Convene Customer Success

Sustainable Agriculture.

José Joaquín Campos Arce is the SAN’s Executive Director since May 2019 but has over 30 year-experience in international development, science and education, combining technical, senior management and governance expertise with international cooperation, technical, academic and scientific organizations and NGO´s.


"Convene brings together the functions needed to conduct virtual meetings."

Please describe the situation before Convene

Before Convene, General Assembly and Board meetings were face-to-face, in different countries and different continents. We have 3 or 4 Board of Directors meetings a year as well as 1 Ordinary and 1 or 2 Extraordinary General Assembly meetings. These meetings have between 12 and 26 attendees so we currently use 19 Convene licenses but we plan to increase this to 30.

Why did you look for a board portal?

The global lockdown and ‘new normal’ way of working, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, made us rethink the meetings from face-to-face to virtual. When we started looking, we wanted one digital platform to share and store documents for the meetings, approval of relevant items, recording of resolutions and keeping the meeting record to ensure transparency of the meeting.

What features are most useful to you?

The Meeting Scheduler and Agenda Builder are very useful as it allows you to attach supporting documents for the meeting. Also, Resolutions allows for quick voting and generates the voting record and the Document Library allows you to store important documents with quick access.
Our members find it great to have a complete record of how the meeting was run, agenda, documents presented, voting, attendance, etc. is recorded automatically, in an orderly and historical way. Although this is something that one might think is the minimum that should be offered, it has prompted several of our members to ask us to include information from past meetings, so that they can navigate previous meetings in a simple way in the application.

What benefits does using Convene bring to your organisation?

The cost of face-to-face to virtual meetings has meant a very significant cost reduction for the organisation by not having to buy airline tickets, make hotel room reservations, or incur food and internal transport costs for our guests and staff.

The operational part of meetings (management, coordination, communication, interaction, decision making) - everything was much easier with the Convene tool! From an economic point of view as well since travel, printing of documentation etc. were eliminated. The preparation of meetings has reduced the number of hours spent by those involved in coordination significantly from 15 days to approximately 2 days.

How has Convene enabled remote working?

The existence of Covid only boosted and facilitated the use of the tool, as there was no other option other than a virtual meeting, and so the adoption of the platform was much easier as we did not use applications of this type before. Convene has allowed us to carry out the meetings reducing the risk of contagion and also being able to log in from anywhere with internet access and leaving a record of all the decisions and documents used.

At the moment we have not run hybrid meetings, they have all been held virtually, using Convene desktop to manage the meeting and Zoom for communication as Zoom allows us to have several audio channels, so we can handle simultaneous translation for the different members.

How does Convene assist you in your sustainability work?

I would say Convene has helped our sustainability work in three main ways: the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from travel, the decrease in paper for printing documents that will only be used once and the more effective use of time, which allows us to dedicate our working hours to achieving these goals.

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