Meetings in the business world are changing to increase productivity, and the events of the last two years are speeding this along. Are you keeping up?

Meetings in large rooms, PowerPoint presentations with multiple slides, a cast of thousands seated around a long boardroom table… meeting styles of the past are quickly becoming outdated.

Even before the current pandemic, the way we meet to communicate and collaborate was evolving.

How are meetings changing and what can you take away from these trends to ensure you get the utmost productivity out of each session?

Virtual meetings are much more common

  • With the increase in working from home it's common to offer a video communications option such as Zoom, for meetings.
  • Geographical location is no longer a barrier to participation. Many events are moving online and are available to a wider audience.
  • Webcasts are an accepted way of informing and learning in business and education.
  • The need to move meetings online at a moment’s notice makes easy-to-access video conferencing facilities a workplace essential.

Take Aways:

  • Provide easy access to technology to connect with virtual team members or take advantage of online events.
  • Provide both formal and informal meeting spaces - purposefully designed with video conferencing facilities.

Meetings are shorter and more timebound

  • In the competitive world of business today, the philosophy behind the Agile Methodology, originating in software development, is being more widely adopted in a variety of organisations.
  • Agile gave us terms such as StandUp Meeting and Scrum. Characterised by the need to move nimbly, meetings are focused on efficiency and adhering to set timeframes.
  • The nature of brainstorming and planning means that tools such as whiteboards, pinboards, adhesive note pads and flipcharts need to be quickly accessible as required.

Take Aways:

  • Investigate methodologies that improve meeting productivity. Set guidelines and boundaries around meeting times and formats.
  • Provide your teams with the full range of tools they need to come together quickly and effectively – everything in one place and ready to go.

Greater use of multimedia

  • Using multimedia tools in presentations has become the norm, and research has proven the effectiveness of this type of communication for deeper learning (Mayer, 2003). Combining the benefits of text, audio, graphics and video aids in gaining and holding the attention of your audience.

Take Aways:

  • Provide access to the tools and technology needed to deliver a successful multimedia presentation – including video and audio with appropriate connectivity and access.
  • Make sure employees are trained in how to use multimedia tools effectively.

Mobility is essential

  • Whether brainstorming with a colleague, gathering the team together, or presenting online, the right tools need to be accessible.
  • Meeting locations are no longer limited to formal boardrooms and often take place on-the-fly.
  • Audience size can vary from two people online through to a large group in a town-hall type setting. Workplaces need to cater to meetings of varying sizes.

Take Aways:

  • Do you have enough formal meeting space or can you make the best use of available space by easily bringing together tools, furniture and people?
  • Can you meet without disturbing those working nearby?
  • Have you provided access for those who are physically present and those that might join online?
  • Tools for collaboration and communication need to be easy to move between locations.

Solutions for more productive meetings:

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