So, you’re looking to set up your first online meeting for your business? You’re in the right place! In this short guide, we’ll cover how to choose a conferencing platform, why an agenda matters, and much more. Your first meeting will be one to remember after you’re finished reading!
The key to a great meeting is confidence, operational tools, a good connection, an agenda, and taking control of the call when things get out of hand. Luckily, there are hundreds of tools available online, from meeting agenda templates to various conference calling platforms and everything in between.
Ready to get your meeting started?
Let’s look at the steps to setting up the perfect online meeting for your business
Choose A Service
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose online meeting software like Vast Conference, Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. These are just a few of the big names in the industry, and the ones that offer the best customer service and features for your dollar.
While some services are entirely free, like Google Meet, most online meeting software charges a premium to get all of the great features. With companies like Vast, you’ll get 24/7 customer support, free call recording, HD audio and video conferencing, and much more for under $15 per month per user (depending on the plan you choose).
The platform you choose can make a huge difference in the quality and productivity of your call. You’ll want a platform that allows for full control of your call, and preferably one that can integrate with your company’s calendar software for easy invites. If your company uses GSuite from Google, Google Meet is the perfect option; if you’re using Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams can integrate seamlessly.
Be careful when you’re choosing a service. Don’t just pick the first one you come across! Make sure it has everything you need to host productive meetings. Integration is always a plus!
Create An Agenda/Send Invites
If you want to have an effective meeting and not just a rabble of noise, you’ll want an agenda. Not only does an agenda help you plan out the entire call but it can also help you carefully choose the guest list, time of the meeting, and much more. Agendas can be simple, such as an email or written list of topics to cover, or you can use one of the web’s thousands of meeting agenda templates for a thorough agenda.
Whichever method you choose, you’ll want to be sure you send your agenda out to the meeting participants at least a few days in advance. Otherwise, no one knows what the meeting is about, when it will occur, or where.
Agendas can also help you carefully consider whether or not certain topics need to be covered or certain people need to be in attendance. Trimming your guest list is perhaps the best way to ensure your meeting doesn’t go off-track. Only invite the people that truly need to be there; the ones that either have direct experience with the topic at hand, are directly affected by it, or need to know about what’s being discussed in order to do their job.
One-Click Join/Call-in Numbers
Once you’ve chosen your conference software and set up your agenda, it’s time to send out your invites with a link or call-in number. When you’re using web-based conferencing software, your callers can join from anywhere and from just about any device with an internet connection. Be sure to provide both the meeting invite link and the call-in number, so your participants can choose to join via phone or desktop.
The great thing about internet calling is that it usually supports higher audio quality, and some conferencing software even includes video calling. If you’re tired of boring conference calls, hosting a video meeting can be a great way to spice things up. Plus, you’ll get to see everyone’s face! This is especially great if you’re working with remote team members or clients.
Stick To The Agenda!
If you want your call to end on time, it’s crucial that you stick to the agenda, and remind your callers what the agenda says. It’s all too easy for conversations to spiral off into other topics. The agenda gives everyone a meeting point to come back to when things get out fo control….so stick to it!
Use Your Interface Tools To Control The Call
A simple phone call doesn’t offer nearly as much control as a web-based conferencing platform. From your interface, you can mute, remove, or even block callers. You can also change the volume, send files, and in some cases, share your computer screen with the group.
It’s your call; take control with your interface, stick to the agenda, and be confident in your ability to plan, and you’ll be hosting like the pros in no time. Good luck on your first conference call!