5 Ways On How to Make A Virtual Meeting Interactive and Fun

Meeting Insights

Are your online meetings getting monotonous and you're looking for ways to shake things up? If you want to make your next virtual meeting more exciting and interactive, then this blog is just the thing for you.

Today, we'll be discussing 5 different strategies that can help turn your average corporate gathering into an engaging session where everyone will have fun while being productive.

What Employees Are Really Doing During Virtual Meetings

Did you know that according to a study published by Harvard Business Review, more than 60% of the respondents admit to doing other tasks aside from just sending emails or checking social media from their phones.

The true underlying issue here is in the way we conduct our virtual meetings, no wonder people multitask while in one. It would be best for the meeting's success if the whole virtual team is mindful of remote meeting etiquette.

https://hbr.org/2014/08/what-people-are-really-doing-when-theyre-on-a-conference-call?utm_source=Socialflow&utm_medium=Tweet&utm_campaign=Socialflow
Fig. 1. What meeting participants do during virtual meetings. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

Pandemic and The Way We Hold Meetings

Virtual meetings have become increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional face-to-face meetings as a result of the pandemic and the remote work setup that came with it. In fact, according to Sage Journals, Zoom, which had 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019, had over 300 million remote meeting participants daily by April 2020.

Virtual meetings can be an effective way to stay connected and productive, but it’s essential to make meetings fun for everyone involved. By incorporating games or interactive activities during virtual meetings, participants can better interact with each other and make virtual meetings fun.

This helps to foster a positive culture and encourage participation amongst the remote team. Additionally, online meetings can be more fun than usual when you add in a virtual event. Make virtual meeting fun so it encourages collaboration and better communication – all of which lead to greater success for the business.

Keep reading to learn how to inject life into your virtual meeting experience -- they won't even realize they're in a professional context!

Fig. 2. Remote work setup birthed by the pandemic. (Source: Freepik)

How to make a virtual meeting interactive

1. Setting the stage for an engaging virtual meeting

Unlike in-person meetings where you share the same space, emotional cues and body language are present, remote work and virtual team meetings pose challenges of their own. Setting the stage for an engaging virtual meeting involves readying your space and technology, preparing thought-provoking questions, encouraging active participation from your remote team members, and keeping track of time.

Mute any unnecessary noise, and make sure any virtual backgrounds feature an uncluttered space. Set aside time for informal conversation too - this helps create an atmosphere of trust and collaboration, both necessary components of a successful virtual meeting.

Also, try to avoid repetitive and unnecessary meetings. With the right preparation, virtual meetings can be just as engaging and effective as in-person ones!

Fig. 3. Setting the stage for an engaging meeting involves readying your space and technology. (Source: Freepik)

2. Meeting Agenda: Crafting an efficient and effective agenda

When it comes to successful meetings, having an agenda is essential. A well-crafted agenda serves as a roadmap for the meeting, ensuring that topics are discussed in order and that all relevant information is covered. It should also provide a timeline for each item on the agenda so that participants know how much time to allocate for discussion and when to move on to other topics.

By having an agenda, the meeting leader can keep everyone focused and ensure that the time available is used efficiently. Additionally, meeting agendas help everyone to be prepared with any background information they may need in advance of the online meeting. With a solid agenda in place, meetings can be more productive and successful.

Fig. 4. A well-crafted agenda serves as a roadmap for the meeting. (Source: Freepik)

3. Utilizing Interactive Tools to Make Virtual Meetings More Engaging 

Interactive features help make virtual meetings fun. Utilize interactive tools like polls, surveys, online team building, or breakout rooms to allow participants to get involved as if they are all in the same space. Use the breakout rooms feature to divide your team into groups, especially if you have many attendees.

An online meeting offers a great way to bring remote teams together and collaborate. To increase engagement, use interactive tools that feature visual elements, collaborative editing capabilities, whiteboards, and more to recreate the experience of being in the same room.

When conducting remote meetings over the phone, bear in mind that there are no interactive elements. Make use of video conferencing tools to allow for some face-to-face interaction. Unlike ordinary phone calls, video conferencing can help your team share and collaborate in real-time, and with cameras turned on.

