Online meetings are a potentially valuable way of getting wider participation from the public, as they can help avoid issues like travel time & cost as inhibitors. However they come with their own challenges – dealing with technical challenges for participants, lack of ability to do self-propelled mingling, cannot offer people nibbles / drinks! Preparing your meeting structure is therefore vital to overcome / work around these differences.
|You understand the need to publicise online meetings differently from “meatspace” ones, and the basic things you need to have in place to ensure a minimally successful meeting.||You can develop an online-suitable agenda, ensure it’s advertised in good time in the right channels, and (co-) facilitate the meeting as needed.||You understand the reasons when offline vs online meetings work best and are able to explain your reasoning. You can combine offline and online meetings via clever agenda design and facilitation.||Your meetings are so good, people just turn up just based on hearsay. Even online meetings leave everyone enlightened and satisfied.|
Element Overview Essay
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There are various causes of failing to advertise online meetings effectively.
One is divided responsibility – there needs ideally to be one or two people who have that as a job. And it’s agreed when they’re going to do it back in the lead up.
Number two, starting early enough, I think a week is a bare minimum to get a good turnout unless you’re going to do regular meetings.
I think number three, you need to make it funny and not just factual; you need to explain to people the benefits of why they should attend, and how it’s not going to be like most online meetings.
The consequences of not doing this well are blatantly obvious, you get a small turn out. Small can be fine, but bigger is good too…
What might you do?
One trick would be to make a really short video 30 seconds “Hi, I’m x. We’re having an online meeting next week because XXX you should come because XXX email us for the details.”
Someone you know, not the usual suspects and then that becomes your video and then your email and Instagram and everything else goes from there.