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Five Top Tips To Engage Virtual Meeting Members

Marc Crawford
Posted byMarc Crawford
on 10/11/20 02:28 PM

Marc Crawford is the CEO and Co-Founder of Educational Measures and sets the strategic direction for the company. Marc was recognized in 2012 as a Top 5 Most Influential Young Professional by ColoradoBiz magazine and is Six Sigma certified. Marc is an avid runner and he also enjoys designing and making his kids' halloween costumes every year.

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Five recommendations to make sure your remote audience is as engaged as your in-person audience.

Meeting planners are scrambling to pivot in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Just as the industry was starting to test remote and hybrid (some attendees are in person and some are virtual) events, most in-person events were canceled, and planners were forced to come up with new ways to bring audiences together.

In most industries, especially life sciences, meetings must go on. Accommodating travel schedules, room temperatures and catering for Investigator and CME meetings has been replaced by one key challenge: Audience engagement. Leveraging technology to keep audiences engaged has transitioned from a “nice to do” to “must do” to hold successful meetings - no matter where the audience is located.

Planning for meetings that will be in-person, virtual, or both (hybrid) is underway. Here are five recommendations to make sure your remote audience is as engaged as your in-person audience:

Presentation length and content: Most people can pay attention to a presentation for about 20 minutes. High stakes meetings are rarely that short, so make sure your plan includes a lot of audience interaction. This is probably a new way of developing presentation content and may take longer to prepare, but it is worthwhile!

Polls, Q&A and gamification: Asking the audience to interact with the presenter every 20 minutes or so will help keep them focused on your screen or your presenter. Using the same platform to manage remote and in-person audiences will make it easier to engage everyone. Learn how to run the best polls, encourage questions for Q&A sessions throughout the presentation, and gamify your content.

Presenter preparedness: We have all experienced a novice remote presenter. Rehearsing with the technology that will be used on “game day” will make sure the presenter is comfortable with the medium, is well lit, can be heard, and knows how to engage with their audience.

Keep audience focused on your presentation: Empower your audience to take notes and save the slides they find important, without leaving the screen when they’re virtual or in person. Let them move backwards to review recent slides in case they want to quickly review something that was just presented. And, keep the presentation deck in the same window as the presenter. Same goes for polls and Q&A: Don’t ask your audience to open a new window or switch to a different device to engage with you!

Monday Morning Quarterbacking: Fresh insights are always discovered when your team studies the results of the presentations. For example: Were polls answered correctly? If not, perhaps new material wasn’t successfully delivered. What can the Q&A tell you about what your audience wants to learn? What can you learn from when engagement picked up or dropped off?

Virtual and hybrid meetings will probably be with us for a while. Make sure you can connect your experts with audiences in any location in a meaningful, measurable way. We have helped life sciences companies run meetings with happy, engaged audiences for years. Check out this video to learn how.

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