Online meetings have recently become a mainstay in our professional lives. And with many companies developing long-term plans to keep some or all of their workforce working remotely part-time or full-time, online meetings will continue to be a focal point of business operations. Online meetings come in many varieties, distinguished by duration, purpose, structure, and several other factors. But what are the basics of online meetings and how can you use them to keep your organization moving smoothly?
Online Meetings, Explained
Broadly speaking, an online meeting involves any two or more people communicating with each other using online tools. In a business sense, the phrase usually refers to online video meetings at a prearranged time for a predetermined purpose. You can use online tools to conduct the same kinds of meetings you would otherwise conduct in person. You can brainstorm, share information, train others, and even socialize with your co-workers online.
Online video meetings are also useful for customer-facing activities. You can set up meetings with sales prospects to pitch your products and services to them, answer any questions they may have, and provide customer service. Incorporating online outreach into your sales strategies can help you reach and convert consumers into customers in markets that may be otherwise inaccessible.
Online Video Meeting Software
The most effective online video meetings are similar to effective in-person meetings. You want to be able to:
  • Share information and documents easily with one another
  • Incorporate nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions and body language
  • Moderate your shared discussion
  • Keep attendees engaged
  • Be assured that your meeting is private and secure
  • Hold a meeting for as long as is necessary, without interruption
Just as in real life, you want to be able to hear and see your co-workers. And with videoconferencing, you also want an app like BlueJeans Meetings that is easy for your co-workers to use, regardless of whether they're using their desktop, laptop, or smartphone.
How to Run Online Meetings
Running a meeting with BlueJeans is simple. The application offers both a Google Calendar Add-on and a Microsoft Outlook Add-in that allows you to schedule videoconferences from the calendar you use. And by integrating your BlueJeans desktop or smartphone app with your calendar, you'll be able to see upcoming videoconferences alongside the rest of your schedule.
When you've got your meeting agenda drafted, and the time and date selected, you'll see an option to add BlueJeans conferencing details to a new appointment. Schedule your meeting and invite your co-workers. When it's time to start, simply click on the link in the calendar invite, then select the green Join Meeting button.
If you've scheduled the meeting, you'll have moderator privileges by default. As the moderator, you'll be able to record the meeting, mute participants as necessary, and control access by locking the meeting to new attendees or dropping participants as needed. You, as well as other attendees, will be able to share screens, adjust mic and camera settings, and chat with other guests to keep information and ideas flowing so that your business can continue to operate smoothly.
You can do all these things from your laptop or desktop. But if you're in the office, you can also launch your meeting using your firm's SIP conference system. You can livestream your meeting in your office conference room to your remote colleagues easily and effectively using BlueJeans Rooms. This way, you can keep everyone on your team on the same page.
Moreover, you'll be able to keep connected with your clients. You can schedule secure online meetings using BlueJeans that your clients can join by phone or by videoconference once they download the app from the Google Play or Apple App Store. No matter the distance, you can provide your clients with a personal touch using BlueJeans.
Tips for Running Effective Online Meetings
Given the popularity of online business meetings, your colleagues may now have several of them on any given day. To make sure yours is effective, make sure to:
  • Draft an agenda that includes a set of desired and achievable meeting outcomes
  • Invite only those necessary to achieve your meeting outcomes
  • Limit the time for the meeting
  • Periodically share how much time is left, to keep attendees focused
  • Redirect off-topic conversations as necessary
Of course, an effective online meeting relies on secure, high-quality videoconferencing software, like BlueJeans. Contact us today for more information or try a sign up for a free trial.