Virtual Meetings Archives - PGi Blog https://www.pgi.com/blog Resources for Virtual Events and Global Collaboration for Businesses Fri, 04 Mar 2022 14:18:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.1 How Hive Video Analytics Can Power Actionable Webcast Insights https://www.pgi.com/blog/2022/03/hive-video-analytics/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 11:00:03 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28955 Webcast insights can be powerful as they help you decide what is working and what aspects need improvement to better connect with the audience. Hive Video Analytics by Hive Streaming offer a new, innovative way to understand and optimize the performance of your live events. Increased monitoring, tracking, and reporting are powered by aggregated metrics …

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Webcast insights can be powerful as they help you decide what is working and what aspects need improvement to better connect with the audience. Hive Video Analytics by Hive Streaming offer a new, innovative way to understand and optimize the performance of your live events. Increased monitoring, tracking, and reporting are powered by aggregated metrics that you can easily review in one place.

Understand How Your Virtual Events Are Performing

The more data points you have available for review, the better you can understand how your events resonate with your audience and optimize them to perform even better. Some of the ways insights can power better event performance include:

  • Better scheduling: Solve the question of when is the best time to hold an event, once and for all. Metrics allow you to see how many of your employees watched an event live vs. on-demand so you can determine when to schedule the next event. (Coming soon: Meeting Planner AI by Hive, which will predict attendance and engagement of future events with even greater precision.)
  • Refine regional attendance: Which region had the lowest audience turnout? Hive Video Analytics helps answer that question, from both a video experience and audience engagement points of view to help you improve.
  • Buffering severity: Understand better whether buffering is a problem for your employees when they try to view the event. Were employees disturbed by buffering, and how often?
  • Monitor engagement: How engaged were attendees during the virtual event? Did they respond to questions, participate in polls, and ask questions about the material? Engaged listeners are likely to retain much more of the material than those who simply sit and listen passively.

Better Quality of Experience Insights

Identify weak links and avoid common streaming issues by preventing them before they occur. Hive enables you to pinpoint where you can improve the Quality of Experience across your network. You can then provide more bandwidth or support to these regions or users.

Create Customized Reports for Executives

Data-heavy reports that take a long time to review can be less than effective, especially when delivered to a non-technical audience. Tailor post-event performance reports to the exact needs of your C-suite by customizing the Executive Dashboard to show what you want to highlight. Depending on your team's preferences, you can also export the dashboard in PowerPoint, Excel, or PDF formats.

Review Employee Engagement Data

Get instant live event reports to learn how engaged your employees are with internal company messaging, regardless of where they are located. Through the Engagement Indicators module, you can enhance the instant live event reports with in-depth employee video engagement insights to give your executive team a complete picture of how successful an event was.

Visit Hive Streaming’s website to learn more about Hive Analytics and how it can help you improve webcast performance.

Take advantage of the Hive Streaming integration for PGi’s virtual events solution GlobalMeet® Webcast by reading more here.

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What to Expect from the Virtual Events Industry Post COVID-19 https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/01/what-to-expect-from-the-virtual-events-industry-post-covid-19/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/01/what-to-expect-from-the-virtual-events-industry-post-covid-19/#respond Sun, 17 Jan 2021 01:05:11 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28400 While the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may have temporarily halted in-person industry events and conferences, it gave the virtual events industry a hefty boost. But, will this new virtual events option be a long-term solution for companies once the pandemic begins to subside? Absolutely! Virtual events are here to stay. Here’s what businesses can expect from …

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While the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may have temporarily halted in-person industry events and conferences, it gave the virtual events industry a hefty boost.

But, will this new virtual events option be a long-term solution for companies once the pandemic begins to subside?

Absolutely! Virtual events are here to stay.

Here’s what businesses can expect from the virtual events industry in the near future:

Virtual and In-Person Events Working In Tandem

Although the events industry is built on the foundation of in-person experiences, virtual events technology opened a new door for businesses in the industry.

Through webcasts, live-streaming videos, and so much more, the events industry can now bring the in-person experience to a virtual audience. With this in mind, expect to see more events accommodating both in-person and virtual opportunities for a single event.

From live-streaming expert panel discussions to using video conferencing software to facilitate discussions between attendees and vendors, there are endless opportunities for virtual experiences to be woven into the traditional in-person events structure.

New Virtual Conferences

With most major conferences and events canceled until 2022, we can expect to see several new virtual industry conferences arise in the coming months. There is a massive opportunity for companies to embrace the virtual events space and develop a successful online event that becomes an industry staple.

Interactive Event Opportunities through Augmented and Virtual Reality

Virtual events software already offers attendees a myriad of interactive experiences, including:

  • Question and answer features
  • Polling
  • Chatrooms
  • Breakout sessions
  • Screen sharing

And that only scratches the surface of the possibilities for virtual event participants.

As the virtual events industry grows, more and more conferences and businesses will begin to integrate virtual and augmented reality technology into their online conferences. Using this technology, attendees will be able to digitally manipulate their environment to feel as though they are attending the event in-person.

Such a feature bridges the gap between the human need for social interaction and safely interacting with events during a global pandemic. And, since businesses have saved money by not investing in in-person events during the pandemic, they’ll have plenty of resources to begin experimenting with and launching these digital experiences in the near future.

Of course, these three developments cannot happen if companies don’t utilize the proper online events platform. GlobalMeet from PGi is the perfect online event solution for everything from small regional events to global industry conferences. Try it out!

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Eight Ways Remote Work is More Productive Than Working in an Office https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/12/eight-ways-remote-work-is-more-productive-than-working-in-an-office/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/12/eight-ways-remote-work-is-more-productive-than-working-in-an-office/#respond Fri, 11 Dec 2020 21:10:16 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28362 Between the global pandemic and a shift in employee preferences, the option to work from home is more desirable than ever. And, remote teams have been proven to be more productive than their in-office counterparts. 85% of businesses report that remote work has improved their overall productivity! Check out why: 1. No Commute Driving or taking public transportation to …

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Between the global pandemic and a shift in employee preferences, the option to work from home is more desirable than ever.

And, remote teams have been proven to be more productive than their in-office counterparts. 85% of businesses report that remote work has improved their overall productivity!

Check out why:

1. No Commute

Driving or taking public transportation to work takes a great deal of time and energy from an employee’s day. Eliminating that commute ensures that employees are energized and ready to go once they get started.

2. Flexible Schedule

With a lack of commute and the ability to start work when it best suits your work style, you can enjoy a flexible schedule while working from home. With this freedom, remote employees can schedule appointments, exercise, mental health breaks, and other activities without impacting their work schedule or tasks.

3. More Deep Thinking Time

Both creative and strategic thinkers need time to concentrate. In an office, this can be difficult due to the environment and distractions. When working from home with a flexible schedule, employees can block off time for deep concentration or creative thinking.

4. More Time to Collaborate with Coworkers

Finding a mutually agreeable time to meet and collaborate with teams in an office is difficult. However, when you are working from home, there’s more time for video collaboration! This collaboration leads to more productive employees and overall results.

5. A Better Environment for Introverted Employees

For many introverted employees, remote work is an ideal situation. Rather than being bogged down with in-person meetings and small talk with coworkers, these employees can concentrate and get their work done without wasting energy on in-person interactions.

6. Less Distractions = More Results

Let’s face it. Even the quietest office has distractions. From the buzz of the ceiling light to the tapping of keys, it can still distract you from your work.

When working from home, employees can minimize and eliminate the noises and situations they consider distracting. As a result, they can focus and get more work done in a shorter amount of time.

7. Fewer Sick Days

Studies show that remote workers use less sick days on average than in-office employees. This is due to the ability to remain home while ill with minor ailments, such as a cold or cough, that would have required them to previously use a sick day.

And, with a flexible schedule, remote workers are leading more active and healthier lifestyles!

8. Streamlined Processes and Communications

A lot of time is wasted when working in the office. But, with online meetings, collaboration tools, and other streamlined processes and communications efforts, remote teams can drastically reduce idle time and improve overall productivity.

Has the switch to remote work positively impacted your team’s productivity?

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Five Tips for Creating a Virtual Onboarding Experience for New Employees https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/11/five-tips-for-creating-a-virtual-onboarding-experience-for-new-employees/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/11/five-tips-for-creating-a-virtual-onboarding-experience-for-new-employees/#respond Wed, 18 Nov 2020 21:45:11 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28324 Even before the pandemic, companies and HR departments across the globe were adopting remote working policies to help employees lead better lives. Part of a telecommuting environment involves onboarding new employees from wherever they may be. Since traditional office tours and face-to-face employee introductions are out of the question, companies are adopting virtual onboarding experiences. …

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Even before the pandemic, companies and HR departments across the globe were adopting remote working policies to help employees lead better lives.

Part of a telecommuting environment involves onboarding new employees from wherever they may be. Since traditional office tours and face-to-face employee introductions are out of the question, companies are adopting virtual onboarding experiences.

Use these five tips to produce a seamless onboarding experience for your new remote employees:

1. Compile & Send All Resources in Advance

From legal documents to login passwords, give your new hires everything they need to succeed starting on day one. Compile these resources into a secure folder and send it to the employee before their first day on the job. This gives them time to review, complete, send back necessary documents, and become familiar with company policies and processes before starting.

2. Provide Clear Onboarding Directions and a Schedule

No remote employee should be sitting in their home office wondering what they’re supposed to do on their first day.

Instead, provide each new hire with a schedule of onboarding events and webcasts as well as directions for tasks or forms to fill out. This keeps the employee engaged and motivated throughout the entire process.

3. Schedule Time for One-on-One Conversations with New Hires

Virtual onboarding experiences can be overwhelming and lonely for new hires if not executed correctly. Be sure to schedule plenty of time for individual check-ins via video conferencing! These check-ins will help the new hires feel confident about their decision to join your team and comfortable reaching out with questions or concerns throughout the process.

4. Provide Insight Into Company Culture

The first day at a new job is scary! Don’t overload your new remote employees with boring processes, software, and other “business as usual” information all on the first day. Spread that information out across several days and fill the remaining time with insight into the company’s culture!

Schedule time for the new employees to video chat with their team members, discover more about the company’s values and mission, and participate in other company traditions.

5. Encourage Questions

Make sure you encourage new employees to ask as many questions as they need to feel comfortable with their new job. These questions can be asked during your one-on-one video check-ins, in emails, or in company chat channels.

By embracing these questions and providing prompt answers, you show new hires that your company is eager to have them onboard even from afar!

Ensure that your virtual employees are set up for remote work success by adding PGi’s GlobalMeet suite of webcasting and collaboration tools!

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What Does a Virtual Open House Look Like? https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/11/what-does-a-virtual-open-house-look-like/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/11/what-does-a-virtual-open-house-look-like/#respond Sat, 07 Nov 2020 15:15:09 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28284 Virtual open houses have long been an option available to realtors and buyers alike. Most often used by those relocating to a new state or unable to attend a scheduled tour, virtual tours play a pivotal role in the home buying and selling process. In light of the 2020 pandemic, however, virtual open houses and …

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Virtual open houses have long been an option available to realtors and buyers alike. Most often used by those relocating to a new state or unable to attend a scheduled tour, virtual tours play a pivotal role in the home buying and selling process.

In light of the 2020 pandemic, however, virtual open houses and tours have become the norm. Realtors are now offering virtual open houses to reduce the amount of contact inside the home. And, buyers are requesting to virtually tour potential homes to ensure their safety as well.

Fortunately, virtual open houses and tours will be used for years to come. Real estate professionals should start investing in virtual tour options such as:

Live-Streaming Open Houses

If you’re planning to host a virtual open house event, live-stream it to your social media accounts.

Interested buyers will flock to your social media accounts to watch and interact with your open house tour in real-time on Facebook, Instagram, and other networks.

However, those who choose this virtual open house option must be charismatic and able to respond in real-time to viewer questions, comments, and concerns.

On-Demand Open House and Tour Webcast

To maximize your listing’s reach, consider hosting an on-demand home tour and open house via a webcast.

This option allows realtors to film a tour in advance and couple it with important content related to the home’s details and pertinent information. This engaging option provides buyers the ability to log on and view the content whenever they desire.

Best of all, the webcast doubles as a lead generation opportunity. If desired, gate the content behind a registration form. Once interested buyers submit their information to view the webcast, you’ve got a lead!

1-on-1 Video Conferences

Instead of streaming to the public, you can offer your clients one-on-one video tours of individual houses. This provides clients the opportunity to speak directly with the realtor about their likes, dislikes, and concerns while keeping a safe distance if necessary.

This option is also ideal for clients relocating to a new state and working with a local realtor. Rather than traveling back and forth several times a month to tour homes, these families can easily video conference in for multiple home tours and real estate open houses each week.

Virtual open houses and home tours are the future of the real estate industry. Embrace live streaming video and on-demand webcasts for real estate success.

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How the Rise of Virtual Events Could Change the Events Industry Forever https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/11/how-the-rise-of-virtual-events-could-change-the-events-industry-forever/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/11/how-the-rise-of-virtual-events-could-change-the-events-industry-forever/#respond Sat, 07 Nov 2020 14:04:53 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28281 It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the events industry in 2020. However, its effects extend beyond this calendar year, with numerous in-person events and conferences being canceled for the 2021 season as well. With these mass cancellations, event professionals are wondering what changes the industry will face moving forward. How will they adapt to survive …

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It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the events industry in 2020. However, its effects extend beyond this calendar year, with numerous in-person events and conferences being canceled for the 2021 season as well.

With these mass cancellations, event professionals are wondering what changes the industry will face moving forward. How will they adapt to survive the endless in-person gathering restrictions? What can they do to ensure continued growth for their events and business?

The answer is simple: embrace virtual events.

Pivoting to Virtual Events in 2020 and Beyond

When the pandemic hit, businesses and individuals alike turned to video conferencing software to connect, host meetings, and stay sane.

The events industry adopted this same focus by pivoting their attention to virtual events to keep the industry afloat.

Instead of a massive industry conference, brands can hold virtual conferences complete with exciting webcasts, live-streamed panel discussions, the use of virtual reality and augmented reality, and beyond.

Ongoing Emphasis on Attendee Participation

Pre-pandemic, attendee participation was simply assumed. Opportunities to meet with vendors and attend panels were provided, but it was up to the individual to interact with others.

Now, events professionals must provide a myriad of opportunities for attendees to participate in the virtual event. After all, no one wants to pay for a virtual event only to stare at a screen all day.

The future of the events industry lies in virtual events that embrace engaging opportunities such as:

  • 1-on-1 video meetings with brands, influencers, and vendors alike
  • Engaging—but moderated—chat rooms with other attendees
  • Interactive webcast features such as polling and Q&A
  • Social media hashtags, contests, and conversations
  • Joining the live stream to ask questions of the panelists

Event Content + Attendee Interaction = Lead Generation

Of course, most businesses use events and conferences as a means for lead generation. But with the one-on-one in-person interactions long gone, how will brands generate future business from events?

The solution is to pair intriguing virtual event content with attendee interaction.

Attendees will want to learn more about the businesses that went above and beyond to provide meaningful virtual content and interactions over the brands who offered the bare minimum.

Additionally, look for opportunities to follow-up after the event for further lead generation efforts.

Prepare Your Virtual Event for the Future

All great virtual events start with the right tools. Otherwise, you’ll have several disappointed attendees on your hands! Check out how PGi’s suite of video conferencing, online events, and webcasting tools can help your events team grow and thrive in a new industry normal.

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The Future of Conferences: Will Events Remain Virtual in 2021? https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/10/the-future-of-conferences-will-events-remain-virtual-in-2021/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/10/the-future-of-conferences-will-events-remain-virtual-in-2021/#respond Wed, 07 Oct 2020 14:57:52 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28233 2020 decimated the conference industry. Massive industry and consumer conferences, including CES, Disney’s D23, and more, all canceled their 2020 line-up. And, as we near the end of the calendar year, many events professionals are wondering, “Will we still be hosting virtual events in 2021?” While no one can truly predict the outcome of the …

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2020 decimated the conference industry. Massive industry and consumer conferences, including CES, Disney’s D23, and more, all canceled their 2020 line-up.

And, as we near the end of the calendar year, many events professionals are wondering, “Will we still be hosting virtual events in 2021?”

While no one can truly predict the outcome of the coronavirus pandemic, many organizations are already canceling their 2021 in favor of a virtual event option with CES and Disney leading the charge.

With 2021 conference cancelations happening left and right, it’s important to understand why this is happening and what your organization can do moving forward.

Three Main Reasons Why 2021 Conferences Are Being Canceled

Aside from the general uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, businesses are canceling their 2021 events for these key reasons:

1. Large Crowd Sizes

Many states around the country are still upholding restrictions on crowd sizes. This immediately limits gigantic industry conferences with thousands of attendees.

2. Lower Attendance Rates

Even if in-person events are allowed to happen in a particular region, most individuals will be wary of attending such an event. Few people are interested in going to conference happy hours or roaming tightly organized conference halls with thousands of people they don’t know.

3. Smaller Event Budgets

As a result of the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding in-person events, 57% of event professionals believe their budgets for 2021 will decrease significantly. And, with few sponsors looking to align their brands with in-person events that can cause the spread of a global virus, event marketers must be strategic about how they spend their 2021 budget.

The Solution? Virtual Events.

To combat the losses caused by the pandemic, the events industry is rapidly pivoting to embrace virtual events. From live-streaming panel discussions with industry and topic experts to on-demand webinars and webcasts, the options are limitless when a conference becomes virtual.

Not only do virtual events solve the problem of hosting an event in the midst of a pandemic, but they also:

  • Offer a scalable solution for organizations: Virtual events are perfect for small company sessions and large industry events. The technology scales to meet and exceed the needs of every size event.
  • Budget-friendly: Rather than spending money on decor, overhead, and equipment, companies can maximize their budget by investing in secure webcast technology, hiring the best speakers, and promoting their event online.
  • Removes previous barriers to entry: By eliminating the hefty price tag and location barriers, companies that embrace virtual events find their attendance rates improve as more people can join in from all over the world.

Instead of canceling your 2021 conference, make the switch to a virtual event. You’ll be happy you did.

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Boost Planning Agility for 2021 Virtual Meetings and Events https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/10/boost-planning-agility-for-2021-virtual-meetings-and-events/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/10/boost-planning-agility-for-2021-virtual-meetings-and-events/#respond Mon, 05 Oct 2020 19:27:05 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28217 Here’s the scenario. It is the last quarter of the year. You are tasked with planning a major event that can accommodate hundreds of attendees, maybe even thousands.  But 2021 event planning looks a lot more challenging than 2020 planning… or does it? While the pandemic shut down most physical events in 2020 — with some going virtual — 2021 event planning will mostly …

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Here’s the scenario. It is the last quarter of the year. You are tasked with planning a major event that can accommodate hundreds of attendees, maybe even thousands. 

But 2021 event planning looks a lot more challenging than 2020 planning or does it? While the pandemic shut down most physical events in 2020 — with some going virtual — 2021 event planning will mostly be all virtual. So, it’s time to adjust your thinking around event planning. 

The demand for virtual events has increased dramatically. During a recent presentation with leading meeting industry publication MeetingsNetPGi’s Andrew Denlow, SVP of North American Sales and a veteran in the Virtual Events space noted that PGi served 1.5 billion minutes of live streaming media since March 20. 

The future remains uncertain. Do you roll the dice on a strictly physical event? Do you keep your event virtual for the foreseeable futureOr do you attempt to accommodate your target audience with both options? 

The last 2 questions create new questions many planners must ask. Is uninterruptible virtual event hosting with high-quality video and audio available? Can it empower more interactivity among speakers, presenters and attendees? How does going virtual or using a hybrid onsite/online approach affect your registration pricing model?  

Thousands of meeting and event planners worldwide use GlobalMeet Webcast to scale events seamlessly to their audience registration size. It offers serious flexibility for hosting a virtual event with maximum positive impact, whether a simple presentation deck or live streaming of a roundtable discussion. 

So, what do you do? Watch this recording of Andrew Denlow’s presentation to learn how to re-think physical event fundamentals in a virtual setting and uncover opportunities for greater audience engagement. 

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Four Helpful Tips for Maintaining Company Culture Across Virtual Teams https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/four-helpful-tips-for-maintaining-company-culture-across-virtual-teams/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/four-helpful-tips-for-maintaining-company-culture-across-virtual-teams/#respond Tue, 29 Sep 2020 18:25:19 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28201 In April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work was at an all-time high. With 62% of employees working from home. This forced remote environment was many teams’ first encounter with a virtual workforce. As a result, many companies worried about maintaining their company culture while their team worked remotely. However, companies like Buffer, Basecamp, and …

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In April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work was at an all-time high. With 62% of employees working from home.

This forced remote environment was many teams’ first encounter with a virtual workforce. As a result, many companies worried about maintaining their company culture while their team worked remotely.

However, companies like Buffer, Basecamp, and HubSpot have been working remotely for years and boast some of the most renowned company cultures. As a result, these remote companies have enjoyed productive teams, reduced turnover, and happier employees.

If your team is struggling to keep the company spirit and mission alive while working virtually, keep these four helpful tips in mind:

1. Document Company Values

Without a defined set of company values, your team and any newcomers will not have a foundation to base the company culture off of.

Work with your leadership team to develop and document your company’s values, mission, and other necessary statements. Then, ensure that all employees have access to these documents when working from home. Some companies also publish their values right on the brand website for all to see and be held accountable!

2. Ensure that Leadership Embraces and Embodies Company Values

If employees see their managers and company executives ignoring company values and culture, why should they be expected to embrace it?

A great company culture—regardless of location—starts from the top. Company leadership and managers must adapt and embody the business’s values through their work, communication, trust in employees, and transparency. Otherwise, how can you expect your virtual employees to do the same?

3. Frequent Communication

Remote employees struggle with feelings of isolation and a lack of communication. This frustration leads to unhappy employees and a disappearing company culture.

Combat this by hosting weekly video meetings to check-in with teams and get their feedback. Communicate all necessary company updates and allow them to chime in as well. This engaging meeting style keeps employees participating and involved with the company, all from the comfort of their home.

4. Schedule Virtual Team Activities

Part of a company’s culture is built in the camaraderie developed from interacting with one another. In an office, you’d be able to grab coffee with your coworkers, chat about your day, and get to know one another simply in passing.

In virtual settings, however, these interactions must be scheduled. But they don’t need to be intimidating! From virtual happy hours to one-on-one meetings with each other to break the ice, these virtual team activities help your team build and maintain a company culture and camaraderie.

Virtual Company Culture Takes Time

Transitioning a company culture to the home office won’t happen overnight. However, if you keep these four tips in mind, your team is well on the way to a happy, productive virtual workforce.

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3 Things Instagram Influencers Can Teach Us About Video Meetings https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/3-things-instagram-influencers-can-teach-us-about-video-meetings/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/3-things-instagram-influencers-can-teach-us-about-video-meetings/#respond Wed, 16 Sep 2020 18:33:43 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28166 Believe it or not, Instagram influencers can teach us a great deal about video conferencing, webinars, and more. These influential accounts attract the attention of thousands upon thousands of fans each day through their creative posts, captivating captions, and interactive efforts. How does their work translate to leading large video meetings or webinars? Here’s how: …

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Believe it or not, Instagram influencers can teach us a great deal about video conferencing, webinars, and more.

These influential accounts attract the attention of thousands upon thousands of fans each day through their creative posts, captivating captions, and interactive efforts.

How does their work translate to leading large video meetings or webinars?

Here’s how:

1. Creating a Lasting Connection with Fans

There’s a reason influencers amass an enormous following. They are exceptional at developing a strong connection with their audience.

This connection is what keeps fans coming back to their page for more content, interaction, and entertainment. And it’s what drives sales for brands collaborating with Instagram influencers. 8 out of 10 users have purchased an item after seeing it recommended by an influencer.

When hosting a video conference or online event, we need to create that connection with the viewers. Otherwise, it’s like talking to a brick wall.

Use the interactive features to let viewers participate in chat rooms, answer polls, and ask questions throughout the video meeting. This principle can be applied to live-streamed webinars, too.

2. Real-Time Interaction is Key

Influencers also interact with fans in real-time on Instagram through Instagram Stories, direct messages, and live video.

Fans crave this pseudo “one-on-one” engagement with influencers, which also works to strengthen their connection with them.

Whether we’re hosting a virtual meeting with customers or a introducing a new service, let’s all look for ways to provide real-time interaction with participants. This extra step keeps viewers engaged with the content, so they return to the brand for more.

3. Authenticity is Better than Promotion

There’s a reason we’re drawn to video calls. Being face-to-face with another human, albeit virtually, creates an authentic connection.

Instagram influencers display this concept masterfully online. While they do partner with brands and promote products, they dedicate most of their content to sharing their true selves with fans.

For example, a marketing rule of thumb is to dedicate around 20% of social media content to selling a product or service, while gearing the other 80% toward education, entertainment, or genuine fun.

When promoting an upcoming webinar or live-streamed video interview series, do so authentically. Look for ways to engage with the viewers before, during, and after the video meeting to help foster that connection.

Take a tip or two from Instagram influencers the next time you host a video meeting or webinar!

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Why You Need a Dedicated Webcasting Tool for Your Online Events https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/why-you-need-a-dedicated-webcasting-tool-for-your-online-events/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/why-you-need-a-dedicated-webcasting-tool-for-your-online-events/#respond Fri, 11 Sep 2020 01:25:35 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28116 As offices closed worldwide during the COVID-19 crisis, many organizations turned to familiar audio and video conferencing services to communicate with employees, customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders spread across the globe.They soon discovered, however, that these solutions were simply not built to deliver professional-quality webcasts at scale. They couldn’t handle audiences larger than a few …

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As offices closed worldwide during the COVID-19 crisis, many organizations turned to familiar audio and video conferencing services to communicate with employees, customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders spread across the globe.They soon discovered, however, that these solutions were simply not built to deliver professional-quality webcasts at scale. They couldn’t handle audiences larger than a few hundred participants, and presentations were often plagued with network glitches, non-intuitive interfaces, and the need for participants to download one proprietary app after another.

And yet, the ability to communicate quickly and effectively with large groups of people — for corporate town halls, trade shows, conferences, and time-sensitive training sessions — still remains critical. The solution? A purpose-built webcasting platform powerful enough to host rich, interactive virtual events featuring video, audio, and visuals to global audiences of all sizes. Such a platform must handle this capacity securely without degrading audio and video quality, while also providing the level of service that meets your organization’s needs.

6 Must-Have Features

Your organization’s events need to project a professional image that fits your brand messaging while maximizing engagement and alignment across your audience. Your presenters should have the freedom to focus on content and delivery without worrying about event management, and your audience should be able to join in with a click. Here are the most important criteria to consider when evaluating webcasting solutions:

  • Multiple levels of support: No two events are exactly alike. If your HR team is pulling together a focused training session, a self-service option that offers simplicity and control without sacrificing scalability or quality might be ideal. For high-profile events, you should be able to call on an experienced team who can handle every element of your webcast, including technical and security setup, email reminders, and presenter training. Other occasions may require a hybrid service level that lets you create your own event while also engaging a professional production manager to check content quality, assist with guest presenters, and run the live broadcast.
  • Enterprise-grade security, scalability, and quality: Look for the highest-quality enterprise security to protect your organization’s data and your participants’ privacy. That should include password protection, login authentication, and gated audience access without the need for app downloads or firewall configurations. Your vendor should ensure flawless delivery of high-quality video to thousands of participants with such technology as peer-to-peer networking and pre-provisioned bandwidth.
  • Seamless integrations and automation: Make sure your solution’s registration, reporting, and event information integrate easily with common CRM and marketing automation systems. You should also be able to customize and automate confirmations, reminders, and follow-ups to make outreach easy.
  • Advanced presentation and engagement capabilities: Your webcasting solution should support a rich assortment of presentation techniques, including multiple speakers, video overlays, live screen sharing, and synchronized transcripts produced by automated speech recognition. Engagement features such as polling, Q&A, testing, and participant certification should also be a part of the package.
  • Easy repurposing: Best-in-class webcasting solutions should not only provide for great live events but also facilitate re-purposing your event content for on-demand viewing. Additional capabilities, such as downloadable webcast transcriptions, can make your content accessible and searchable.
  • Comprehensive registration, administration, and reporting tools: Look for the ability to customize registration and reporting for all your events with standardized or custom questions to gain insight into your audience. Manage presenters, participants, and content easily to ensure a smooth, professional event. Run standardized and custom reports with a click, and download them to Excel for analysis.

Future-Proofing Your Webcasting Tool

The need to align your organization quickly and efficiently no matter how geographically dispersed is hardly limited to a pandemic. It’s a daily necessity for global organizations in order to remain competitive. Audio conferencing and online meeting solutions weren’t built to handle professional large-scale live events with the security, quality, and functionality you need to ensure audience engagement and retention. It’s time to choose a webcasting solution that was built from the ground up to provide exactly that.

To learn more about the ins and outs of a robust webcasting platform, read our ebook, “Webcasting Essentials: Choosing a Dedicated Tool for Your Online Events.” Download the free Webcast eBook.

GlobalMeet Webcast is a reliable, high-quality, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade live streaming events platform that delivers superior support and technology for any audience in the world, giving you peace of mind in running your events.  Visit the Webcast Demo Page.

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Communication is Key: Why Meetings in the Cloud Need Video https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/communication-is-key-why-meetings-in-the-cloud-need-video/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/communication-is-key-why-meetings-in-the-cloud-need-video/#respond Tue, 08 Sep 2020 19:35:53 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28147 Chances are, you’ve experienced this scenario before: Your team is all set up and ready to hop on a conference call with a large audience such as a new client. Nerves are high as you begin the call, but your team is prepared for anything. That is until the connection is poor and communication proves …

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Chances are, you’ve experienced this scenario before: Your team is all set up and ready to hop on a conference call with a large audience such as a new client. Nerves are high as you begin the call, but your team is prepared for anything.

That is until the connection is poor and communication proves to be difficult. Or, you find that communicating a particular concept via audio isn’t translating as well as you’d hoped.

Conference calls solved the problem of long-distance business travel in years past, but our needs and technology have advanced. This is why all meetings in the cloud must use video. 58% of businesses today use video conferencing as part of their everyday operations.

On top of improved audio connections, video meetings in the cloud provide advantages such as:

Improved Business Communications

When speaking with a colleague or client, how do you know what they’re feeling or thinking? While they may say it, much of this information is derived from their nonverbal communication.

When talking with a client over the phone, you can’t pick up on those cues solely by listening to their voice. Instead, hosting video conferences over the cloud provides your team with the opportunity to improve communications between clients and customers by responding accordingly to nonverbal cues.

This improved communication through video collaboration also leads to increased productivity and stronger client relationships in the long run.

Use of Visual Aids

If you find that demonstrating a particular aspect of your strategy, product, or service is difficult over the phone, the use of visual aids will help — especially when you need to communicate with a large audience. This can be accomplished by hosting a webcast over the cloud.

You can use webcasts to communicate everything from media for a new campaign to the latest financial reports during an earnings call. The use of video, audio, and visual aids all in one cloud solution makes webcasts the perfect communication tool for businesses.

Reduced Overhead Expenses

In the past, video conferencing with a massive audience required expensive on-site hardware. This video conferencing option also requires the assistance of an IT support team to keep it up and running.

Cloud video conferencing and webcasting options allow your company to invest in improved communications solutions without draining your entire budget.

Plus, solutions such as GlobalMeet Webcast offer completely secure connections without the additional need and expenses for third-party security measures.

Improve Company Communications Over the Cloud with Video

Strengthen your client relationships and overall company communication by using video for your meetings over the cloud. PGi’s GlobalMeet platform can help you securely and seamlessly collaborate with clients and colleagues over video.

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Connect With Far-Flung Teams by Streaming Corporate Updates and More https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/connect-with-far-flung-teams-by-streaming-corporate-updates-and-more/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/09/connect-with-far-flung-teams-by-streaming-corporate-updates-and-more/#respond Tue, 08 Sep 2020 14:09:57 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28144 As of 2020, 7 million people — and counting — in the United States worked remotely before COVID-19. With the remote workforce growing by approximately 44% over the last five years, businesses are expanding their search for the right employees by onboarding candidates from all over the globe. Far-flung teams are distributed across various time zones and …

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As of 2020, 7 million people — and counting — in the United States worked remotely before COVID-19. With the remote workforce growing by approximately 44% over the last five years, businesses are expanding their search for the right employees by onboarding candidates from all over the globe.

Far-flung teams are distributed across various time zones and use video conferencing, webinars, and other collaborative software to accomplish tasks. However, keeping teams motivated and connected to executive leadership can be a challenge.

4 Ideas to Keep International Teams Motivated and Connected

We can maintain a positive and productive international workforce by implementing some of these ideas:

1. Gather for Company Updates

We’ve found that the best way to keep morale high and communication seamless across employees and teams is to come together for company updates. This can mean live streaming a pre-recorded webcast or virtual event with interactive chat features about new company protocols or finding a mutually agreeable time for everyone to log on for a large video chat meeting about the latest team initiatives.

In doing so, we also allow employees to directly engage with company updates by utilizing key webcasting features such as chatrooms, Q&A sessions, polls, and more. This provides employees with a sense of belonging as they work toward accomplishing the company’s goals together.

2. Encourage Employees to Speak Up

According to Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work report, remote employees struggle with collaboration and communication. This challenge is due to varying time zones and a lack of communication from company leadership.

With this in mind, we can institute a company-wide policy of encouraging employees — regardless of location — to feel confident sharing their ideas, offering feedback, and being honest with coworkers and executives. Put this tip into action by encouraging this employee feedback during company update virtual events.

3. Host a Virtual Happy Hour

Employees everywhere need time to relax and get to know their coworkers. Host a virtual happy hour where employees can come and bond with their colleagues without having to discuss office projects or objectives.

4. Embrace One-on-One Video Meetings with Company Leadership

With company leadership and teams that are scattered throughout the world, meeting for a cup of coffee to chat about career goals or company trajectory isn’t possible. However, employees and executives can schedule one-on-one video meetings to chat about everything relevant to the job, professional goals, upcoming projects, and more. Speaking with leadership members encourages employees to stay motivated, productive, and aligned with company initiatives as they move forward with their tasks.

But First, Far-Flung Teams Need the Right Tools to Succeed

To stay motivated and connected regardless of time zone, remote employees must be equipped with tools designed to help them succeed.

Our suite of collaborative tools, including webcasting, video conferencing, and live streaming software, will help your team interact from anywhere in the world. Try it out with your team today.

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5 Virtual Event Mistakes You Never, Ever Want to Make https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/08/5-virtual-event-mistakes-you-never-ever-want-to-make/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/08/5-virtual-event-mistakes-you-never-ever-want-to-make/#respond Wed, 26 Aug 2020 00:30:09 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28111 For those who are used to organizing in-person events, hosting a virtual event via a webcast or live stream can be nerve-wracking. After all, a successful event is the culmination of several tiny factors working in tandem to produce a memorable experience for guests, but now online. With 56% of marketers saying it takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks …

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For those who are used to organizing in-person events, hosting a virtual event via a webcast or live stream can be nerve-wracking. After all, a successful event is the culmination of several tiny factors working in tandem to produce a memorable experience for guests, but now online.

With 56% of marketers saying it takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks to plan a small virtual event if certain aspects are overlooked, horrendous mistakes can happen, which is every marketer’s worst nightmare. But don’t worry! We’ll show you how to avoid making any of these virtual event mistakes.

1. Streaming the Wrong Content

Virtual events often have multiple speakers, panels, and topics. This means many different types of content have to be streamed to your guests. Streaming the wrong content, however, can be embarrassing for your brand and speakers as well as confusing for your guests.

Solution: Before your event — we’re talking days before, not minutes — confirm the content order and files with all members of your team to ensure everything is set and ready to stream correctly.

2. Not Checking Audio Ahead of Time

There is nothing worse than accidentally muting the keynote speaker or watching as your live-streamed content is utterly silent. Or, your virtual event host’s audio could be choppy and difficult to understand. This situation is frustrating for guests, making it difficult for them to follow along.

Solution: Check all audio levels and controls of each moderator, host, speaker, panel, etc. a few hours before the event. And, have a technical team ready to assist in case of audio emergencies.

3. Connection Errors

No one enjoys watching the loading icon spin over and over again as live streaming content buffers. Your virtual event needs to have adequate bandwidth to stream high-quality content via a webcast. Without it, you’ll bore and confuse participants with content that never loads properly.

Solution: Have a lightning-fast connection via an Ethernet cord, ideally at least twice the upload speed of your video and audio quality. Work with your technical team to ensure you have the proper connection.

And, be confident in your webcasting tool. Use a webcasting tool that can handle properly streaming content for virtual events of all sizes.

4. Failing to Engage the Audience

No one enjoys being talked at or staring at a computer screen for hours. We want to be engaged and involved! Failing to interact with your audience will result in a steady drop-off of viewers as the virtual event goes on.

Solution: Use interactive webcasting features such as polling, Q&A, and chat to keep participants actively engaged in the event.

5. Not Using a Moderator

Remember in elementary school when one kid could disrupt the entire class? The same situation can happen during a virtual event. One noisy person in the chatroom or uninvited guest can derail an entire segment of a virtual event.

Solution: Assign a team member to be a moderator for the event and field questions, respond to comments, and control access to the content.

By planning and double-checking everything from audio quality to live-streamed content, these mistakes won’t happen at your virtual event!

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How to Transform Your In-Person Events Into a Digital Success https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/08/how-to-transform-your-in-person-events-into-a-digital-success/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/08/how-to-transform-your-in-person-events-into-a-digital-success/#respond Tue, 04 Aug 2020 17:24:22 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28065 A study from Bizzabo reported that 85% of company leaders believe in-person events are vital to their business’ success. Yet, with the COVID-19 pandemic pausing in-person activities around the world, these events are no longer possible. As a result, businesses are transforming their previously scheduled in-person events into successful digital experiences. From conferences to large industry sales meetings, turning …

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A study from Bizzabo reported that 85% of company leaders believe in-person events are vital to their business’ success. Yet, with the COVID-19 pandemic pausing in-person activities around the world, these events are no longer possible. As a result, businesses are transforming their previously scheduled in-person events into successful digital experiences. From conferences to large industry sales meetings, turning an in-person experience into a digital event provides great benefits for companies actively looking to interact with potential clients online.

Why Go Digital?

Bizzabo also found that 93% of event professionals plan to invest in digital events as of 2020. And, 86% of event marketers state that technology has a positive impact on their events’ success.

With in-person events no longer an option, there are two core arguments for embracing digital events:

Cost

Think about how much is spent on in-person events, from small client dinners to extravagant conferences. Don’t forget to factor in travel!

Companies spend an astronomical amount of money each year on in-person experiences. By bringing events into the digital landscape, it makes the experience affordable for brands and customers alike.

Companies can save far more money by streaming, casting, or recording digital experiences to participants rather than producing large events. And, the more approachable price tag is easier on the customer’s wallet, too.

Wider Reach and Accessibility

Large in-person events such as conferences or seminars are limited to guests in the immediate geographic area or those who can afford the hefty price tag.

With a lower cost of entry and the ability to log on from anywhere in the world, customers can interact with brands and experiences previously out of their reach. Online events provide companies with access to a wider audience base and an increase in overall brand exposure.

How to Approach Turning an In-Person Experience into a Digital Event

When you’re ready to go digital, use the following tips to help the transition go smoothly:

Focus on Content

First and foremost, you must always focus on the event content.

People aren’t registering for digital events because they love sitting in front of a laptop screen all day. They’re signing up and paying the entry fee because they want to learn more about the respective topic.

Since you don’t have to worry about minuscule in-person event details such as total chair count, you can point your energy toward providing quality content for your audience.

Have a Streaming Plan

Implementing a foolproof plan for streaming your event content is paramount. Whether you choose to go live, stream content, or use pre-recorded interviews, your audience members must be able to access the content without problems.

Before the big event, test your streaming plan. Then, test it again. And, always have a technical team ready to act if something goes awry during the live event.

Create a Virtual Event Hub

Navigating in-person events is hard enough. Make the online event experience a breeze for guests by compiling all content, resources, lectures, chat rooms, etc. into a single virtual hub.

Personalize It

Even though you might not be face-to-face with event guests, you can still make it a personal experience for them.

Strive to provide a personalized event experience for each participant through individualized landing pages, emails, and chats.

Take Your In-Person Event Into the Digital Landscape

Need to turn your in-person events into digital experiences? Rely on PGi’s lineup of webcasting, live streaming, and video conferencing tools to get the job done efficiently and securely.

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The Power of Saying ‘Good Morning’ to Your Virtual Team https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/06/the-power-of-saying-good-morning-to-your-virtual-team/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/06/the-power-of-saying-good-morning-to-your-virtual-team/#respond Fri, 26 Jun 2020 15:22:04 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28016 It’s a habit. We walk into the office and say, “good morning!” to whoever we pass. But when you’re part of a virtual team, the only people greeting you get each morning are probably your family and your pets. Greeting your virtual team each morning is one of the best things you can do to …

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It’s a habit. We walk into the office and say, “good morning!” to whoever we pass. But when you’re part of a virtual team, the only people greeting you get each morning are probably your family and your pets.

Greeting your virtual team each morning is one of the best things you can do to boost remote workers’ morale and help them remain productive from home.

Plus, this tiny little phrase we take for granted offers several other powerful benefits, such as:

1. Helping Remote Workers Establish a Routine

While flexibility and an adaptive schedule are among the top reasons people choose to work remotely, that’s not always a benefit for those who prefer routine.

Help your employees at home and in the office establish a consistent routine, starting with a simple “Good morning!” message to your teammates on a daily basis. Doing so encourages them to arrive at work on time physically and mentally (even though the commute may only be a few steps away!).

Additionally, this morning habit also helps managers be accountable for their routine and productivity throughout the day.

2. Planning More Productive Work Days

If your team doesn’t already participate in virtual standing meetings, there’s never been a better time to get started and say, “Good morning,” too.

Morning meetings are an ideal time to touch base with remote teammates, check-in on their tasks, and ask if they’re having difficulty with anything. These meetings are great for planning productive workdays for the entire team by identifying top priorities first thing in the morning.

Hosting morning meetings are also an excellent way to minimize interruptions later in the day as workers get into their groove. There’s nothing worse than that last-minute request to disrupt your workflow.

3. Opening Up Lines of Team Communication

Clear and constant communication is one of the biggest remote work challenges. More than half of remote employees report feeling disconnected from in-office employees, which leads to communication errors and barriers for teams.

