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12 min read

How to Transform Your All Hands Meeting Into a Virtual Meeting

An all hands meeting taking place in a meeting room

An all hands meeting isn’t the same as a brainstorming session or campaign review, it’s one that involves parties from all parts of the business, making it somewhat of a head-scratcher to complete while retaining the attention of everyone in front of you.

Companies everywhere struggle with running an all hands meeting, so can you imagine how tough it is to take an all hands meeting and run it in a virtual setting?

Well, if you’re as open-minded as we are here at iVent, you’ll see that running a virtual meeting has its own set of advantages, the kind that can increase engagement across all departments, despite not being in the room there with you!

There are some obvious benefits too, such as: by going virtual, you make it easier for overseas and remote attendees to attend.

We should point out that ‘transforming’ your all hands meeting isn’t as simple as logging in and doing the exact same thing you’d do in person. You should approach these meetings like anything is possible, because anything is possible when you take the virtual meeting route!

To begin, we’ll look at what an all hands meeting is as this will aid you in your transition into the world of virtual.

What is an All Hands Meeting Exactly?

An all hands meeting is the rare occasion where you are given the chance to connect, inform, and engage with your entire workforce in one space.

So, we know that an all hands meeting includes everyone within the organisation pretty much, but what might be discussed or covered?

That’s the thing with type of meeting: it can cover practically anything, although here are some of the more common topics:

  • Share company updates to everyone
  • Ask questions to employees or department
  • Welcome new management and key staff
  • Champion company achievements to all

Unlike other meetings that are strictly department focused, an all hands meeting tends to involve everyone, which is one of the core benefits of running a virtual meeting of this kind, as you don’t have to worry about finding a venue that can accommodate all your staff.

Instead, with a virtual meeting, people have the freedom to join from the comfort of their own desk – or home, depending on where they work.

Virtual meeting taking place

What does Virtual Meeting Mean?

Many of you reading this will already have a pretty good idea of what an all hands meeting is. A virtual meeting though? Maybe not so much.

Technology has improved leaps and bounds in the past few decades, with integrated audio and video topping the list of the most impressive, in our opinion. We can connect to anyone these days and in much larger groups.

A virtual meeting is pretty self-explanatory, it’s a meeting that takes place in an online space, where delegates participate from a remote location through an electronic device – typically through a laptop or desktop computer.

Attendees can also use a mobile device which gives them more options in terms of how, or where, they can attend meetings. The term ‘virtual meeting’ can refer to everything from webinars to online training sessions.

Virtualising your All Hands Meeting

We said at the top of this post that transforming an all hands meeting into virtual meetings wasn’t as easy as simply logging in and doing the exact same thing you’d do in person, and we meant it.

Moreover, where are you even logging in to? Have you even decided on the right virtual meeting platform yet?

Virtual meetings aren’t the same as those you’d have in person. There’s a lot more to consider in terms of engaging those in the meeting. After all, being at home or another external location is likely to lead to distractions – more so for those with their cameras turned off.

Transforming from one medium to another can be difficult as there are so many things to consider, such as:

  • How accessible it is to certain attendees
  • Methods to keep everyone engaged
  • Will video be implemented at all
  • Which platform to use outright

All of the above are but a few considerations, we have no doubt that there could be more, but those are the most common we see time and time again.

The last point (which virtual platform to use) is easily the most important of the bunch. As it’s the platform you choose that will determine the quality and consistency of every all hands meeting you run in a virtual setting.

Keeping Everyone Engaged in a Virtual All Hands Meeting

Meetings that include multiple people from different departments are difficult to pull off from an engagement standpoint. Not everyone will be fully zoned into what is being discussed and the information that is being shared.

As mentioned, this is even more difficult to accomplish when you’re running a virtual meeting, where the distractions are ever-present and the attention of your delegates is more likely to drift. So you need to spend time working out how to best engage your attendees throughout the whole meeting.

There are countless activities out there that are only possible through a virtual meeting given how many people might be involved within a single session. For example, live polling can be used to incentivise participation. By asking questions, you make every employee feel like their voice is being heard, which isn’t so easy to do in a physical all hands meeting.

Also, there is no limit to the number of questions one can ask through live chat. Running out of time within a meeting before answering all of these questions doesn’t mean they won’t ever be answered either. Companies can look at the live chat at a later date to ensure that every query is answered!

We’ll talk more about virtual meeting activities later when we break down the overall benefits of bringing your all hands meeting to the small screen.

Choosing the Right Virtual Event Platform

We say that choosing the right virtual event platform is the most important part of the transition as without a platform, there is no virtual hands on meeting. You need a platform to host the event, one that best reflects you and the type of company that you are.

Using a generic platform is an option, but if you want your virtual meetings to feel seamless, and have a certain level of quality to them, then you should want a platform that showcases your own branding and features.

