Posted on Apr 28, 2021
Six Keys To Avoid “Zoom Fatigue” While Conducting Online Meetings That Engage Attendees and Build Professional Bonds
During the pandemic, many companies found ways to use Zoom, Skype, Teams, or other video tools to conduct meetings over the internet.
But how do you turn a crucial two-day working meeting with 40 geographically diverse agencies and organizations into a successful internet event? And how do you freshen a static program lineup to stimulate the teambuilding needed to get dozens of agencies cooperating in public-awareness and behavior-changing campaigns?
Global-5 Outreach and Media Consultant Shelby Villatoro found the answers as she helped plan and manage three large virtual workshops. One critical insight set the stage for success at the multiday online events.
“When people meet for several hours a day over the internet, it’s easy for them to lose focus or interest,” Villatoro said. “They stare at the same background and speakers for long stretches with little chance for the natural interaction that strengthens professional relationships.”
To keep the meetings fresh and attendees actively involved, Villatoro designed several strategies to:
- Vary the background with visually appealing infographics and live demos that enhance the discussion.
- Encourage participants to keep their cameras on and allow them to switch on their own microphones when they wish to engage.
- Create opportunities for attendees to use the question-asking and chat features of the shared software.
- Offer surprising and fun quizzes, real-time polls of current discussions, and social coffee breaks for those who want to chat casually and hang out virtually during intervals.
- Plan for breakout discussions with separate, smaller online groups to encourage engagement.
- Remind attendees they can provide feedback that will be used for continuous improvement.
“During the pandemic, it’s vital for companies and coalitions to find ways to maintain their sense of teamwork and to ensure ongoing cooperation and success,” said Matt Hamill, Global-5’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.