How to Choose the Right Tools for Your Meeting Rooms

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In a previous blog post, we talked a bit about the essential equipment needed for hybrid meetings. Now, it’s time to delve deeper and discover some new tools and applications that can engage your team even further. After all, in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of business, effective communication is the key to success. And as organizations increasingly adopt the hybrid work model, the methods we use to collaborate during meetings and conferences must evolve to suit the blended work environment. It’s clear that choosing the right tools can significantly enhance your team’s productivity, efficiency, and overall meeting experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore a variety of useful conference room tools designed to keep your team engaged, excited, and brimming with some creative sparks.

Image: Canva.com

Checklist for the things you just cannot forget about!

Hybrid or remote meetings, although they can be extremely beneficial, come with their own set of challenges and can be a bit more tricky to manage than traditional in-person conferences. If not executed well, they can turn into a monologue by the host and lack the crucial interactivity that makes meetings fruitful. That is why, before we even think about introducing new features and technologies, we must remember and master the basics:

  1. Prepare the conference room: Make sure that the room is clean, well-lit, and free from distractions. Also, check all tech equipment is functioning correctly before the meeting starts.
  2. Make sure everyone is prepared: Ensure that all participants, both remote and in-person, have access to the necessary tools and have the knowledge of how to use them correctly.
  3. Remote-first strategy: We know it’s easier to focus on stationary attendees – that’s why you should prioritize the engagement of online participants first. Regularly check the meeting’s chat, or whether or not they unmuted their microphone, to make sure they feel included throughout the conference.
  4. Cameras on: Not everyone might like this rule but it’s needed. It makes sure that remote team members are both focused on the task at hand and are included in the meeting. After all, you see a person and not just a colorful icon attending the meeting.
  5. One person at a time: This is a must for any event, not just a hybrid or remote one. It helps to keep the conference organized and focused on the meeting’s agenda. Keep in mind our rule number 3, and allow remote team members to speak first.
  6. Post-meeting ratings: Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Perhaps some activities or parts of your presentation didn’t resonate as well as you hoped, or on the contrary, they might have been a hit. Constructive feedback from other participants can provide valuable insights for you to refine your approach.
people during a meeting working on their laptops and tablets
Image: Canva.com

Here are some tools we would like to recommend:

Now, to really change your conference experience you should think about incorporating some new, exciting, and most importantly interactive tools that can change an event from a passive experience to an engaging one. 

  1. Gather

It might be an unconventional way to start, but hear us out. Gather stands out as a unique web-conferencing tool that offers real yet virtual rooms. You can choose a template that perfectly encapsulates your team’s aesthetic, whether it’s an industrial office or a medieval dungeon. Participants can customize their avatars and desks, move around, and interact with others as if it were real life. With its customization features and game-like visuals, Gather makes meetings exciting and joyful. If you’re on the hunt for a fun, immersive web conferencing app for your hybrid event, Gather is the way to go.

  1. Google Meet

Google Meet, on the other hand, offers a more traditional approach. It allows you not only to create a quick call but also share your screen and group chat. It can also help your remote participants feel more at ease with options to blur their background or use a picture of a very expensive penthouse. Moreover, it is a cost-effective option as it is free to use. So, if you’re seeking an affordable, functional tool to host your hybrid meeting, Google Meet is worth considering.

  1. Kahoot

While Kahoot is often associated with the education sector and is utilized to test students’ knowledge, it can also serve as a fantastic ice-breaking app for corporate settings. For small group meetings, consider using Kahoot to play “2 Truths and a Lie”. You can ask attendees to email their truths and lie to you beforehand and then create an engaging quiz that will not only help your team bond but also create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. On the other hand, if you have a larger meeting in mind you can actually try to do some knowledge quiz – either about your company, the topic of the conference, or general knowledge questions. While they don’t integrate your team as well, they do encourage those neurons to move!

  1. Mentimeter

Allow us to introduce you to Mentimeter – a tool designed to make your presentations interactive. It allows you to engage your audience with polls, quizzes, word clouds, and other interactive elements. This can be a great way to keep your audience engaged and active during your conference meeting. For example, you could use Mentimeter to poll your audience on a topic, ask them to brainstorm ideas or gather their feedback on a proposal.

  1. ShareTheBoard

Do you have a whiteboard and a couple of markers? Don’t be afraid to use them. ShareTheBoard allows you to share your physical board with remote team members in real-time. Our app seamlessly transforms your written ideas into crystal-clear digital content, automatically saving your work as you go. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about your remote participants’ engagement because, with a little help from digital annotations, your online colleagues can contribute content directly to your board just like they would do on-site! This means all of your teammates can enjoy a real, human experience of a whiteboarding session. 

  1. Google Docs

When it comes to sharing important documents in a collaborative manner, Google Docs is one of the best options. It’s free to use and it allows multiple people to work on the same documents in real time. This can be a great way to record crucial information during a conference meeting and ensure that everyone has access to the latest version of the notes. Additionally, you could also use Google Docs to create a meeting agenda, share handouts, or collaborate on a summary of the meeting.

  1. Google Forms

We promise this blog post is not sponsored by Google! However, Google Forms is an excellent tool for creating surveys, quizzes, and gathering feedback. It’s user-friendly and versatile, making it a valuable addition to your array of conference tools.

Image: Canva.com

Summary

As we know, in the dynamic landscape of hybrid work, mastering the basics is crucial for effective communication. Now that you have a well-prepared conference room and know some useful tools that cater to both engagement and functionality, what are your meetings going to look like?

Will you create immersive and fun virtual rooms with Gather? Stick to the traditional yet powerful Google Meet? Or maybe you are ready to try out ShareTheBoard and bridge the physical-digital gap?

Remember, the key lies not just in adopting these tools but in integrating them effortlessly, creating a blend of efficiency, interactivity, and joy in your meetings.

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