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January 7, 2021

Seasonal

Getting ready for virtual meetings

As most of you will know by now, virtual meetings and events, where visitors attend online rather than in-person, have really come in to their own during the coronavirus pandemic. All sorts of virtual events, from 1:1 meetings, group chats, webinars, exhibitions and trade shows are now available online for people all over the world to attend.

Not only do they maintain communication during this period of isolation, but they can be extremely effective in building relationships with people we know and don’t yet know.

But, in this busy market, where the term ‘Zoomed Out’ is widely heard, it is now important not just to create a virtual meeting, but to create a great virtual meeting that people will remember. 

To help you get started, here’s 10 creative virtual meeting ideas:

1. Be prepared: get a virtual background that reinforces your company brand, not too strong and overpowering, we can help you create something just right for you and test it out before you use it.

2. Make notes: Listen, clarify, summerise, reflect and share. So few people do this or are too busy to confirm in writing the details of the meeting. Confirming what you heard is a signal to your client that you are deeply interested and have listened to all points. It helps the confidence and trust in yourselves.

3. Record the meeting: This has the same effect as point 2 above but you need to ask permission from your client to record. Recording without permission is not allowed. We prefer to not record but to write up notes as it proves we were actively listening, and this leads to trust.

4. Active listening: ‘Active listening‘ means, as its name suggests, actively listening. That is fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker.

Active listening involves listening with all senses.  As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening – otherwise the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.

5. Send out a pre-meeting pack: Check out these ideas (www.reynoldspress.co.uk/blog/virtual-meeting-pack) of low-cost personalised packs to go to your client before the meeting. It will make an impression, it is fun, the client is not likely to miss the meeting. It warms the meeting up and is a conversation starter. Sending branded items to clients and potential clients means they are always reminded of your conversation.

6. Book the meeting in advance and set an advance warning timer. You will get a message when the client has accepted your invitation.

7. Reminders: Message or text them 30 mins beforehand just to check they have not forgotten.

8. Plan the outcome of the meeting: What do you want to achieve? You spend as much time planning the meeting as being in it (if not more).

9. Research: What can you find out beforehand that can make the meeting easier and more natural? All the information you need is available online, you just need to allow yourself the time to research it.

10. Follow-up: End the meeting with an actionable date, with active listening it is possible to find a point you can follow up about. Confirm this in your written summery and diarise it.

11. Enjoy!

Virtual meetings don’t have to be boring or nervous – talk to the team at Reynolds who will help make your meetings fun again.

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