As lockdown draws to an end in the UK, you might be thinking of a return to in-person board meetings. Before you make this decision, ask yourself: is this what’s best for the company? Virtual meetings have been an invaluable tool during the pandemic and we should think twice before abandoning them. Don’t get stuck in old ways of thinking, just for the sake of it! In fact, this is the perfect time to move forward into the future.

Virtual board meetings have plenty of advantages that will still apply after lockdown. We’ve put together some of the best:

  1. Seamless collaboration

The obvious advantage of a virtual boardroom is that you can bring your team together from around the world. During the pandemic, this has been a necessity, but your board members still lead busy lives! Many boards have members around the country or even the world. Flying your members in every week not only costs time and money but also interrupts their schedule. A virtual boardroom can make collaboration easier and more natural.

  1. Maintain flexibility

Some boards decide meetings a year in advance. As the past year has shown, things can change. Creating a meeting schedule with absolutely no flexibility can be a risk. For example, your executive committee might need to organise a last-minute meeting to deal with an issue. With a virtual boardroom, this can be done at short notice.

  1. Ensure everyone is on the same level

A virtual boardroom can improve the dynamics of the meeting. When you’re meeting in-person, everyone is scattered around the room. One person may be close to the door and another might be right next to the key speaker. When everyone is online, the whole team is on the same level. Everyone will face the same challenges as one unit. You can also improve collaboration between different teams who do not normally talk as much.

  1. Increase security

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of an online meeting room is security. Paper documents are not secure. They can be picked up and read by anyone. They are also easy to misplace - particularly if your team is in a rush. In contrast, virtual security is much stronger. It is impossible for documents to ‘accidentally’ go missing.

With a purpose-built solution, you can alter permissions as you go. This means that board members can only access the documents they need to, without confusion. Some boards may find that a hybrid solution between virtual and in-person meetings is the answer to this. For a full list of features that every board portal should have, check out our in-depth security whitepaper

  1. Discover useful features

A virtual boardroom might solve problems you didn’t even realise you had. With a range of tools available, you can improve the running of your meetings. For example, with shared annotations and a laser pointer, you can make sure everyone is on the same page! Have you ever been in a board meeting and realised no one is thinking about the same section of the document? With these tools, you can follow more easily.

  1. Save money and resources

Perhaps the biggest plus of a virtual meeting room is that you can save money and resources. This includes the cost of ferrying your team around the country or world. You can also save money on admin costs as you set up the meeting. When you don’t have to print anything, the paper costs will shoot down. By using Convene’s virtual meeting space, your organisation can cut down on paper by as much as 100,000 pages per month. This is good for the environment and your budget!

  1. Streamline meetings

As well as saving time in the lead-up to the meeting, you can also save time during the meeting itself. With online meetings, you can encourage more concise meetings. You might save time with needless chatter at the start and end of meetings. It will also encourage people to give shorter speeches. As you can organise new meetings so easily, the person planning the meeting will not feel the same pressure to cram everything onto the agenda.

The range of tools offered by a board portal can also help with this! Some solutions have built-in voting features or pre-made meeting minutes which will streamline your meeting process.

  1. Improve your admin process

When you move online, everything is documented. There is no confusion over which actions have been decided on in the meeting. You also have all the voting information and attendance register easily available for when you come to make an audit trail. Check out some more reasons for a strong audit trail.

As you can see, there are many benefits to having a virtual boardroom. If any of these are important to you, Convene’s board portal may be the solution for you! Our purpose-built software is designed for business. With a full suite of tools like an agenda builder, video conferencing and automatic meeting minutes, you can streamline your meetings and improve organisational practices.

Lucy Palmer

Written by Lucy Palmer

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