A quick “Good morning!” message helps prevent feelings of alienation and isolation from developing and quashes any notion of poor communication at the start of the day. This little phrase encourages employees to speak up and feel heard throughout their workday.

4. Starting the Day on a Positive Note

It’s unrealistic to expect every workday to be bright and cheery. But we can try! And, for those working at home, starting the day with a team meeting and a happy “Good morning!” can mean the difference between just another day at home and a positive one.

You never know whose day you’ll change simply by saying, “Good morning!”

5. Giving Your Team Something to Look Forward to

We’re all guilty of hitting the snooze button more often than we should. Scheduling a regular morning meeting to get the day started is a great way to give your remote team something to look forward to at the beginning of their day.

Even though your team may not work in a physical office together and are mainly connecting virtually, that’s no reason to throw etiquette out the window! Instead, start each day with a “good morning!” greeting and tackle the workday together.

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9 Types of Business Meetings (and How to Lead Them) https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/04/9-types-of-business-meetings/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/04/9-types-of-business-meetings/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2020 16:49:56 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=27812 When you spend the bulk of your time in meetings, each meeting can start to blend into the next. Soon, at the pace you’re going, you feel like you don’t have time to set proper, focused goals for each meeting. Right? However, it doesn’t have to be that way! By knowing the nine most common types …

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When you spend the bulk of your time in meetings, each meeting can start to blend into the next. Soon, at the pace you’re going, you feel like you don’t have time to set proper, focused goals for each meeting. Right? However, it doesn’t have to be that way! By knowing the nine most common types of business meetings, you can automatically envision your goals for each session based on meeting type, instead of starting from scratch.

1. Status Update Meetings

Your weekly 1:1, your biweekly team sync, your Scrum “stand-up”—all of these meetings fall into the category of status update meetings. The purpose is to bring everyone at the meeting up to speed with need-to-know information. Small teams and whole organizations alike might have status update meetings, although most “all-hands” meetings wouldn’t fall into this category. (They’re more likely one of the other types of business meetings).

Focus on: Expedience

When leading a status update meeting, focus on keeping it brief and to-the-point. Don’t give participants the chance to get distracted and waste each other’s time just because you called a quick meeting.

After all, status update meetings usually have the most concrete goals of any meeting. The main idea is to exchange answers to super-straightforward questions, such as:

  • What did you do to further our goal since we last met?
  • What do you plan to do today or this week?
  • Is anything blocking you?
  • Do you need anything from me, or anyone else, in order to do your job?

Since the goal is so simple, status update meetings can easily run too long and become time-wasters. That’s the tendency, but you can prevent it by setting boundaries focused on expedience.

For example, if your company applies Scrum, you already know that the time limit on a daily status update (or “stand-up”) meeting is 15 minutes. But most status update meetings, even weekly or biweekly ones, can follow the same philosophy. Status update meetings are an opportunity to save time for other things, so keep them quick.

2. Decision-Making Meetings

In a typical decision-making meeting, someone presents options to a designated decision-maker, and that person makes a decision. Some people say that decisions are a “product” that a leader makes—and that’s a good way to think about it. The end goal of a decision-making meeting is, of course, to make the best possible decision.

Focus on: Locating Any Blind Spots

The spotlight effect is one of the biggest potential failure points of any decision-making process. The “spotlight” encircles the information you’re focused on at the time. It’s what you see in your purview—the resources you already have for making your decision. So, that spotlight governs the decisions you consider viable. Failing to explore the darkness outside of that spotlight makes you vulnerable.

Falling victim to the spotlight effect means making a decision based on that information without looking beyond the possibilities you can see in the moment. For example, if you’re starting an e-commerce store, but you only know about one e-commerce platform, you might miss the opportunity to get a better price or product. If you seek advice from someone with experience in e-commerce instead, you might find a platform that’s truly the perfect fit for your needs, avoiding the consequences of the spotlight effect.

So, before making an important decision, especially about a problem you’re solving, you need to move that spotlight around. That way, you can illuminate a more comprehensive buffet of options. That’s how you can avoid letting your personal blind spots weaken you, your team, or your business.

Seeking expertise is one of the best ways to do that. During a problem-solving meeting, ask yourself, “Who’s the expert on this? What expertise can I bring in to help me understand this problem?” Make sure you tap into the expertise of your team members and other allies to the fullest extent. This way, you’ll have the most thorough possible overview of the options available, and you can avoid risks in your decision-making process.

3. Planning Meetings

As a fundamental part of project management, planning meetings bring team members together around a step-by-step plan designed to achieve a specific goal. A single project can certainly involve more than one planning meeting, so think of each planning meeting in terms of that particular goal.

Focus on: Who Does What By When (WDWBW)

Ideally, at the end of a planning meeting, everyone should know the plan. That includes knowing which part of the plan they’ll “own.” That’s why, during planning meetings, you can get a lot more done by staying focused on “Who Does What By When.” In fact, the developers at Microsoft built a functionality for this into Microsoft Project: you can create a “who does what when” report if you use that tool.

In other words, make sure everyone leaves the meeting knowing their marching orders and the timeframe in which they’re expected to complete them. If you’re running a planning meeting on video, keeping and sharing a recording or automated transcription of the meeting can help with future accountability.

4. Collaboration Meetings

The purpose of a collaboration meeting is to produce a deliverable as a team. For example, if you meet to co-create a document, webinar, or creative asset. That’s a collaboration meeting. You could also collaborate on something more high-level, like a marketing campaign.

Many creative teams, marketing teams, sales teams, and legal teams, among others, do a large amount of their work collaboratively. That’s why it’s important to identify collaboration meetings as one type of meeting and plan for them accordingly. As part of the planning, make sure all your team members have the necessary collaboration tools at their fingertips, including both technology and the relevant documents or assets.

Focus on: The Mutual Goal

In our post about what makes a great collaborator, we shared several ways to avoid ruffling feathers while collaborating. If you have experience collaborating, you know that a blend of “people skills” come into play, and it takes practice to become a truly great collaborator who inspires and motivates everyone else on the team.

That said, there’s one important thing to remember and focus on: the mutual goal, or end result, matters more than anything else. That goal matters a lot more than individuals’ egos. It also matters more than any one idea or element of the project. If you can get this point across and keep the conversation focused on the shared goal (or deliverable), your collaboration meeting will run smoothly.

5. Presentations or Trainings

Presentation-type meetings include sales demos, team training, onboarding training, webinars, workshops, and general informational sessions. Presentations and trainings come in all shapes and sizes, from 1:1 to all-hands. Basically, it’s any meeting in which a clearly defined presenter shares materials with the group, or maybe a few presenters speak as part of a joint presentation or panel discussion.

Focus on: Keeping Listeners Engaged

If you’re taking center stage, you want people to come away with positive memories of what you said. The best way to do that is to focus on one goal: keeping listeners engaged.

Whether you do it through realtime polls, multimedia, or other engagement tactics, if you’re leading a presentation or training, be interesting! Put yourself in your listeners’ shoes, and bring in the kind of elements you wish people would use in their presentations.

Here are just a few examples of things you can do to keep listeners engaged:

  • Use plenty of pictures.
  • Ask questions. If the meeting is virtual, engaging people with questions via the chat box—even fairly simple questions—goes a long way.
  • Use polls, surveys, and other audience engagement technology.
  • Tell personal stories.
  • Invite an exciting or popular guest speaker.
  • Turn the presentation into a panel with multiple speakers.
  • Use gamification (here’s how to gamify training).
  • Bring the presentation back to relatable experiences that people have had in their own lives.
  • Talk with your hands! Studies show that this makes a big difference.

Above all, keep things light and keep things moving—if you keep your listeners engaged, you’ll make the presentation or training worthwhile.

6. Problem-Solving Meetings

People call problem-solving meetings during emergencies, and also when a general business issue needs a solution. Big picture, the goal of a problem-solving meeting is to understand the problem, evaluate the potential solutions, and decide on a solution. You can think of them as a type of decision-making meeting,

A problem-solving meeting often happens before the planning meetings start. After the team decides on a solution, they’ll jump into a planning meeting to map out the implementation of that solution.

Focus on: What Caused the Problem

“Firefighting” and instant, band-aid-style solutions can work when you’re extremely short on time—but they don’t work in the long term. That’s why, if at all possible, a problem-solving meeting should aim for a complete understanding of what caused the problem. By understanding the causes of the problem, you can build a long-term solution, not just a short-term one.

For example, if your team went over-budget this quarter, cutting costs in the coming quarter will solve the problem in the short term. However, to resolve the issue for the long term, you want to address the reason why you went over-budget. You want to find and mend any deficiencies in your processes and operating principles.

