Watch out Silicon Valley, there is a new group of virtual gatherers in town! From small, collaborative style meetings to large, full-scale board meetings, Associations across all demographics are effectively using virtual meetings to accomplish their goals. Because of this widespread success, many of our Campbell Managed Properties are looking to use virtual meetings as a tool for future use. Zoom, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, Skype, and FreeConferenceCall.com are just a few of the virtual meeting options available.
Here are a few reasons Associations are digging virtual meetings:
- Flexibility: Host a meeting with audio and video capabilities or simply hold a teleconference with audio only. Set permissions to your liking to better suit your specific needs.
- Affordability: Many existing virtual meetings software’s have free options that may already accomplish what you are looking for. Affordable upgrades and add on features can help better accomplish your meeting goals.
- Efficiency: With little interruption and distraction, Associations have had some of their most productive and shortest meetings ever through the virtual format. Recordings of the meeting are easy to access afterwards.
- Simplicity: Most people have access to a computer, tablet, or smart phone and virtual meetings have become increasingly easy to join through these devices. A participant can always simply dial in to the meeting by phone if preferred. 55+ communities have hosted meetings with hundreds of participants with no reported technological issues from residents.
Through polling during some of our recent webinars, around 50% of the Associations who participated had not hosted a virtual meeting yet. If you fall into this category and are considering doing so, here are some best practices to consider:
- Determine your specific needs and what you are trying to accomplish during the meetings. Be sure to get a plan with any necessary addons conducive to your specific needs.
- Identify a host and virtual meeting expert. Whether it is a Board Member, Manager, or a representative from your Management Company, determine who will be the lead.
- Practice! Hold a practice session with the Board ahead of the meeting to make sure everyone is comfortable with all the features of the meeting.
- Clearly communicate the meeting information ahead of time so people know what to expect. Provide clear instructions with examples. Go over the features of the meeting and how it will run at the start of the meeting.
If you are intrigued at the thought of a virtual meeting, reach out to your manager or management company for more information. Having already hosted multiple virtual meetings, your management company will be able to provide specific advice and insights based on your specific situation to ensure an enjoyable experience for all who attend.
If you decide to continue with virtual meetings beyond the COVID-19 crisis, you may end up with some of the Board Members and Owners present and some of them calling / logging-in remotely. If this happens, you will likely need:
- A public address system, microphone with speakers, so that people that are remote will be able to hear what is happening. Here is a link to an inexpensive solution that works well!
- A speaker phone, so that board members that are present can speak and be easily heard by others. Here is a link to an inexpensive solution that works well!
by Buddy Tight, Campbell Property Management