As more clubs make the shift to virtual meetings, we thought we’d put together some best practices to run a successful club meeting online. The tips below are meant for typical club meetings of no more than 100 people, although most advice would still hold true for larger events. If you’ve held a virtual event with a large number of people, comment below with any additional advice you’d share with fellow clubs. Set up recurring events on your calendar. Use the same Meeting ID so people don’t have to scramble every week looking for it. Send a reminder email the day before with the link to make it even easier on your attendees. Keep it secure. It’s been a hot topic lately, but you’ll want to ensure you don’t get any unwanted visitors joining your online meetings. Make sure that you set a password for your meeting which you don’t post anywhere publicly. Consider setting up registration for your meeting to allow the public to join. Turn video on. Dial up your meeting’s engagement factor by asking all attendees to have video on (you might want to make this ask in the invitation email). This fosters a sense of connectedness, interest level, and allows everyone to benefit from visual cues. Follow a similar structure, but compact the time. Maintain what you would normally do during your regular club meetings, such as happy bucks, announcements, updates from committee chairs, etc. Keep the same roles but convert their responsibility into the digital equivalent. For instance, the greeter can arrive early and break the ice with members as they join in. Remember, this interaction is just as important to maintain fellowship as the actual club meeting. Keep bringing great speakers. For those you’ve already booked, ask them to deliver their talk online. Think about new speakers with an added advantage of them not having to be local. Remember, most of us are new to this. Don’t just dive in, spend the first 2 minutes going over housekeeping tasks for your attendees, such as: Muting/unmuting (it’s best to default everyone to mute) How to use the chat or built in Q&A Good audio/video settings - use a headset if possible, and look directly at the camera Encourage Gallery View (vs. Speaker View) to see a grid of all attendees at once Consider having one member dedicated to helping others with technical difficulties signing on Engage your audience with visuals. Whether you have a Powerpoint presentation or are just showing some information online, use the screen sharing feature to add some interesting visual content to your meeting. Encourage interaction. This is a benefit that in-person meetings don’t have - a live, in the moment reaction that can be reviewed afterwards. Encourage your members to use the chat function to react to content being presented, show their support, raise concerns, and ask questions (however save addressing these until the end, or offline, to keep on track). Make it a team effort. Consider several panelists to run the meeting: A moderator to watch the time and field questions at the end, a presenter or speaker who is delivering the content, and a member to take down meeting notes. Recorded sessions can make it easier to transcribe later! Record your meetings and make them available online. Share them on your club’s website so that those who couldn’t attend live can watch later. Create a new page to list past meeting recordings, and feature the most recent video on your home page. You got this! This may seem like uncharted territories with its own set of challenges but it’s during these times more than ever that your community needs you. Let’s join forces and show the world how #RotaryResponds. Share some best practices your club has implemented in your online meetings below. Have any other tips or tricks that can help your fellow clubs? Comment below and tell us what’s worked for your club.