Thanks to technology, businesses today can work far more flexibly than in the past. Meetings are a great example of this. Conferencing solutions provide organizations with access to dynamic tools that help people to get the most out of business meetings. Figuring out the option that’s best suited to your needs can be a bit more complicated. Here’s a simple run-through of what you need to know.
These questions should help you narrow down the best conferencing solution for your needs.
- • How many participants does the conferencing solution permit? It makes clear sense to choose an option that matches the number of participants in your meetings. There’s no point in overdoing it, but you should consider flexibility and scalability. Things might change, as your business grows or adopts different ways of working, so a scalable option is the best choice.
- • How easy is it to use? Meetings are all about communication. A system that’s challenging for users can even be a barrier to effective communications. If you’re also using a mobile version, make sure that’s also easy to operate.
- • Compatibiity. Unless you’re planning a wide-ranging overhaul, look for an option that is easy to integrate into your current IT infrastructure. Ideally you don’t just want it to work: you want it up and running smoothly as soon as possible.
- • What sort of meetings do you need it for? Not all meetings are the same and not all companies have the same business communications needs. Conferencing solutions are used for purposes as diverse as company-wide briefings, webinars and lectures. The features of the solution you choose should fit with the purposes you need it for.
- • Does it have other applications too? If you’re going to invest in a conferencing solution, it makes economic sense to get one that you can use in a variety of ways. Recording and screen sharing webinars, for example, will provide you with a business resource that you can use many times, in other contexts.
- • Stay on track. If you go into a meeting with clear aims and objectives then it’s much easier to manage participants and presenters. Having an agenda and sticking to it can be crucial.
- • Know the boundaries. Not everything can be covered in a single meeting, so resist trying to cover everything in one go. Make sure that questions and issues arising are useful, and don’t send the discussion off sideways. It’s just a waste of everyone’s time. When side issues come up, it’s often best to schedule a separate meeting to deal with them, to be attended only by those who need to be there.
- • Keep the attendee list lean. Effective meetings don’t aim to accommodate everyone – just the people who are actively involved in the matter or problem. To help keep discussions on track don’t invite people who can’t contribute directly.