While many of us have become fully acquainted with what you need to host and join a video conference in recent years - and even have some insight on ensuring high quality picture and audio - you might still be unsure on when they are most effective and how to ensure a productive, disruption-free video conference. To help you get the most out of your digital meetings, we’ve compiled these top tips for video conferencing to give you the confidence in both hosting and participating, and how to cater them to your own requirements through the use of a hybrid meeting.
Whether you’re communicating with clients based on the other side of the world or having a daily catch-up with your remote working team members, video conferencing systems are a great alternative to face to face meetings - especially given the ever-growing popularity and effectiveness of remote working amongst businesses of all sizes.
In a world of remote workers and flexible working practices, it’s never been more important to take care of employee wellbeing, and video conferencing is a great way to ensure your workforce keeps communicating and helps remote team members feel more connected to their colleagues from wherever they are.
While interviews and training seminars might be viable candidates for a completely remote video conference, having a central management team liaise with multiple teams of remote workers or pitching a service solution to a client also lend themselves naturally to a mix of local and remote participants. Depending on the purpose of your meeting and the composition of your invite list - your agenda might be best met with a mixed video conference.
A productive video conference participant should not only be prepared in terms of devices, reliable internet connection and necessary applications or software, but should also ensure that they’ve fully read and understood the agenda of the meeting and prepared their own relevant questions and contributions - maybe even materials that will need to be shared amongst the other attendees. With virtual workplace meetings becoming as regular as those in person, it’s more important than ever to make sure your presence in every video conference is worthwhile and productive.
An additional but important consideration is to ensure you can remain focused on the meeting throughout its duration. While there may be temptation to check for emails or look at the other tabs you have open on your web browser, it’s vital you follow the flow of the meeting or conference and remain engaged, even if not actively speaking. This not only ensures you receive all the information that’s been prepared for you but also provides the chance to share your contributions and questions at the most opportune moment.
Naturally the demands of a video conference host or presenter tend to be greater than those of an attendee. With participants spending much of the call on mute, your hosting will be the primary focus of the video conference. This makes the quality of your broadcast a key dependency in holding your guest’s attention and the overall delivery of your agenda.
For some, hosting or presenting during a video conference can be a stressful experience. This can be made worse when a small technical issue snowballs into a significant disruption, inevitably leading to guests losing focus and valuable time in their day. While these situations can usually be avoided or remedied quickly through familiarity with the conferencing software, minimising disruption while ensuring all participants remain engaged and have an opportunity to share their contributions can require further preparation.
It is key that all attendees are aware of how you want them to signal if they have something they want to share during the meeting. A visual signal such as simply raising a hand, either physically or through conferencing software features - instead of unmuting themselves to instantly interject - gives the host a chance to come to a natural pause to address their questions or contribution.
But what if you have elected to run a hybrid conference, or mixed meeting, where some participants have attended locally while the remainder have connected remotely? This presents some unique challenges, especially when it comes to ensuring all your guests have an equal opportunity to absorb and contribute toward the agenda.
It can be a difficult balance to both remain focused on leading hybrid meetings and events, while also keeping a careful eye on your local and remote attendees to ensure none are signalling that they have something to share. In these situations, it would be wise to delegate some of this responsibility to a colleague present in the same room to aid you in keeping track of those who have remotely connected. This will be even more necessary if you have presentation materials you are delivering, resulting in the screen of remote attendees being behind you!
If you don’t have ready access to professional video conferencing equipment or high-speed Internet, then Regus can help with our portfolio of state-of-the-art video conferencing rooms.
We can provide video conference services to equip you with everything you need for a quality broadcast throughout your meeting - offering full HD streams at either 1080p30 or 720p60 - allowing you to clearly see facial details and visual cues. We can even help troubleshoot technical issues with our knowledgeable on-site support staff.
At Regus we are always prepared to provide the best video conferencing for small businesses and large businesses alike, ideal for those offering hybrid working options for their employees or dealing with clients and customers remotely. Simply book your meeting in advance and we can handle all the details for you, so all you need to do is log in and enjoy a high-quality video conferencing experience, wherever in the world you’re connecting to.