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Talking Remote

As we are ensconced in 2024, we decided it was time to start talking more about virtual and hybrid meetings, and how to better manage them moving forward.

Before March 2020, the idea of a remote or hybrid meeting was foreign to many. Sure, there were platforms people knew (although Webex and Zoom were not the household names they are today) like Skype and FaceTime. But, these weren't used much for business, but to talk with friends and relatives, and maybe to have someone be able to see what you're trying to do so they could help you solve a problem.

But, March 2020 changed a lot of things. We couldn't get toilet paper easily. No movies, concerts or school. The untold illnesses and deaths. It also changed how we do business. Suddenly, "set up a Zoom" became a common phrase, as did "Zoom Bomb" (more on this in a later blog.) And, we all had to learn how to manage this new reality. Like all technological advances, we save incredible amounts of time. We no longer have to get on a subway or plane to be able to meet someone face to face. We can accomplish a great deal with people from different professions and institutions by taking 15 minutes out of our day to "Zoom" with a small group. The last meeting I had like this brought together people from four locations within Queens, saved at least two and a half hours of combined travel time; saved money on fuel; helped our environment without two of us driving to the meeting; and, answered all of the questions that each of us had. But, like all technological advances, there are challenges that come along with the advantages. Can I include people remotely and in-person (the subject of a series of blogs right here)? How do I prevent multiple people from speaking at the same time? How do I prevent people I never want to speak from interrupting the meeting? Why does my audio sound like that? Should I invest in equipment, or hire someone to do this for me? Do I really look that bad? I know my answer for that question is a resounding yes, but we'll leave that for a self-help blog.

We will try to answer all of these questions, and others, as we continue writing each new edition. Most importantly, feel free to send us questions you would like to see addressed. We'll try to get to all of them over time. And, we hope that as we continue, you'll feel more confident in hosting and participating in remote and hybrid meetings; that you'll understand how to make those meetings more efficient for everyone involved; and, that you'll be able to increase productivity by using remote and hybrid meetings. Now, we have to prepare to help manage two hybrid meetings this evening. Until next time.

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