We Need to Bring Back the “Meet” in Meetings

During a kickoff meeting with a new BeSpeake client, I asked this question: What did not work during your annual meeting last year? Answer: While the education offerings were excellent, there were few opportunities for attendees to connect and network, and the few that did exist, were simple text chats.

This client isn’t alone in wanting to add meaningful opportunities for their meeting attendees to connect, talk to each other, catch up, be on video, laugh, say hello. As my friend Lee Gimpel of Better Meetings says, “we need to bring back the ‘meet’ in meetings.” In other words, if your virtual meetings are mostly live or pre-recorded sessions where all attendees can do is comment, you’re not holding a meeting, you’re offering private YouTube videos. Worse, if all or most of your education is pre-recorded, you’re not giving your attendees to attend in real-time because hey, they can watch these videos anytime. Just like YouTube or Netflix.

So what are your options for adding the “meet” to your meetings? In BeSpeake, we have our own web-based video rooms that can be used for breakout rooms, 1-2-1 video meetings, exhibitor sessions, speed networking, cohort groups, and so much more. Clients are finding creative ways to allow attendees to connect with old friends, make new connections, develop business relationships, even strike deals.

One BeSpeake client had a whopping 54% of their attendees participate in break out discussions or 1-2-1 appointment scheduling. In other words, more than half of their attendees participated in an activity where they were on video with other attendees. Wow.

But wait. While 54% is an amazing number, I’m not satisfied. I’m working with my team to get that number even higher and I’ll blog about what we are trying and learning over the next few months.

How about you? What is your organization doing to bring the “meet” back to meetings?

P.S. Lee from Better Meetings will be joining me for a conversation on April 7th at 2pm ET as we dive into “How to Deliver Collaboration and Connection at Conferences.” He has invaluable ideas and insight; I hope you can join us!