We use Zoom, the video-first webinar, meeting and collaboration tool, to successfully replicate many areas of our face-to-face workshops, along with other tools when relevant. Here’s some detail on how we use it in our meetings and workshops.
Juggling the logistics that make remote working as successful as office-based teams is high on the agenda of managers the world over. Technological solutions and authentic interaction both need to be at their optimum if colleagues are to feel at ease and inspired to collaborate as seamlessly as they would in person. Add to that the need to find a new video meeting or collaboration system under time pressure, for example, and it’s hard to feel that everyone will be at their best on all fronts. The fear of pressing the wrong button can make technology feel more of a hindrance than a help.
Zoom supports our expertise in planning, facilitating and finessing projects by offering easy ways to connect and get down to work. It allows clients to hand over even the logistical tech detail to us, so they can attend and take part without juggling. That’s why we are confident that anybody starting out on their online collaboration journey can make it work as well as office-based tasks, without dropping any balls.
We know the value of getting the mix right when everyone from clients to employees want to be certain that geographical differences won’t interfere with plans, timescales and bottom lines. As facilitators and workshop coordinators we keep the energy up at the same time as easing remote attendees into the conversation. In many ways, online can be better than in-person, as it focuses minds on participation and interaction.
This means there is no real need to postpone the meetings and conferences your employees cannot physically attend. Using the example of Zoom, it’s a far cry from video conference rooms of old, which could generally only connect with other conference rooms. Zoom can connect company spaces with employee devices and their desktop computers at home. It can handle up to 1,000 video participants for a meeting and 10,000 webinar viewers.
Breakout groups and more
You can easily create breakout groups of any size and number, for instance if you have a group of 30 you could create three breakout groups of ten people, five breakout groups of six people, or 15 pairs. You can randomly assign people to groups or hand-pick specific participants to work together.
Zoom has an instant messenger for sending text, images and files and meetings can include whiteboarding, wireless content sharing and scheduling. You can integrate it with your Google calendar and by creating a Zoom room, you can catch up with a specific group at any time. Webinars can include up to 25 active panellists and features include Q&As, polling and reporting.
Tech practice sessions
For remote workshops we also offer participants the opportunity to join a pre-workshop “tech practice” workshop to get them comfortable using the video conferencing software and any other collaborative tools we may use.
We also offer tech coaching, where teach you how to use the best technology so you can facilitate remotely yourself. And we offer tech support, transforming your physical event into a remote one with live tech support on the day.
For further information Zoom’s website has plenty of best practice advice for holding a digital event, covering everything from testing audio before participants log in, to looking the part for a video call.
Once you’re comfortable using the software, the usual principles of running a great workshop or meeting apply: we create carefully designed, high energy events that help people generate ideas, solve problems, share opinions and make decisions. These generally include:
- Idea and knowledge sharing – vibrant, open discussions where participants debate the art of the possible and test out new theories and solutions
- A focus on participation – doing is far more effective than passive listening;
- Peer-to-peer learning and feedback, because everyone brings their own experience, understanding and perspective;
- Flexibility, because the content needs to move in the direction the workshop participants need.
Find out more about our remote meetings and workshops, and get in touch – we’d be happy to set up a Zoom call to discuss your next project!