Mobile Meeting Strategies When You’re Out of the Office
Thanks to the power of modern technology, it's easy to be just as productive out of the office as you are sitting at your desk. Through the use of Wi-Fi, cloud-based file storage, conferencing and teleconferencing software, working remotely is becoming the new norm for many businesses.
So, if you really want to stay productive while you are out of the office, start with making the most out of your mobile meetings.
The Prep Work
The major difference between a productive traditional meeting and a mobile one is the amount of setup required. Remember that it's difficult to keep everyone on topic during any meeting, so with a few extra prep steps, you will be on your way to successful results.
Know where your attendees will be.
This is especially true if more than one person is working remotely. If you're dialing into a meeting while you're on vacation, that's one thing. If everyone on a conference call is spread out across the country or even the world, that's something else entirely. If you're dealing with people in different areas of the country, make sure you take time zones into account when scheduling. This handy World Clock Meeting Planner helps you to zero-in on the best time for multiple time zones to meet.
Though location may be irrelevant during a mobile meeting because it is accessible anywhere, it's also very relevant to know where you will be to avoid any disruption. Plan where you're going to be well before the meeting. Don't assume that local coffee shop with free Wi-Fi will get the job done. What happens if it's packed? Is the Wi-Fi connection safe? (See our link to the Harvard Business Review “Why You Really Need To Stop Using Pubic Wi-Fi” )
Know your goal.
Be sure there is a detailed agenda and everyone else has it ahead of time. Every meeting should have a goal, but more than that ask yourself these questions. Is it evident that the meeting is important? Does everyone know what will be discussed and what role they will play? Are there documents everyone needs to have? Can you access and share those documents remotely? Account for every possibility.
Review the documents you need before the meeting.
Can you access them remotely? Do you need special urls and passwords to access document content? Are your attendees on cell phone devices where documents will be too small to be helpful? Do you need to show documents at your meeting at all? Maybe a simple email attachment will suffice.
Find an App That Fits Your Style
Conference call apps are a dime a dozen and many, like Skype, Google Hangout or freeconference.com can be free to use. However, what if you need deeper collaborative tools [give a reason why] or want to show everyone a diagram, a floorplan or a rendering? You might look into a teleconferencing app like webex, joinme or gotomeeting.
A successful mobile meeting depends on the kind of meeting, where the attendees are and what devices they are using, Take these into account along with a strong agenda and out-of-office meetings can be as productive as desk-based ones.