In the era of remote and hybrid workplaces, firms increasingly struggle to maintain a positive corporate culture and to keep the geographically scattered workforce motivated and committed to common goals. Virtual town hall meetings are a wonderful tool for communicating results, accomplishments, and changes while also giving employees a sense of belonging to a community. Here is a step-by-step guide on organizing online town hall meetings:
Pre-Planning Points of Interest
You want to make sure that a virtual town hall meeting goes as smoothly as possible because it can take up a considerable portion of the workday. Here are our four starting suggestions:
Select the technology: Make a shortlist of the programs you’ll use to stream the virtual town hall. A video conferencing app, screen sharing software, chat messaging app, and polling app are what you desire in an ideal world. All of these functionalities are combined into a single suite by platforms.
Count the people: Learn how many staff in total will be present at the meeting. You can then adjust the schedule and any team-building activities as necessary.
Be Aware of Various Time Zones: Choose a time that works for everyone and/or record the meeting if your company has a distributed team that is spread out across several different countries.
Create a Team: Having a moderator or MC and tech support during the session is helpful. Employee questions will be queued up for the moderator, who will also lead the discussion. All of your employees will be able to participate without any problems thanks to the IT team.
Specify the purpose of the meeting
Every town hall gathering needs to have the main goal. The goal of the conference is specified in the objective.
- Have any new product features lately been introduced?
- What are the sales updates, either monthly or quarterly?
- Is the business changing directions?
Create a meeting agenda.
Write down the things that management will talk about during the meeting while keeping the main goal(s) in mind. Pick a small number of topics that support the goal rather than including a plethora of them. Additionally, it’s always beneficial to get the opinions of functional leaders and managers on important matters because they are more likely to be aware of the concerns of their workforce.
The following could be an example agenda for a virtual town hall meeting:
- 10 minutes for introductions and icebreakers
- A quick update on the status of sales and marketing: 5 minutes
- Key product features that will arrive this week or this month, along with resources for further information 15-20 minutes
- 20 minutes for a Q&A session or to share periodic “Wins & Losses.”
- Celebrations every month: 10 minutes
Get Your Content Ready
Maintain a clear presentation. Don’t allude to prior facts that the staff is already familiar with; instead, concentrate more on what will be beneficial to them. To ensure that everyone on the team understands it, simplify the language or concept to the bare minimum. Invite a subject matter expert or the department head from the relevant team to speak with you so you can clarify a complex problem.
Invite staff to meetings by sending out invitations
Send out invitations to the town hall meeting by email, calendar, and a messaging service like Slack or Microsoft Teams. A repeating calendar invitation is another option. Ideally, the calendar invitation should include the following:
Agenda: The agenda for the meeting should include information on the date, time, purpose, moderator, speakers, team-building exercises, etc.
Meeting Guidelines: As the number of participants rises, virtual meetings can become chaotic and challenging to control. Define the start time, how to silence the microphone when speaking, and when and how to ask questions during the session.
FAQs: This section should provide answers to common queries about joining meetings, using meeting software applications, troubleshooting simple technical issues, contacting technical support, and other topics. To make it simple to reference, you can make an internal wiki page for this and link to it in the calendar invitation.
Pose Questions Ahead Of Time
Encourage your staff to submit queries in advance. For the Q&A session to be open to impromptu participation, the presenter should ideally address these questions throughout the presentation.
Carry out a technical practice run
Install the meeting software, chat app, and event tools on the day of the meeting. Before beginning the session, run a full tech check. Verify that the hardware, connectivity, and software are in good working order. Create a backup plan in case of technical issues to reduce disruption.
Greet Your Visitors
In virtual meetings, it might be hard to keep the audience interested. As a result, shout out to your employees when they participate. Icebreakers online are a terrific approach to introduce them. Allow them to freely express their thoughts throughout the discussion. To make future virtual town hall meetings more interesting and informative, include them in the discussion by asking questions, taking polls, and soliciting comments.
Send an Update
Make the town hall meeting’s recording available to everyone in the company. Not everyone can attend these gatherings. Send the minutes of the meeting together with the tape so that everyone can see what was discussed. We advise creating a page using Notion and one of their templates to house all previous recordings and minutes.
Conclusion Additionally, do a post-meeting poll to get employee opinions on the themes and the virtual town hall experience. You can check their comprehension of a subject that was covered or simply get their opinion. We advise always asking three straightforward questions: what did you like, dislike, and what might have been improved? Consider this information and consider how you may make a follow-up or future encounters better.