Daily Buzz: Avoid Online Meeting Madness

How to decide who speaks—and who goes next—during virtual meetings. Also: Pick the right association management software on your first try.

Meetings are most productive when everyone has the appropriate amount of time to speak. Virtual meetings are no different, but the digital setting means hosts need a different approach to managing the conversation.

“Determining who goes next during an online meeting discussion poses additional challenges to those of a face-to-face meeting,” says Adrian Segar of Conferences That Work. “That’s because we don’t have all the signaling options that are possible when all participants are physically together.”

In an online setting, a round-robin meeting won’t work. Instead, have the meeting’s facilitator choose who speaks next.

“For a small group, the facilitator’s memory may be sufficient to keep track of who has spoken and who hasn’t,” Segar says. “Alternatively, meeting platforms generally allow the host to display a list of participants, and the facilitator can use a screenshot of this list to invite and track who goes next.”

If everyone in the meeting has a webcam, the facilitator can also have participants raise their hands when they have something to say. Then, the facilitator says aloud who will speak next. Just don’t forget mobile users.

“If you have a few people on phones, the facilitator can check in with them periodically, asking if there’s something they want to contribute,” Segar says.

Meeting platforms such as Zoom even have a “raise hand” button that alerts the host.

AMS Selection for First-Timers

When choosing new association management software, you might not know where to turn. To get a clearer picture, the AMS selection process should begin with information gathering, says Brian Smith, business development representative at Protech Associates.

Pick a few colleagues to create an AMS selection committee—they’ll be the ones leading the charge. From there, work to gather information on top AMS vendors and what your association needs from the software.

“Have stakeholders from each key department add their system ‘must haves,’ and use the list to help narrow your field of options,” Smith says.

Other Links of Note

Have an audit on the horizon? Blue Avocado breaks down what nonprofits need to know.

To turn your business idea into a startup, you need a clear and realistic plan, says Martin Zwilling oin Business Insider.

Looking for new ways to host virtual events? Event Manager identifies 10 cool ideas from around the event industry.

(GaudiLab/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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