Fifty percent of web conference calls start late because of technology issues, according to a study by Wainhouse Research. So, to help you save the time and money that goes out the window every time your meetings start late, here are 10 ways to eliminate the log-in frustrations and start your online meetings on time.
1. Don’t make people download ANYTHING. No plug-ins, no software updates, no applets. This saves an average of 10 minutes tardiness and uncalculated frustration for meeting attendees.
2. Send an invitation with all the log-in information in advance, including the URL for the web conference site, local and international dial-in numbers and, even better, clickable dial-in numbers for people joining via mobile smartphones or tablets.
3. Always set a 30-minute reminder when sending email invitations. Use the meeting software’s integrated Microsoft Office® Outlook™ toolbar, where available.
4. Ask attendees to test their system in advance if joining a new online meetings tool. Even better, ask them to log-in before the meeting in case they need to set up a new profile, get web permissions or troubleshoot with IT.
5. Give people multiple ways to join your online meetings. Offer several and/or all of these popular online meetings options:
- Web browser;
- Call over computer (softphone/VoIP);
- Old-school dial-in conference call numbers and passcodes (local, toll-free and international);
- Auto-Connect™ audio, a new innovation that instructs the web conference to call out to the attendee’s preferred phone; and/or
- Mobile meeting apps for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and Android smartphones.
6. If someone’s struggling or hasn’t joined in the first 2 minutes, dial out to their phone from the meeting.
7. Know your meeting demographic and tech comfort levels when choosing the meeting technology. When in doubt, send step-by-step instructions before the meeting begins—preferably videos.
8. Lock the meeting after five minutes of waiting. Tough love, but they’ll be on time for the next one!
9. Join the online meeting 10 minutes early, and send an “I’m here in case you want to join early” email to the entire attendee list. Include all the log-in details and instructions again.
10. If you’re screen sharing, log-in early and launch the screen share app before the meeting. Don’t forget to exit completely out of your email client and IM to avoid embarrassing mid-share pop-ups.
These 10 tips are a great start to saving productivity and avoiding beginning your meetings on the wrong foot. After all, prospects and customers, for example, are an even tougher sale if they’re irritated before your presentation even begins.
Any tips of what the next 10 tips should be? Please share your best practices.