Technology and their trends constantly change and develop. This makes it is very difficult for people or businesses to stay ahead of the curve. There are some tips however, that can help you keep up. Meetings and events make up a big part of business and communications, whether internal or external. What is often forgotten though is the accompanying cost and ROI of those meetings. Strategic meetings management can play a crucial role in how your business will grow and expand, based on the evaluation of efficiencies and spending for example.
Consideration and use of these technologies can add benefits not only to the financial savings, but also to the impact companies can have on the environment.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you are planning your meetings or events.
1. Social Networking
There are several different social networking sites out there, and what you use will depend on what your desired results are. The two most popular sites are Facebook and Twitter. Both of these sites let you connect with your audience in unique ways. Not only will you be able to keep everyone up to date on what is going on, you will also have a direct way to interact with your customers. You can even run special deals and offers for those that follow you on these sites. The capabilities within these sites are forever expanding to meet the needs of its users; for instance, Facebook currently has enabled the ability to host ‘group chats’ in their instant messaging service. As well as this, they have signed a deal with Skype allowing for conference-style video calling.
2. Know your Audience
Deciding whether you arrange an in-person meeting or a virtual (i.e. video conference) meeting can often depend on the ability of each party to attend a meeting, or indeed travel to a destination.
There are many instances where meeting online, virtually, gets the job done and is still personal, particularly if a relationship has already been cultivated using the various tools and networking platforms available. By allowing people to access you in more than one way, you will be able to expand your reach as well as speed up the meetings, ensuring the most efficient option is chosen, with the highest possible ROI.
3. Use Videos
In this day and age of technology, the consumer’s needs have changed, as have their desired methods of information digestion. Many people have become more accustomed to seeing videos online instead of just reading a wall of text. These videos can be entertaining or informational, depending on what your desired goal is. While it may seem like a bigger problem, the cost of technology has continued to decline. This means that you can create high-quality images and videos at a very affordable price. As mentioned, Facebook has partnered with Skype, a deal which is sure to develop and allow for further capabilities that can be utilized not only by individuals but by large and even professional groups. Video conferencing for example, can go some way to re-personalizing meetings. As well as this, by allowing each member or attendee to be seen, participants are more likely to pay attention, whereas on the phone or via instant messaging, participants can feel uninvolved or lose interest in the content.
4. Do Not Underestimate Smart Phones
Smart phones let people access the internet no matter where they are. While web browsing is convenient, it gives you a way to access data in a quick and efficient manner. You may create apps that allow you to plan meetings or send information quickly. You can even use these phones to take votes on ideas and concepts quickly. This means that you will not have to call a meeting just to hear everyone’s opinion on an idea. Since there are so many phone carriers that provide online services, it would be a waste of resources if you did not use these devices.
5. Think about the Global Impact
When you start using technology for meetings, your reach can increase dramatically. This can be both good and bad, depending on how it is used. While technology can be seen as impersonal to some, it can also go some way in to decreasing the carbon footprint of companies caused by constant traveling.
What must not be forgotten however, is that while there are many technologies available that can aid in quickening meetings, physical meetings and events are still very much an important part of reflecting a company’s image as well as a powerful way to put across a message or information.
There are strategic meetings management services available that can help companies evaluate the best options for them; whether a physical or virtual meeting would be best, and also which methods and decisions to make upon choosing. Strategic meeting management programs also offer evaluation of the ROI of meetings and events, ensuring they run more efficiently and save an expense that companies previously found difficult to calculate.
This post was written by Chris Philp who has written for a number of business and environment blogs on behalf of Maxvantage, specialists in strategic meetings management.