It’s why you need iVent. You need us because our personalised approach to event platforms ensures that everything is taken care of leading into your next all hands meeting! Our online events platform delivers live events attended by nearly 1 million delegates every year – a platform that we can fully customise in line with your own wants and needs.

Virtual all hands meetings, conferences, exhibitions, online training and product launches, you name it, our platform does it.

An all hands meeting taking place over a large table

Why Running a Virtual Hands On Meeting is Beneficial

We’ve talked a lot about what a virtual meeting is and how unique online gatherings like this are, but we haven’t spent enough time talking about why it benefits your all hands meetings – at least in a very clear and direct way, that is.

It’s something we’ll be covering in this section, to clue you in on why switching to virtual is a great idea – especially if your company is on the larger side, with delegates tuning in from all over the world. This is the most obvious advantage to running an all hands virtual meeting, as mentioned.

Let’s look at some others.

You Can Run All Hands Meetings More Frequently

Communication is key to any all hands meeting, and you might run a business that has a lot to share with employees, but getting them all in the same room to go over various topics is a pain to organise given the logistics.

Well, we can tell you now that running any type of meeting in a virtual space is a hell of a lot more efficient compared to doing it in person.

Think about it, all your attendees need is a link to attend, they don’t need to get up and move around either, allowing them to jump back into their day-to-day tasks as soon as the meeting comes to an end!

Most companies will only run an all hands meeting twice every month, but smaller teams might want to do it daily to recap the day. This is perfect for teams with remote workers, who might not be able to attend otherwise.

Keep Attendees Engaged with Video

Remember when we said that virtual meetings could do things that weren’t possible in the more traditional all hands meetings? Yeah, this is one of them.

We’re of course talking about keeping your audiences engaged through video content. Now, we know that most meeting rooms do have TVs or projectors – tech that is capable of running video, but we’re talking about video content that appears on the screen. Videos that blend seamlessly into your meetings with no wasted motions.

This will help break up your meetings in order to keep delegates truly engaged. All hands virtual meetings that consist of only discussions are meetings by definition, but they can be difficult to follow.

Adding video serves as a refreshing change of pace, where you place them within your meetings is completely up to you, although most tend to input them somewhere towards the middle or end.

In short, with virtual meetings you can simply upload video content directly into the platform, streaming it for all to see. Adding video will break up your all hands meetings to also ensure that everyone remains hyper focused.

Quizzes for Team Building

Speaking of keeping your meeting delegates engaged, have you ever thought about adding a quiz element to your all hands meetings? If you haven’t then just know that this is entirely possible. We know that because many of our clients are taking the gamification route in a bid to keep their attendees hooked.

We’ve spoken a lot about event gamification in the past – mostly due to the fact that our platform can run games such as Pac Man, not to mention virtual photobooths.

In an all hands meeting, you might want to stay on topic and be a little bit more formal in your approach. We get it, but quizzes are a little different. One of the best ways of retaining information is through quizzes, and we aren’t talking about those you took part in over lockdown.

We’re talking about those that you can drop at the very end of your all hands meeting to make sure that everyone is up to speed with what was discussed. It doesn’t need to be a long quiz either – 4 or 5 questions should do it.

You could even take it a step further and ask different departments to answer a different question. This won’t be for everyone, still, it’s one of the best ways to keep your audiences engaged – similar to the live polling example used above.

Company wide meeting taking place on an online platform

Live Chat and Live Polling Gives Delegates a Voice

All hands meetings are often met with a sigh or a shrug from the employees who need to attend but very rarely get to share their own thoughts or feel involved enough. This isn’t the case in a virtual meeting.

You see, live chat and live polling are available, which gives everyone in attendance the opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions. Live chat does allow delegates to be a lot more specific compared to live polling, but both are really effective in getting everyone involved, from management right down to the interns.

This is great for building morale, not to mention making all virtual hands on meetings something your employees actively look forward to or prepare for, knowing they’ll get to have their say to some degree.

How to Transform Your All Hands Meeting Into a Virtual Meeting

On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you in transforming your all hands meeting into a virtual meeting at this point? We’re hoping it’s somewhere near the 10 mark considering what we’ve discussed up until this point.

Engaging with your meeting delegates has never been so simple, not to mention consistent. It’s why so many companies have already transitioned into meetings that are strictly virtual.

You should know now that by switching to a virtual meeting, your all hands meetings are made a lot easier to access for remote workers. Virtual all hands meetings give you a lot more flexibility in terms of how often you run them, and how many people you can include within a single meeting!

Engagements within meetings have never been so high either, with help from live polling, quizzes and live chat or video. It’s not that difficult to transform your meetings either when you have the right platform by your side.

The benefits are seemingly endless, and we know that for a fact having helped so many of our clients get the most out of their events and meetings courtesy of our platform. Clients like Natural Trust and Coventry University, to name a few.

Feel free to get in touch with us here at iVent to find out how we can take your meetings and events to the next level.

Written by:

Ros - Director at Virtual iVentRos Oxley

See more by Ros Oxley

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