessary background information on what is being discussed during the meeting.

This can be done well ahead of the meeting with the help of blog posts, email newsletters, and more. You can also conduct dry runs before the actual meeting so that your participants are well aware of how the actual meeting will execute.

Make It Easy For Others To Market

Making it easy to market your virtual meeting event will garner better participation and enhanced engagement from your participants. Regulatory meetings can offer good learning for upcoming professionals in your team and also help your experts find the right opportunity to showcase their expertise. You can make your event shareable, stream it and allow authorized people to invite more people with just an invite link.

Integrate An Offline Experience

It can be challenging to capture the audience's attention when the meeting is held virtually. Therefore, one way to encourage active participation is to emulate an actual physical meeting.

For example, you can bring in elements of an offline work environment by asserting your participants to dress up professionally for the discussion and make sure to turn on their video inputs. You can also send gifts to attendees before the event or send meeting agendas as physical documents so that they are better involved in the discussions.

Choose The Best Virtual Meeting Platform

This has got to be the most critical step that will determine the success of your regulatory meeting. First, you should choose the best virtual meeting platform that supports all your requirements. Here is a checklist you can use to select the right app for your meetings :

• The maximum number of participants allowed in the meeting

• Support for video feed

• Support for screen sharing and presentation

• Support for real-time chat

• Support for moderator control

• Support for integrating with your drive or shared resources

• Support for sending file attachments

• Support for notifications, pings

• Support for cross-platform access

• Security features

• Performance

• Ease of use

• Recording and streaming features.

• Pricing

Encourage Interactions/Conversations/Questions From Participants

Visual cues could be easily missed during a virtual conference, and you have to make sure participants are encouraged to engage actively during the meet. You can call out to speakers and ask for opinions verbally and frame questions that elicit the best responses. You need to keep the momentum going and encourage your participants to interact more.

You should remember to allocate a proper time duration for the question and answers session as you present information.

You can also plan for specific interactive moments like using a pop quiz, poll, and surveys throughout the meeting to ensure full participation.

Integrate Virtual Networking

Plan for virtual breakouts and interactive sessions somewhere during the meeting to promote virtual networking and add some breather sessions during the meeting.

For instance, if your meeting goes beyond a couple of hours, you can include a coffee break where participants can talk about everyday stuff in a relaxed manner and get to understand each other better.

Incorporate Surveys Throughout

Surveys are a great way to keep participants engaged and keep collecting real-time feedback on discussion topics. Be prepared with relevant surveys at the end of each session or mid-session to gauge audience reaction and steer the meeting in the right direction.

You can use the survey results to enhance your virtual meeting engagement further and use them as information feed to stimulate better discussions in the subsequent sessions.

Surveys help the participants feel valued, and their voices heard as not everyone can speak all at once in a meeting.

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July 12, 2021 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization