This blog is part three of our Building Better Meetings blog series. To learn more about how organizations can host better meetings check out Part 1: 4 Types of Meetings to Avoid in 2022 and Part 2: Why Your Meetings Should Be More Like Power Naps.

If you’ve been following our blog series on how to host better meetings, you may have noticed a recurring theme: smaller is (generally) better. But while intimate meetings are conducive to collaboration and innovation, there are occasions when you need to get the message out to everyone in the company. 

Perhaps you’re revealing quarterly results or updating employees about hybrid work plans. Maybe the CEO wants to take the pulse of the workforce. Whether you have 20 employees or 2,000, you’ll need an efficient way to get your entire staff up to speed. Whatever the occasion, there are a few ways to tell if a high-volume call (or two) is in order.

How do you know when you need a large meeting? 

  • The topic is for education, not discussion.
  • It affects all or most of your employees.
  • The information can’t be summed up in an email.

You may find it harder to manage and run a meeting with many attendees, but if you’re armed with the right information and communications technology, your large meetings can be just as engaging and productive as your smaller ones.

Want to Learn More about Building Better Meetings? Find out which types of meetings to leave behind in 2022. > 

How to Turn a Big Meeting into a Big Success

Here are a few achievable dos and don’ts for effectively hosting high-headcount meetings.

DO keep it simple. There’s a limit to how much information we as humans can process in a single sitting. While you’re likely calling a big meeting because you’ve got an important subject to introduce, try to keep the call focused on just two or three new pieces of information. If your topic is more complicated, it’s best to split it up into multiple sessions to keep everything easily digestible.

DON’T let it drag on too long. The longer you’re on a call, the more likely everyone’s attention is to wander. It’s important to acknowledge the time taken out of attendees’ days to sit in on the meeting and respect that they have other tasks to handle. Limiting the length to 20-30 minutes will help keep everyone focused on the presentation and allow them to get on with their day.

DO make sure everyone has equal access. Whether you’re hosting an in-person, remote or hybrid meeting, it’s important to make sure that everyone has an equitable experience. From dedicated video conference rooms with optimized video and sound for remote attendees to cloud apps that can be used on any device, there are lots of solutions to keep the whole crowd feeling involved.

DON’T require 100 percent attendance. In an ideal world, calendars would line up so everyone has open blocks of time exactly when you need it. Unfortunately, the real world usually means you’ll likely have some absentees from any given meeting. That’s okay! Recording sessions and offering them on-demand will help keep the entire company up to date without needing to find gaps in hundreds of schedules. If you’re splitting the topic into multiple segments, this is a great way to keep everything organized so everyone has access when they’re ready.

DO make use of collaboration functions. Most unified communications services have features that allow viewers to engage with the host and each other. Distribute the agenda in advance and use the file share function to drop relevant documents or links to attendees during key points in the presentation. Built-in features like chat logs let people feel engaged by asking questions as they come up, without distracting from the flow of the meeting. These concerns can be addressed during a break in the presentation, at the end of the call or in a follow-up email.

DON’T let distractions get in the way. If you have a hundred people on your call, they’re going to have a hundred other things on their minds – and probably more! Do your best to minimize any technical difficulties that might take away from the purpose of the call. Turning off attendees’ videos while presenter mode is enabled will help ease lag and reduce the chance that someone’s cat will go viral. With automated updates and continuously synched files, cloud-based communications solutions mean you’ll never risk outdated systems wreaking havoc on your meetings.

DO keep the conversation going. The end goal of a meeting is not just to have a meeting. You’ll need to keep the information fresh in everyone’s minds, so make sure to send a follow-up email with a link to the recording as well as answers to any questions that might have arisen during the presentation. This will keep everything easily accessible both for attendees and those who couldn’t make the original call. And if you need to schedule a follow-up meeting, simply keep following these dos and don’ts to make your next call just as successful.

Hybrid meetings – large and small – are destined to become the new norm. Mitel is here to help you make the most of them. Want to learn more about how to host better calls in 2022 and beyond? Catch up on past posts and stay tuned to find out how to choose the best communications provider for your needs. 

get great content like this weekly
Ready to talk to sales? Contact us.