Make Meetings More Efficient Using a Meeting App
Any meeting can benefit from an app, whether it is just a small team chat or a company-wide meeting with hundreds of attendees.
An app can make meetings run more smoothly and efficiently by empowering management and attendees alike to have all the resources they need at their fingertips, no matter where the meeting is being held.
This can lead to participants having a much better understanding of the topics being discussed and significant time saved when attendees would normally have to scout for resources or transfer notes to their computers.
An app can also help run meetings with remote staff better by allowing them to easily access the same documentation as everyone else, helping them follow the meeting more easily.
But what features would be most useful in a meeting app? In this article we give you a few ideas and tips:
1. Location and time
The most obvious yet often forgotten feature to include in your meeting app is a section containing simple logistical information such as location and time. Although this may not be necessary in the case of small internal meetings, if a meeting is being held externally attendees may benefit from having the venue address and a map within the app.
This would not only make life easier for attendees, but it would also reduce the risk of delayed starts caused by late arrivals.
An app is also the ideal place to include an agenda with the key points of discussion to help attendees better prepare or follow meetings.
You could make your agenda interactive too, by allowing users to tap on each discussion point in order to be linked to supporting information such as speaker biographies, or to related documents such as presentations of PDFs.
3. Prep work
Meetings often require attendees to carry out prep work, or to come up with ideas or topics for discussion.
However, messages relating to the relevant guidelines or requirements can become lost in the inbox, resulting in attendees not carrying out prep work and leading to mishaps or the slowing down of meetings.
Including it as a section in the app can ensure that attendees are aware of the necessary prep work and that they are able to find it easily. In the case of simple prep such as reading articles, these could simply be included in the app, enabling attendees to read them on their mobile device during their commute or while on their way to the meeting.
4. Document library
Perhaps the most revolutionary feature that a meeting app can offer is a document library containing all relevant documents for attendees and meeting leaders to access as required.
The document library could include all the presentations that are to be shown, allowing meeting leaders to simply open them via the app and display them on their tablet or on a screen.
Including all relevant documents in the app can also ensure that attendees are able to access them as easily as possible and in a hassle-free way. This is a great way of preventing the flow of the meeting from being hindered or slowed down.
Documents for employees’ use could include supporting documents or media that they can consult later on, from PDFs and videos to podcasts and photo galleries.
In the case of sales meetings, a document library is also a great way to allow salespeople to re-familiarise themselves with their products or services before the meeting. They could also use their tablets to display this information to prospects in visually engaging ways.
Or for meetings where employees need to draw up documents for clients to consult or sign, they could easily do so using a document library feature on a tablet. E-signature functionality could even allow clients to sign documents directly in the app, eliminating the need for employees to print and scan documents.
With an app, not even notebooks will be required of attendees; they could take notes via the app.
Being able to take notes using the app, particularly the ability to do so directly on each presentation, could be very beneficial to attendees; it would enable them to simply export their notes as a PDF and email themselves a copy, eliminating the need to transfer their notes to their computer later or to spend time linking them to the appropriate presentations.
Meeting minutes could likewise be taken in the same way, with the ability to push the finished notes directly to all attendees’ mobile devices after meetings via the app.
This would make meetings all the more worthwhile for everyone, as it would reduce the risk of minutes getting lost in attendees’ inbox and it would ensure attendees retain the information discussed for later consultations.
6. Live polling
Large meetings could also benefit from a live polling feature. This would allow for everyone attending the meeting to “vote” in real time on a motion, poll, quiz, plan or anything else that you may need attendees’ input on. Live polling can also be used to provide feedback.
Live polling is an effective way of getting real-time information from meeting attendees in swiftly and without the need to collect votes physically or via email. Votes are likewise automatically collected, drastically reducing the time needed to assemble attendees’ answers.
7. Analytics and feedback collection
Whether you wish to collect feedback on attendees’ opinions of the motions discussed, or you simply wish to optimize the app for future use, a feedback collection feature in your app can help you do this.
There are two main ways in which you can collect feedback: via app-based surveys or using analytics.
A survey allows you to simply ask your users about their opinion on any of the topics discussed, giving you insight into how attendees feel about them or whether a specific topic needs to be opened for further discussion. This could be particularly valuable in the case of large meetings where attendees may struggle to make their voices heard.
Or if you wish to collect feedback on the format of meetings or the meeting app itself, you could ask attendees to provide this using a survey too.
Analytics such as Google Analytics can help here too by providing you with a wide range of data on how attendees are using the app or on their user behavior during meetings. From app content viewed to features used, the data collected can provide valuable information to help you improve the app for future meetings.
Meeting apps can be invaluable resources to ensure attendees are prepared for meetings, to improve efficiency and to reduce the risk of unexpected delays.
In this article we outlined some of the features that we believe are key in any meeting app. Have we forgotten to mention any? If you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear them so please let us know in the comments section.