Choosing a Virtual Meeting Platform
With over 90% of America ordered to shelter in place, remote employees everywhere are using web conferencing tools to meet and collaborate. If you haven’t chosen a platform for your Board or Association, it’s time to start looking.
For the broadest variety of features, improved reliability, security, and better customer service, start your search with the industry leaders:
Several of these services offer a free trial period or a free-to-use tier with certain restrictions.
Take advantage of these to test the services and see which works best for your team.
Here at Deeley Insurance Group, we use Zoom for internal meetings and external presentations.
Meeting Your Group’s Requirements
You’ll need screen sharing capabilities, where a host can present a document to the group. The host should be able to mute everyone. Attendees should be able to ‘raise their hand’ to indicate they have a question.
Consider the following to help choose the tool that best fits your needs.
- Do all your team members have computers and broadband access?
- What is the maximum number of participants you’ll have in a single meeting?
- How long will your meetings last? (30 minutes? 2 hours?)
- Do you need to be able to record the meeting as a video, for viewing later?
- Do you need cross-platform support – Smartphones, Windows PCs, Macs, tablets?
- Do you need a private or group chat feature or a Q&A area for guests to type questions during the presentation?
- Do you need multi-monitor support or whiteboarding?
- Is this a temporary solution, or do you foresee using virtual meetings from now on?
- What is your budget?
Review your governing documents regarding recommendations and requirements for conducting meetings. Consult your association legal counsel before purchasing and implementing any web conference tool.
Not all states will recognize a virtual meeting for a condominium association. If your bylaws don’t specifically allow it, it may not be recognized because not everyone has access to the Internet. So if you choose to hold virtual meetings, you may need to ratify any decisions at a future meeting (if the state decides your virtual meeting does not fulfill the requirements of the annual or board meeting.)
If you have a management company, ask them first! They may already have an account with a certain web conference platform, and they can help set up and facilitate the meeting.
Making a Connection
Over the past decade, online meeting tools have evolved to become fun and functional. The recent surge of interest in these services could bring more participants to your Board or annual meetings. Keep your members engaged by encouraging participation during the welcome and the owner comment section of your meeting. As we help each other through these difficult times, it’s important to keep your community informed and connected.