To help in making virtual meetings fun, you may also incorporate virtual team-building games. Do a fun activity like a game of “Never Have I Ever” or online team-building bingo. Also, here's a list of ideas for virtual team-building activities.

Additionally, interactive polls are a great way to keep attendees engaged and make sure everyone is heard during the meeting. Create a word cloud poll and display the results in the opening session. Here are various word cloud ideas.

Not only do these make the meeting more interesting but also allow individuals to provide their insights quickly and easily. By leveraging these technologies, one can turn virtual meetings into an engaging and productive experience like no other.

Fig. 5. Make use of visuals such as a word cloud poll. (Source: Freepik)

4. Icebreakers: Fun ways to start a virtual meeting and build team morale

Icebreakers can be a great way to get conversations started, especially if you are trying to facilitate a group discussion. Icebreakers can help people get to know each other better, enjoyably, and interactively.

A few examples of fun icebreaker ideas include playing a trivia game, organizing a show-and-tell session, hosting a scavenger hunt, or having everyone share their favorite vacation spot.

To add, a few examples of fun icebreakers also include getting people to tell a bit about themselves, having everyone introduce themselves with something creative like a motto or a joke, playing games that require teamwork and cooperation, asking thought-provoking questions that don’t have one right answer, or by setting up activities where people can work together on solving puzzles or building something.

Icebreakers can be a great way to help people get to know each other and foster a positive environment. Whether you are bringing together a remote team of employees, new classmates, or party guests, icebreakers can help everyone feel relaxed and create a fun atmosphere.

It's also important to remember that not all icebreakers have to be serious - adding humor is often the best way to really break the ice and make online meetings fun!

No matter which icebreaker you choose for your group, the key is to find an activity that encourages interaction between participants and allows them to get comfortable with each other quickly. Icebreakers provide an opportunity for people who may not know each other well to become familiar with one another in an engaging way.

As opposed to simply introducing yourself and telling your name, background, etc., icebreakers allow participants to learn more about each other’s interests and personalities.

This type of interaction helps build relationships quicker than just being introduced through someone else’s words. Icebreakers also make the transition into whatever program or event comes next much smoother since everyone will already have some basic information on those around them.

https://teambuilding.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/online-team-building-bingo-768x893.jpg
Fig. 6. Online Icebreaker Bingo (Source: Icebreaker Bingo card generator)

5. Keep meetings short and to the point.

Here are some ways to keep your meetings short:

  • Prepare. Without a clear agenda, your virtual event may take longer than necessary.
  • Gather questions beforehand. Boost employee morale and make virtual meetings more efficient by asking for employee participation even before the meeting starts.
  • Stick to a time limit. Occasionally, you may go beyond the planned duration, but it would be best to value your meeting attendees' time by sticking to the planned schedule.

Consider a Meeting Assistant AI so you can work on making virtual meetings fun

Want to take your hands off tasks like taking notes, recording, and storing meeting notes to keep remote employees engaged? Take a look at Eric.ai - The Best AI Meeting Assistant for Your Business Needs.

Though there are challenges that come with hosting virtual meetings, by utilizing the proper tools and incorporating fun virtual icebreakers, you can make them engaging for all participants. Eric.AI is a meeting assistant tool that can help you quickly create an agenda, take notes, and follow up with action items — all in one place.

Here are a few ways your team can benefit from a tool like Eric.AI:

  • Take notes automatically
  • Track everyone’s participation
  • Playback meeting audio and video
  • Automatic transcription

Make the most of your discussion, encourage participation, and foster team bonding in your next meeting, with the help of this simple AI tool. With its easy-to-use interface, Eric.AI is the perfect solution for anyone looking to improve their virtual meetings.

By utilizing interactive tools like Eric.AI to manage meeting times, you get to incorporate fun icebreakers and utilize tools to make the most of your next virtual meetings and reach any goal you set your mind to.

Request a demo today if you want to see how its features can help your team.

Fig. 7. Hands off note-taking tasks, hands on crafting an interactive and fun meeting. (Source: Eric.AI)

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