Often, the full “stack” of causes extends beyond the obvious. For example, many companies are over-paying for services that they don’t really need—or for which cheaper (or free) alternatives exist. Budget optimization starts with identifying these types of costs, which are often the deeper causes of budgetary problems.

When you identify all the causes of a problem, not just the ones that seem immediately obvious, you can build a long-term solution and make your company more resilient.

7. Brainstorming Meetings

Brainstorming is an open-ended process that’s usually associated with more creative work. In a brainstorming meeting, people come together to bounce ideas around and bring them out into the open, so that the best ideas can rise to the surface and eventually come to fruition. You might brainstorm for solutions to a specific problem, or you might have a broader brainstorming session around a topic, such as “improving our branding” or “better customer service.”

Focus on: A Friendly Atmosphere

The best brainstorming happens in a low-pressure environment when everyone feels that they’re able to contribute. To cultivate this environment as a leader, focus on making the atmosphere friendly. Bring snacks. Tell a joke. Encourage timid people to speak up, and ensure that everyone has a chance to speak. Set a tone that suggests, “not every idea will work for us, but we want to hear them all.” If you have a wacky idea that you’re not sure will resonate, lead by example: toss it out there, and show a willingness to laugh at yourself. Make sure people know it’s okay to share an idea that’s not perfect—after all, that’s the point of brainstorming.

Here are a few more great rules of thumb to set the stage for brainstorming:

  • Focus on quantity, not quality.
  • Don’t analyze. The goal now is to get ideas out there—the time to analyze, iterate, and prune will come later.
  • The crazier, the better. Encourage people to think big and say whatever crazy-sounding thing might come to mind.
  • Instead of voting on ideas right away, consider sending out a poll or survey after the meeting to ask the group which ideas have the most potential.

8. Team-Building Meetings

Team-building meetings can happen on-site, off-site, in small groups, or as an all-hands occasion. In a team-building meeting, you might do some structured activities to build up trust and communication among the team. Or, you might have a holiday party or team happy hour, where team members can mingle and maybe even introduce each other to friends and spouses.

Regardless of your workplace culture, you probably want a tight-knit team of people who care about each other and have each other’s backs. If that’s a goal for you, you need to have team-building meetings from time to time.

Focus on: Fun and Games

Even if you’re doing on-site team-building “exercises,” make sure people have a fun time. Otherwise, you won’t accomplish that core goal of bringing the team closer together.

Virtual team-building, which has become more important than ever, comes with another layer of challenges. However, “challenging” is not the same as “impossible.” Virtual teams can, and do, bond. Here are a few ways remote colleagues can build themselves up as teams.

9. Feedback or Debrief Meetings

Last but not least among types of business meetings: feedback meetings or debriefings. Both of these flavors of meetings fall into the same general category because they involve talking about past events.

Focus on: The Future

Even though you’re talking about things that happened in the past, feedback and debrief meetings should look ahead to the future. Whether the news is good or bad, you want people looking forward: you don’t want them feeling discouraged, and you also don’t want high-performers to rest on their laurels. So, make sure to emphasize future expectations and plans along with any information about past events. This will go a long way toward keeping your team upbeat and motivated, regardless of what’s happened historically.

Harness These Insights

Now that you know the nine types of business meetings, you can apply this framework to your everyday life. Before your next meeting, identify which of these nine meetings it is, based on its purpose.

Once you know which type of meeting it is, remember the focal point we listed for that type of meeting, and lead the meeting with that in mind. You might feel surprised by how much of a difference this can make.

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New to Remote Work? Helpful Resources and Online Courses https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/04/new-to-remote-work-helpful-resources-and-online-courses/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/04/new-to-remote-work-helpful-resources-and-online-courses/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 16:53:46 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=27786 If you don’t have much experience working remotely, making that change suddenly is jarring. Your routines, habits, and workflows are disrupted significantly. However, there’s good news. People with lots of remote work experience have shared their knowledge to help others learn the necessary skills. Here are some great resources to check out instead of trying …

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If you don’t have much experience working remotely, making that change suddenly is jarring. Your routines, habits, and workflows are disrupted significantly. However, there’s good news. People with lots of remote work experience have shared their knowledge to help others learn the necessary skills. Here are some great resources to check out instead of trying to re-invent the remote work wheel.

Staying Productive at Home

If you’re finding there’s a learning curve for staying productive while working from home, you’re not alone. Most people will feel that way at some point. Here are some great resources to help:

Two superb video-based courses on productivity are available for free right now.

  1. Best Practices for Working Remotely, courtesy of the e-learning platform Udemy.
  2. Time Management: Working from Home, created by celebrated author Dave Crenshaw.

If you’d rather read than watch videos, check out these 21 tips for working from home with kids, shared by the 100% remote company Buffer. Also, at PGi, we’ve compiled a broader list of 21 remote work tips with the help of experienced telecommuters at our own company.

Unplanned Remote Leadership and Management

Gitlab, another fully remote company, has produced some of the best remote leadership resources. Here is a fantastic 17-minute interview with the CEO, Sid Sijbrandij. In that interview, you’ll get the core principles of remote management that enable Gitlab to operate with 160+ employees in 160+ different locations.

For reading material, Harvard Business Review published a thorough and practical guide to managing your team after going remote on short notice. Co-written by three management experts, the article explains how to implement leading remote management practices (e.g., daily check-ins, rules of engagement, face-to-face supervision, and team-building). We also loved this great guide from Gallup.

Mastering Video Meetings

LinkedIn has shared free courses on executive presence on screen and leading virtual meetings.

On the My Meeting Help knowledge base, we’ve released a comprehensive, COVID-specific guide to virtual meeting best practices. Whether you’re running a 1:1 video conference or hosting a webcast with 10,000 participants, this guide will help you hold the most efficient possible meetings. There’s also advice to help you avoid technological issues, such as congested phone and internet networks.

If you’re looking for a free, scalable, all-in-one tool for remote communication and collaboration, you can use GlobalMeet for free.

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21 Tips for Working from Home https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/03/21-tips-for-working-from-home/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/03/21-tips-for-working-from-home/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2020 21:17:19 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=27714 In a matter of  weeks, the world has changed with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak throwing every aspect of life into a state of chaos. Businesses and schools have closed, while conferences and travel have been canceled. Workers are quarantined to work from home, and there is no immediate end in sight. For those who haven’t …

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In a matter of  weeks, the world has changed with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak throwing every aspect of life into a state of chaos. Businesses and schools have closed, while conferences and travel have been canceled. Workers are quarantined to work from home, and there is no immediate end in sight. For those who haven’t worked from home previously, the change may come as a shock to the system. Luckily, technology is helping organizations maintain some level of normalcy during this otherwise turbulent time. For workers who are new to the remote work lifestyle, here are our 21 tips for working from home.

1. Download Virtual Meeting Software

Trying to work from home with just email can get old very quickly. One of our most important work from home tips is to download collaboration software. With online meeting and video conferencing software like GlobalMeet Collaboration, you can meet with coworkers, customers and partners all from the comfort and safety of your home. The best news is that it’s free to use with no limits on how many meetings you can schedule.

2. Expect Distractions

Typically, when working from home, we’d recommend eliminating distractions. But with COVID-19 changing how (where, when and with how many) we work, it’s going to be impossible to eliminate distractions. Instead, you should expect them. Many will have the added challenge of home-schooling children while also working full time. Develop a game plan for your top distractions and how to work around them to communicate to your boss and your team. And, don’t forget to give your coworkers a bit of grace in the new normal environment.

3. Create a Workspace

For many, working from home or remotely is a rarity, so they’re not familiar with the ins and outs of how best to approach it. Once you’ve found a dedicated spot to work, whether that’s a permanent home office or your kitchen table, make sure you have everything you need for a successful workday. For instance, do you make to-do lists? Have a notebook nearby to write down the day’s activities. Even if you’re not working at a traditional office desk, you should have all the tools you need to get your work done right at your fingertips.

4. Create a Routine

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep a routine. Wake up at the same time every day, get dressed, eat breakfast and start the day. Consistency when you work from home is critical. Some of the best working from home tips include a daily routine to help maximize your productivity and improve your overall work from home experience. A good routine will go a long way, we promise.

5. Embrace Natural Light

If you can, try to work near natural light. According to Harvard Business Review, studies show that natural light helps improve overall employee experience. Without vitamin D during the day, many employees can feel down or see a noticeable difference in their productivity. Help keep your spirits high by working in a room with plenty of natural light.

6. Keep Consistent Work Hours

When you’re working from home it is more important than ever to start and end work at the same time every day. Many work from home employees often find themselves working at all hours. This leads to a very blurred line between work time and personal time. When you’re already working where you live, you at least need to keep those hours as segmented as possible. However, be sure to embrace altered hours. Early mornings and late evenings may become the new business hours, especially for working parents who are now tasked with homeschooling their children.

