Thanks to advancements in conferencing technology, your business can connect with customers, employees, and contractors all over the world. Successful collaboration with dispersed teams requires virtual meetings that run smoothly and enable easy communication—something that is not always easy to achieve.
We've all experienced virtual meetings plagued by technical difficulties, sound problems, and gaffes. Follow these six steps to make sure your next conference call or video chat goes off without a hitch.
1. Plan ahead
A successful virtual meeting starts with planning. Develop an agenda and share it with attendees before the meeting starts. Let participants know what is expected of them—for instance, do they need to read background material or prepare a presentation ahead of time? Make sure your meeting invitation is clear and concise. If participants are expected to join online, make sure the virtual meeting link is included in the invitation.
2. Choose the right technology
Depending on meeting goals, some virtual meetings can take place over the phone, while others require video conferencing and screen sharing for effective collaboration. Before each meeting, assess your technology needs and make sure you have the appropriate equipment to facilitate the meeting. To avoid unpleasant surprises, test your systems before start time to mitigate any technical difficulties during the meeting. Choose collaboration software and hardware that works with your platforms and meets the needs of your remote participants.
3. Be prepared to share
Virtual conferences are about more than just talking—they’re about sharing. If you share a piece of visual content with your meeting attendees, they'll retain 65% of that information three days later (versus remembering only 10% of that information without visuals).1Solutions like the HP Collaboration PC, display, and accessories2 allow multiple users to simultaneously share visual meeting content, instantly switch between content without switching users, annotate viewed content, and distribute files to attendees.
4. Lose the cords
Leading a meeting or giving a presentation can be stressful enough without throwing complex technology into the mix. (If you’ve ever forgotten an essential cable for an important presentation, you know this firsthand.) Instead of fumbling with a tangle of cords or figuring out which dongle goes where, simplify by using PCs that wirelessly connect to your display or projector. Plus, going wireless eliminates cord clutter so you have more room to work.
5. Think about your audio
Background noise often makes virtual conferences hard to hear, especially when you have several attendees. First rule: ask all participants to mute their audio when not speaking to eliminate feedback or background noise. Second, speak clearly and stick close to your microphone so that participants can hear you.
If you're looking to update your audio equipment, the HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms Audio Module converts the desktop into a speakerphone.3 It delivers 360-degree immersive sound with bi-directional HP Noise Cancellation, a dual-microphone array with far-field 5-meter range, three speakers, and HP Audio Boost. HP EliteBooks offer premium audio by Bang & Olufsen and remarkable performance in every mode.
6. Follow meeting etiquette
Attendees should join the virtual meeting from a space where they won’t be distracted or interrupted, especially if they’re working from home where children, pets, or outdoor noise can be a factor. Avoid speaking while others are talking (it causes confusion) or typing (it’s noisy). Even though it's tempting to multi-task, turn off email and mute text notifications to stay as focused as possible.
 HubSpot, 42 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2017
 Sold separately or as optional features. Mounting options sold separately.
 HP Slice for Meetings includes HP Slice with Intel® Unite™ software, HP Collaboration Cover and HP Audio Module. Other modules are sold separately. Covers are optional and require factory configuration and cannot be combined with other Slice covers.