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Tips on Running Effective Online Meetings

Discussion in 'COVID-19 Support & Resources' started by Divya on Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Divya

    By:DivyaApr 6, 2020
    ClubRunner Team

    Jun 10, 2017
    Likes Received:
    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.
    Mark Ruggeberg and Hazel Seaba like this.
  2. Wes Brooks

    By:Wes BrooksMay 5, 2020
    New Community Member

    May 5, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Development Coordinator
    Hattiesburg, MS, United States of America
    When you state "turn video on," are you referring to a feature in ClubRunner, or are we to utilize a separate platform like Zoom or Go To Meeting and post that information in a recurring event?
  3. Mickey

    By:MickeyMay 5, 2020
    ClubRunner Team

    Jun 10, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Hi Wes,

    Thank you for posting here. When we refer to "turn video on" - we mean turn the video on in whichever online meeting platform you're using, for example Zoom or GoToMeeting. Many clubs are experiencing higher engagement by recording their online meetings using the platform of their choice, uploading that video to a popular online service like YouTube, and then posting that recorded meeting video for members to view anytime.

    ClubRunner does not have the server capacity to handle streaming video. However you can embed video files uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, etc. onto your ClubRunner website:

    If you have more questions please post again.
  4. Carl Dierschow

    By:Carl DierschowAug 21, 2020
    Community Member

    Oct 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Consulting - Small Business
    Good advice, Mickey and Divya. Our Zoom meetings have fallen into a similar-but-not-exactly-the-same pattern. Some things aren't really feasible in an online meeting, but we've adjusted. Every week one person tells their "why I joined Rotary" story, for example. And we still have our Joke of the Week.

    We will be attempting our first hybrid online/in-person meeting next month, which is a real complicated process. We'll see how it goes.