Many people envision team meetings as stuffy office-based meetings between employees and management, but today’s economy is simply different. Whether you run an ecommerce business or a digital agency, you might be collaborating with a team across the state, country, or even the world. So, when it’s time for a team meeting, and your team doesn’t have a single location, what do you do?
If this is your first time trying to put together a team meeting for your location-independent team, then we’re going to give you some tried and true tips for creating an exceptional and productive meeting experience by setting up a Virtual HQ.
Things to Consider
When it’s time to decide where or how to hold your team’s meeting, there are a few considerations you’ll have to think about. For example, what are your team’s needs? How do you collaborate best? Is it necessary that your team collaborate face to face, or could you conduct a meeting in a different way?
If it’s not necessary to bring your entire team together, then you’ll have a lot of option. Is talking on the phone with your team enough, or would it be better for everyone if there was a web video conference? In this instance, is screen sharing necessary? Do you need to see everyone, or is knowing they are there enough?
If a face to face meeting is preferable, then the biggest decision is finding a location that works for everyone. Then, you’ve got to find a place that offers the space and amenities you’ll need for your team’s meeting.
Working with an independent-location team is truly enthralling. You get to work with amazing talent that’s not tied to a specific locale, and you can even work across time zones. It’s often helpful to have team members in various areas and time zones to ensure continuous support for your customers and clients. When it comes time for a team meeting, you can carve out the very best experience and results by identifying what your team’s goals are.
Options for Your Location-Independent Team’s First Meeting
When your team doesn’t have a single home base, what do you do? You find the right meeting spot for your team! In the next part of this guide, we’ll cover some of the most common alternatives for meeting spaces when your team isn’t tied down to a single area.
1. Digital Options
A conference call might suffice, depending on the specific goals you wish you reach. If a conference call won’t do the trick, then there are other options. For instance, a video chat or web conference might provide enough of the visuals you need. Here are some of the most popular options for video conferencing when you can’t get everyone under one roof:
GoToMeeting: This platform has been around for a while, and it’s critical for many teams who need to be able to have meetings at their convenience. It’s simple and straightforward to use, offering the ability to share your screen with participants. GoToMeeting can even be integrated with many programs, such as Microsoft Office. The free version is audio-only, but you can get video with several plan options.
Skype: Skype is a highly popular video chat service that’s free to use. For small teams who need to collaborate on the fly, Skype can be a perfect fit. Skype offers free screen sharing, which is exceptional for many teams, and audio and video is supported for up to 25 people. This could be the perfect solution for your team!
Join.Me: This is another popular video conferencing platform, and it’s known for being easy to use for teams. The free plan includes screen sharing and conferencing, but if you need more robust offerings, plans include video conferencing and even a dedicated conferencing number.
2. Meeting Venues
Depending on the size of your team, you might need a larger, brick and mortar space. If you’re hosting a large meeting, then you might even need equipment, such as an audio system and a projector. So, if your team’s first meeting is going to be a big event, then you might need to consider a larger meeting venue. Meeting venues might include hotel conference rooms or even convention centers. There are a number of venues that offer space just for corporate functions, and a quick web search of your specified area will likely yield the options you’re looking for. The only downside here? If the space isn’t exactly what you need, you might find that you’re paying more than you want.
3. Virtual Office Spaces
Virtual office spaces are a cost-effective way to conduct a face to face meeting, offering the space your team needs while also offering a number of amenities. Virtual office spaces can be found internationally. For example, companies like Regus offer international office spaces that you can simply rent as you need. No contract, no hefty prices. You simply pay for what you need, and in many cases, you can get a long list of amenities: printing, copying, faxing, receptionist services, and more. If you want to meet with your team at a central location with all the amenities you need, then a virtual office space might just be for you!
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to getting your team together for a first meeting, but you do have to choose what makes the most sense. For many, a virtual office space is going to offer the ideal solution, while simply video chatting might be plenty for a small team!