7. Dress the Part

Many tips for working from home will include getting dressed as a simple way to be successful when working remotely. Sure you can wake up and start your calls in your pajamas, but when you dress the part, that confidence and professionalism comes through in every email, online meeting and phone call. Plus, you want to make sure you’re ready in the event your audio meeting turns to video. Just be prepared that your co-workers may not have dressed the part.

8. Schedule Time to Sync with the Team

Many work from home tips highlight one crucial aspect that social interactions are of the utmost importance. When you work from home, you might miss that typical coffee break chit chat, but you don’t have to. Schedule a video meeting, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, with your team to check in with everyone. Seeing the people you work with can help build team camaraderie even when everyone is remote.

9. Screen Share During Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings can be much more productive when you share your screen. Attendees can look at something visual, like your latest creative brief, to help explain your message. People are visual learners and sharing your presentation online helps with retention and comprehension. Make sure you choose a tool that lets you share your webcam and screen share your presentation at the same time.

10. Keep Healthy Food in your Home

When you’re working from home, it’s easy to reach for that bag of chips. Work from home snacking is a real issue, so do yourself a favor and keep healthy options in your house. If those chips aren’t there for you to eat, you might go for a piece of fruit or nuts instead.

11. Make a To-do List

When you’re working from home, it’s even more paramount to create a to-do list to keep you focused and productive throughout the day. Let’s be honest, a to-do list is more than just priority setting. You can gain a sense of accomplishment when you mark something off your list. When you’re working remote and practicing social distancing, celebrating these little wins can make a positive difference in your day.

12. Set Ground Rules

We’re halfway through our top 21 tips for working from home, and setting ground rules for the people (and pets) in your home while you’re working remotely is one of our top tips. We all know you can easily succumb to distractions around the house, especially  if you have kids, a spouse or a noisy pet. Be sure to set some ground rules for your work environment so that everyone,even those non human ones, are on the same page.

13. Dial into Meetings Using VoIP

Out of all the working from home tips on the internet, this is one you shouldn’t miss during the COVID-19 outbreak. Dialing into a meeting using VoIP (voice over internet protocol) can help keep you connected throughout your meeting and provide the best audio during this crisis. As people all over the world are working remotely, phone network infrastructures are seeing increased usage. In order to have the best audio experience while you’re working from home, use VoIP.

14. Take Control of the Meeting

When you’re working on a team project, sometimes it’s just easier to take control of the mouse and actually “do” what you’re trying to explain. GlobalMeet Collaboration features remote desktop control, so you can easily take control of the meeting and gain access to another attendee’s screen when they grant you access. The benefits don’t stop there, read this blog for tips on how to use remote desktop control.

15. Get Your Steps In (While Properly Distanced)

Just as in the office, make it a point to schedule breaks to get up and move throughout the day. Do not remain dormant in one spot throughout the day. Even if you can’t get to the gym, it’s essential to take a walk around your house or try to do some at-home exercise. You’ll feel better and have the energy to get through your remote workday.

16. Get Face Time

With the spread of COVID-19 and the increased request around the world for social distancing, getting a little extra face time will help alleviate feeling lonely. When you’re on a web meeting, simply turn on your video to start meeting face to face. You’ll have better conversations and feel connected even if you’re not in the same room.

Pro tip: Reread tip number 5 so you can be ready.

17. Mute Your Line

While working from home with your furry friend is a nice perk, being on a conference call with dogs barking in the background isn’t. Background noise can come from anywhere, too. Whether it’s your furry friend, kids running around your house or a loud neighbor next door, eliminate background noise on meetings and conference calls by muting your line.

18. Drink Plenty of Water

In a recent study conducted by Quench, nearly 80% of employees say they don’t drink enough water during a typical workday. The impacts of not drinking enough water go far beyond health risks. By staying hydrated, you’re providing enough water and oxygen to your brain allowing for better thinking and problem solving. So make sure to stay hydrated.

19. Get Some Fresh Air

While employees are urged to work from home and practice social distancing, many are likely feeling the effects of being cooped up indoors. Opening the windows and getting some fresh air may help lift your spirit. Don’t want to open the windows? That’s ok too. Take a few minutes and step outside and stretch your legs.

20. Schedule Breaks and Take Them

This one ties into another one of our tips for working from home, keep consistent business hours. Just as it’s easy to blur the line between work hours and family time, it’s important that you take breaks throughout the day. Not only do breaks help improve productivity but they also help keep you fresh throughout the day.

21. Overcommunicate with Others

One of the first thoughts many new home-based workers feel is isolation. The key is to proactively engage with colleagues similar to the office. Use the available channels to engage, collaborate and troubleshoot. Pick up the phone, send a text or ask for help. Find small and simple ways to connect, such as a virtual lunch with colleagues or friends. When communication is high on the priority list, teams have better synergy and are more productive overall.

If all else fails, remember the old adage: “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” This is a trying time for everyone, and your co-workers are feeling the pinch just as much as you are. A little kindness will go a long way at the moment, and it’ll help us all get through this together. We hope you found our tips for working from home helpful. If you would like to see how we can help you be more productive while you are working from home, contact us.

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Bridging the Physical/Virtual Event Divide https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/03/bridging-the-physical-virtual-event-divide/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2020/03/bridging-the-physical-virtual-event-divide/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2020 19:23:23 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=27707 The concern over coronavirus has taken its toll on events around the world. For example, there have been countless conferences, town halls, sales kick offs and investor meetings cancelled, postponed or transformed all over the world and across all industries. As the long list of postponed or canceled events continues to grow, many organizations are …

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The concern over coronavirus has taken its toll on events around the world. For example, there have been countless conferences, town halls, sales kick offs and investor meetings cancelled, postponed or transformed all over the world and across all industries. As the long list of postponed or canceled events continues to grow, many organizations are facing some difficult decisions. In lieu of cancelation, many companies are turning to virtual events. Microsoft Build, Adobe Summit, Facebook F8, and Google I/O have all gone this route. Even Joe Biden will now hold virtual events due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Before you cancel your upcoming event, consider converting the in-person aspect to a live streaming webcast.

By rethinking your event strategy, you can provide the content your attendees want to hear, but in a way that’s safe for everyone involved. A webcast allows you to stream video to thousands of attendees and still allows you to manage Q&A and have a meaningful virtual discussion. Here are a few tips to ensure your virtual event is successful.

Tip #1: Password protect access to your event

Are you looking to stream to an exclusive, select group? Did you know you can password protect your online webcast? Whether you need to restrict access due to confidential information being shared or want to only provide access to paying attendees, you can easily control who attends your webcast by requiring a password at registration and login. Protect your investment and control who has access to your webcast.

Tip #2: Pre-recorded video is an asset

Providing the opportunity to let your speakers pre-record their presentations can help ensure your event goes smoothly. The content can be played simulated live, meaning that attendees won’t realize they are watching a pre-recorded video. Plus, once the pre-recorded video is finished, speakers can manage Q&A live.

Tip #3: HD video makes a difference

Speaking of video, HD video can be a huge asset when converting in-person events to virtual. With HD video, you’ll be providing the highest quality virtual presentation available to attendees. Your attendees won’t feel like they are missing out on anything. In fact, HD video can often provide a better viewing experience than sitting in a large ballroom with hard-to-see angles.

Tip #4: Record your event

Did you know you can record your event? This is an added benefit of webcasting. When done correctly, virtual events, can provide content that lasts all year long. You’ll be able to leverage recordings for event records or to distribute to attendees after the event is over. Attendees with proper credentials can view sessions and content on demand.

Tip #5: Post event analytics for rich insights

Virtual events can provide rich insights that in-person events just can’t. After your event is over, you’re able to drill down into analytics reports to understand engagement levels. Gain even more insights by including a post-event survey immediately after the webcast is over. You no longer have to wait to create and send a survey via email. You can cut out multiple steps prompt users to complete the survey after the webcast stream ends, which will help improve your survey response rate too.

The shift to virtual events

While many businesses are looking more closely at virtual events due to concerns around the coronavirus, there are benefits to transitioning in-person events to webcasts beyond just safety. It reduces travel costs and the hassle of traveling for business. Furthermore, the cost of an in-person event is inherently more expensive. With in-person events, you have to take into consideration venue costs, staffing and food, which all impact cost of admission. A virtual event is a fraction of the cost, which you could then pass on to attendees and increase your audience base.

Ready to convert your in-person event to a virtual event? We can help with GlobalMeet Webcast. Contact us for more information about our managed events and how we can host your specific event.

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