The Future of Company Meeting Programs

Glisser's recent webinar determined that "company-wide ‘town hall’ meetings are the format most likely to remain virtual" as in-person meetings and events return.

Mike Fletcher, November 8, 2021

Company-wide ‘town hall’ meetings are the format most likely to remain virtual as in-person meetings and events return but employers retain more flexible working patterns.

That’s according to an audience poll during Glisser’s most recent webinar, entitled, ‘Running Successful Virtual and Hybrid Internal Company Meetings’.

The webinar, hosted by Dan Assor, featured panelists, Courtney Dagher, Manager, Global Events Content Programming at HubSpot; RD Whitney, Co-founder of the Virtual Events Institute and Founder of the Community Leaders Institute; plus Valerie Bihet, Founder of the VIBE Agency.

“Town hall meetings benefit the most from staying virtual in order to encourage that feeling of connectivity between all company employees,” Dagher says. “You need to meet people where they are. With remote working policies here to stay, that means including people in a virtual meeting environment who are at-home looking after children, on sick-leave or simply working different hours.”

According to Whitney, America is currently experiencing the ‘Great Resign’, brought about by people and companies who no longer see eye-to-eye on what they see as acceptable working requirements.

He says: “As offices are opening back up and deciding what their meetings program should look like, employees are demanding a more flexible approach to both internal and external communications. Employers need to understand which meeting formats benefit from a face-to-face exchange, plus the opportunity for serendipity, and which translate better online. Carrying out this assessment will help prevent companies from losing talent to more flexible competitors.”

In England, the Government’s Covid-19 Autumn and Winter 'Plan A’ encourages people back to work for a more productive workforce. But if the NHS struggles, its ‘Plan B’ includes advice to work from home again for ‘a limited period’.

Dagher advises companies to adopt a more ‘intentional mindset’ and plan strategy for what works in-person, online or a combination of the two, rather than reacting to circumstance.

She says: “Life isn’t going back to how it was before so leaders need to action strategy now based on what makes the most sense.”

To watch the webinar 'Running Successful Virtual and Hybrid Internal Company Meetings' on-demand, register here.

The panelists all agreed that some meetings formats, such as hands-on training and practical-based product learning just can’t be replicated online. But for most knowledge-sharing meeting formats, the opportunity exists to create better engagement through online storytelling and technology.

Several of VIBE’s clients have seen a 96% satisfaction rate for virtual sales meetings over the past 18 months so Bihet knows that the format and strategy will continue for the foreseeable future.

She says: “The benefits of virtual meetings include costs, reach, and enhanced measurement but also include time and the environment. If companies can make more sales by staging engaging digital events and spend less time travelling, they’ll continue to invest in the platforms and technology.”

Dagher agrees, admitting that her company’s in-bound meetings are much more accessible when people don’t have to get on a plane.

Whitney meanwhile believes he’ll never get on another plane to go and have lunch with a business client in a different city again, but is planning an in-person only event in April because ‘we want to drive FOMO amongst the audience’.

“I’m a big believer in great content, captured and used as a year-round means to educate and communicate with your audience - whether that’s from a live event or produced in a studio,” Whitney says. “Just as 2020 was a good year to get braces on your teeth, it was also a good time to start investing in technology and a consistent delivery of on-demand content. We’re all storytellers now and it’s how we communicate those stories that will determine business success and the retention of talent.”

To watch Running Successful Virtual and Hybrid Internal Company Meetings on-demand, head to the Glisser website here:


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