Virtual town hall meetings are an excellent communication means for your employees.
With respect to a virtual space, a town hall meeting lets you connect with different employees of an organization residing in any part of the world. They are hosted by CEOs or some other senior officials to deliver particular updates and news or to simply give a general forum platform for interaction between the employees and the management.
There are several ways in which virtual town hall meetings can be performed or conducted. They provide a platform for appreciating best performers, so that everyone is on the same page about new drives, and providing employees access to C-suite officials. It is an effective method to promote, enhance, and develop your corporate lifestyle and strengthen your collective.
Of course, converting an in-person town hall meeting into a virtual event might be a bit challenging. If you are planning a town hall meeting or possibly even presenting in it—keeping your employees engaged throughout the meeting would be your priority.
To gain more insights on how to make your next virtual town hall meeting a remarkable experience for your employees, let’s review some important tips:
1. Plan a meeting agenda before the virtual meeting
Drafting a meeting agenda is considered one of the most vital components of hosting a fruitful and productive virtual town hall meeting. The meeting manager will use this agenda as a pattern for running the town hall on point and moving forward.
When presented to attendees in advance, an excellent meeting agenda leads to relevant expectations so that the audience has a fair understanding of the goals and the points that will be discussed at the meeting.
2. Choose the right platform
Once you have decided to host a virtual town hall meeting, make sure to choose a virtual event platform that best suits your business needs.
Ask for a demo from the chosen virtual event platform to have a better understanding of the features and the functionalities. With various advancements in recent times, it is important to pick the event platform carefully.
The motive is to create an effective and impressive virtual meeting that would replicate the experience of an in-person town hall meeting.
3. Begin your virtual town hall meeting with an icebreaker activity
When you are conducting a virtual town hall meeting, you would obviously want your employees to remain actively engaged and connected with your message.
To grab the attention of your employees right at the beginning, consider commencing the virtual town hall meeting with a short icebreaker activity.
For example, you could ask questions like “What is that one thing achieved by the employees in the last week that they can take pride in”? This will not only allow the employees to engage but also facilitate two-way communication.
4. Keep the process of joining the virtual meeting simple and smooth
A town hall meeting requires a significant portion of the workday, so you have to ensure that the joining process is simple and convenient.
For instance, don’t consume your employees’ limited time by asking them to set up meeting apps, fill in login details, and then wait for the virtual meeting to start. Rather, choose a video meeting platform that’s prompt and simple to join.
Ideally, you would like to determine a virtual event platform that doesn’t need any downloads or set up to begin. All your employees simply need to click on an invitation link to join the virtual town hall meeting.
This eliminates the annoyance of a tiresome meeting joining process and also assures that attendees join on time so the meeting begins according to the plan.
5. Celebrate company wins
Be it a shout-out from other employees, a quarterly award for outstanding performance, or an appreciation for exhibiting organization values, employee appreciation is an efficient way to promote attendee engagement during town hall meetings and reinforce that each employee’s contributions are appreciated.
Think of devoting a portion of each town hall meeting to employee recognition. This will not only motivate the employees but also drive them to work better.
6. Include breaks in between the sessions
If you wish to have the attention of your employees at all times, it is necessary to keep shorter sessions or include breaks between the sessions. We understand that sitting at the same place or staring at the screen for long hours can be tiresome.
Hence, for long virtual meetings, ensure you plan proper breaks so that audiences don’t have to avoid any important content to restore themselves. Breaks are meant for both attendees and the organizer. And this is how you can expect everyone to stay connected and focused.
How often should you align the breaks? The best strategy is to keep a break mostly before an important session, so you know that the employees have refreshed themselves and the message is delivered correctly.
7. Use different speakers
Having the same speaker for the entire duration of the town hall meeting can be monotonous. To add an interesting element, consider keeping different presenters from various departments and administration levels.
Try to incorporate at least one new speaker during every virtual town hall meeting. This enables different viewpoints to be represented, along with creating a more accurate understanding of what’s happening across the entire company.
8. Promote engagement through Q&A sessions
Virtual town hall meetings have to be a two-way path. Once you have shared your business news, updates, and future goals, provide your employees with the chance to ask questions and interact directly with your leaders and senior officials.
Make sure to include some Q&A time after every speaker’s session. Also, not each attendee would be comfortable interacting in front of the entire company. Hence, consider including features like networking tables and B2B meetings scheduler to offer various options like 1:1 or group discussions to interact more pleasantly.
This is an excellent opportunity for introverts to feel connected even within the virtual space. For example, you can ask people to share their opinions via video, audio, or chat features.
9. Implement raised hands feature
Getting prompt feedback from all the employees during a virtual town hall meeting can be challenging and time-consuming. With your virtual event platform’s raised hand feature, employees can simply click a button to use the raised hand or thumbs up feature to show whether they support a particular proposal.
Calmly questioning your employees using the raise hand feature is much better than 100+ employees importing at once.
Moreover, during the Q&A sessions of the town hall, employees can use this feature to ask questions or answer someone else’s questions if they are aware of the answer. This promotes engagement not just between the employees but also between the employees and the management.
Games are an important tool to keep your attendees involved and interested in your virtual event. Including games like spin the wheel, crosswords, word games, etc helps add a fun element to your virtual meeting. This also promotes healthy competition among the employees.
To make it more exciting, you can include a leaderboard challenge, that imparts a score to each participant based on their victory, and at the end, the highest scorer can take away attractive awards and prizes.
11. Schedule Live Performances
Performances can modify the virtual town hall meeting experience. You can hire a performer or talent agency that will help lighten up the mood of your employees.
Whether you need a singer, magician, stand-up comedian, or some other kind of live entertainment. The advantage of these live performances can be a scenario of virtual meet and greet that lets the artist communicate with the employees.
Another approach to add an element of live performances is through an open mic session. Let the employees showcase their talent during open mic sessions. Allot 5-10 minutes for each employee to sing a song, crack a joke, or recite poetry.
12. Leverage the right event technology
One of the fastest methods that can intervene in a successfully running virtual town hall meeting is the occurrence of technical challenges or the inadequate knowledge of several video conferencing features.
Before you begin the virtual meeting, perform a dry-run to ensure the proper functioning of the video and audio features, perform various system checks, make sure you are able to share the screen with others, and have sufficient bandwidth to conduct or join the video call.
Also, by any means, if you face some trivial technical glitches, ensure that you are already equipped with functionalities or troubleshooting tools to continue the execution of the virtual meeting.
Finding the ideal meeting time when each employee is available can be a little difficult, particularly for organizations with remote employees and offices spread across different time zones.
For people who were not able to participate in the live town hall meeting, you can just record the entire meeting and share a link of the same. This will keep the entire organization on the same page; everyone would be aware of the future goals and the current drives of the company.
14. Live stream
When you plan to include hundreds or thousands of participants, live streaming allows you to enhance the experience.
Broadcasting a video stream for up to 10,000 attendees is as manageable as sending a link that the audience can use to get connected. You can also facilitate text-based inquiries during the live stream that would let the attendees type their questions rather than interfering with the presenter.
15. Include features like signature wall
This is a vital component that lets the audiences leave their remarks, thoughts, opinions, appreciation, etc over a signature wall that is noticeable by other participants at the event.
A virtual town hall meeting can incorporate much more than just sharing company updates and news. Even with the virtual space, you can use virtual town hall meetings to keep your employees excited regarding the company’s purpose and goals and to glorify their victories and accomplishments.
With the best tools and approaches, you can keep your next virtual town hall meeting quite interesting and informative to keep your employees engaged right from the beginning till the virtual event ends.
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