Technologies gifted us the internet and various tools that are meant to simplify our lives. So why don’t we leverage them to reduce the time and costs of board meetings? Quite a lot of businesses already utilize virtual board meetings to improve the efficiency of the board. Online board meetings allow directors to share files securely, prepare for meetings in advance by reading the reports provided by others, and even make decisions on minor issues. 

Board portals allow companies to hold virtual board meetings — events that are held online without needing the attendants to be physically present in the same room. Directors can use a board portal to share files, vote, make notes, create tasks, and record minutes.

Try implementing this approach in your company, and you’ll notice how much more productive your board becomes. And eventually, you’ll notice that the efficiency of the whole company improves as less money gets wasted.

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How can virtual board meetings save money?

Board meetings where everyone shares updates and the board collectively makes important decisions became a natural part of any organization. And if you offer directors to just stop doing that, they will look at you with visible confusion. Because how can they omit such an important thing?

Yet, all those important meetings waste a lot of time and money. While directors are trying to increase the efficiency of the company they ironically become less effective. To attend the meeting, they need to spend a lot of time to get ready for it, then they will spend even more time listening to the reports of others. Finally, when they are aware of the current situation in the company, they are already quite tired, yet now they need to begin the discussion and make decisions.

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Studies show that over $37 billion is wasted on unproductive meetings every year. On average, directors and employees spend around 15% of their working time to get ready for a discussion and attend the event. But we can’t go without meetings at all. So what businesses should do?

Top 5 reasons to hold virtual meetings

We can name not just one but five major reasons for your company to stop holding traditional meetings and switch to online. 

1. It’s easier to attend

All a participant needs to be present at the meeting is the internet connection, and it’s hard to not have one today. Then they can join the conference to see and talk to the others and enter a board portal to view and share documents safely, participate in votes, record notes, and minutes.

2. Divide online meeting into parts

Sometimes, directors need to contemplate or study additional data to make the decision. Virtual meetings make it easy for the board to divide one discussion into parts. Thus, the process won’t waste the whole day for directors as they will be able to go about their business while others take their time to think.

3. Get ready in advance

Online board meetings allow directors to share the required data before the meeting and study each other’s reports. Thus, they begin the discussion by being already aware of the details.

4. Create tasks

Using board portals, directors can create action items right during the discussion and assign them to the executives. Then no planned activities remain forgotten.

5. Simplified feedback and approvals

It’s easy to track everything in the board portal. That’s why you shouldn’t be worried that board members will lose data because the meeting is held virtually. As they register everything during the online board meeting, they will be able to access this data later. Also, this software accelerates approvals.

It’s impossible to overestimate the benefits of virtual board meetings and online board portals. Try this approach and see how the efficiency of your company improves. Here you can find the list of best board management software vendors and tips on how to select the most convenient provider.

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Collaboration during virtual board meetings

Virtual board meetings became a more efficient alternative to traditional discussions held face-to-face. However, it’s easy to screw things up if you don’t know how to properly run online board meetings. You could get your own experience in this and learn how to do that by yourself. But it’s better to learn about the experience of others. We’ve gathered practical tips that will help you hold an effective virtual board meeting.

What to do before the online meeting

Get a board portal running. Board portals are created to help directors collaborate effectively. So leverage this software to ensure a quick and productive meeting. Let all the participants add the required documents and reports to the board portal so that everyone can get ready for an upcoming discussion. Thus, directors will be able to jump right to the conversation once the virtual board meeting begins instead of wasting time on updates.

Create a virtual board meeting agenda. You can establish one in the virtual board portal. The agenda will let all participants understand what to expect from the discussion so that they can get ready better and, perhaps, come up with some ideas in advance.

During the virtual meeting

Make sure everyone is present and ready. Before jumping to the discussion, make sure everyone can see and hear each other. See if each participant has connected successfully and is ready to collaborate. If your board is quite large, it’s useful to add someone who will manage the meeting and warn everyone if a member got disconnected. Additionally, this person could control all participants so that no one just turns off the microphone and video and stops paying attention to the meeting.

Create minutes and hold votes. Use a board portal to register all minutes and hold votes digitally. Then all the details of the virtual board meeting will remain recorded in the online boardroom. This ensures no one will forget any discussed matters and decisions later.

Create action items. Board portals allow directors to create tasks and assign them to responsible employees during the online meeting. This useful feature will guarantee that no planned actions will remain undone.

After the virtual board meeting

Don’t end the meeting abruptly. Traditional meetings never end once all matters are discussed. Usually, directors spend a bit more time just to talk about something. During these conversations, participants might speak their minds about discussed subjects. It’s a very important process, and it shouldn’t be omitted during virtual board meetings.

Make sure everyone gets the recordings. You can either just give all the directors access to the recorded minutes and results of votes, or you could assign someone to create solid reports. This will let participants go through the main points of the meeting once again to refresh the memory or get valuable insights.

Control the processes. In the board portal, directors can control the progress on tasks they’ve created during the meeting. This will guarantee that discussed actions are truly being executed.

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