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How to make you Virtual Meetings Effective and Efficient since the stage of Preparation

September 8th, 2017

Clarity, sense of purpose and responsibility are the three key-factors of success of any conference call that must be carefully taken care of during the preparation of any virtual and real meeting

Virtual meetings do not differ so much from real meetings on many regards. In both cases, it is important to avoid turning your meetings into a boring, sneezy and pointless experience for participants.

It is a bit like giving a show: if you are going to host a virtual meeting, you should then do your best to be a good actor and provide the best possible experience for your guests. What it takes is putting a lot of care on the preparation and the follow-up, as the after and before are the two most delicate stages of any meetings.

Luckily, there are several good practices that can help hosts in managing their meetings.  The three golden rules for the stage of preparation are clarity, sense of purpose and responsibility. Let’s examine them in further details.

  • Clarity. The first step is always to set the goals of your virtual meeting in advance. A lack of clear, sound goals is immediately mirrored in confusion and time-wasting in any virtual or real meeting. Therefore, spend some time in laying down the reasons why you are calling participants and arrange a clear agenda.The goals to achieve during your meeting must be articulated in a set of multiple, distinct points, so that to be more easily understandable and simpler to commit to memory. You must get your agenda across the participants at least 24 hours before. The participants will have all the time to prepare themselves for the meeting that way.
  • Purposeful preparation. It’s up to you define your purposes. If you have only a vague, general idea of the reasons why you are going to call a meeting, it is highly probable that the meeting will run without a precise direction. On the other hand, being too much detailed is a mistake as well, since also a diversion could lead to surprising results in some cases. In other word, it is necessary to be flexible. The right strategy is to funnel any contribution into the greater purpose of the team or the project.
  • Appoint a responsible person. Choose a good manager for your virtual meetings. Any meeting needs a chairman that gives the permission to each individual participant that wishes to speak and is able to moderate the discussion. Steve Jobs also use to give the chairman the responsibility of the achievement of the goals set for the meeting. In my experience, his trick works well.

In conclusion, the mantras for a successful virtual meeting are clarity, sense of purpose and appointing a responsible for the achievement of the goals. A good preparation of a meeting will bring good results in terms of goal achievement and participants’ best satisfaction.

Are you interested on virtual meetings and the techniques to manage them effectively and efficiently? You are going to find further resources on R-HUB`s blog (http://www.rhubcom.com)

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Why and when Marketers can Profit from Virtual Events

August 4th, 2017

Virtual events are much more cost-effective, comfortable to organize and engaging for the audience than physical events. This explains the reason why they could become the new mantra of salesmen.

Sales events have always been part and parcel of any marketing strategy, no matter whether they are virtual or real, as it has been always necessary to present your products to a targeted audience (agents, investors, customers) at a certain stage of your sales campaign. However, the choice between a physical or a virtual venue is not so neutral and indifferent as you could expect.

What makes the difference between physical and virtual events is mainly the cost. A small real event with about 400 guests costs – among vendors (caterers, etc.), venue, equipment, security staff, leaflets, speakers, licenses and permissions – at least 20.000 US. A webinar through a good video-conferencing product, like a server of R-HUB`s suite TurboMeeting http://www.rhubcom.com costs only the electricity to supply your server and the speaker. Nothing, in comparison.

Another important advantage of virtual meetings is the possibility to exploit a rich set of functionalities that are not available during a physical presentation. Coming to our example, R-HUB`s TurboMeeting servers allow you and the participants to your presentation to profit from many interactive tools, such as:

  • Pooling and raise hand functions;
  • Sharing files and documents;
  • Showing slides;
  • Registering the event. This can be useful for several purposes. Just to mention one of the most important utilizations of recording, to publish a video of your presentation on YouTube;
  • Questioning and answering in real time;
  • Telepresence;
  • Real time collaboration;
  • And many others.

Naturally, you have to sustain the cost of the technology. But it isn’t that much; the prices of R-HUB`s TurboMeeting servers range from around 995 US$ to less than 2000 US$. They last years and they do not need any devoted IT team for maintenance. Being real plug and play devices, R-HUB servers need simply to be connected to the electric network to start working. Extremely silent and compact, they can be put on a shelf of your bookcase and no devoted cabinet is necessary.

Last, don’t forget the power of video conferencing technologies. A R-HUB`s server can host up to 3000 guests per conference room at zero cost for any additional user thanks to R-HUB`s flat license policy, and 1000 conference rooms at a time for a total of 30000 guests. In real life, you should rent something like a stadium to have a comparable venue.

In conclusion, virtual meetings are much more cost-effective and comfortable to organize than the classical physical conventions. The wide set of functionalities of web conferencing tools makes virtual meetings even more interactive than the physical ones. So, it is not surprising that video conferences are more and more used by marketers: the video conferencing market is expected to grow at a rate of over 8 per cent per year till 2023, which makes it one of the most promising industries in the US.

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The 7 Best Practices of Job Video Interviews

August 3rd, 2017

Job video interview success is different than classic interview success. In this article, you are going to learn what it is necessary to set up and take care of during your job video interviews.

In a world where the new mantra is cutting down on costs, video interviewing becomes more and more appealing, as it helps organizations to save a lot of money and time. However, it is not a piece of cake; managers should address some issues that are specific to this medium, in order to make the most of it.

1) Set the expectations by communicating all the steps of the procedure. In particular, candidates need to know the timeline of the interview process, so that they can be more aware and prepared for each step. So, specify in your letter of invitation if there are scheduled multiple video interviews and at which stage of the process an in-person interview is necessary.

2) Ask yourself about the possible technical problems of your candidates. What does it imply if a candidate experiences technical or connection issues? Is it a symptom of ill-preparation, or an unforeseen problem?

3) Notice if the candidate is properly dressed and the environment around him or herself is tidy and clean. If the candidate fails on these points, it usually means that the interview is not taken too seriously.

4) Take care of your appearance, as small wardrobe details are usually enhanced through video.

5) Pay attention to body language. Video conferencing does not impede non-verbal communication, as facial movements are totally preserved in a video chat. A good idea is to register the whole interview, so that you can see it again later in order to study your candidate facial expressions and movements with ease.

6) Write an effective offer letter. A proper offer letter must include the basics ( the job title, the responsibilities and the wage) plus some additional elements, like:

  • – An outline of possible pre-conditions (like driving license, drug tests, background tests, etc);
  • – A personalized welcome abroad message. Candidates are incredibly skillful at detecting boilerplates, while they love so much to feel that the message was tailored expressly for themselves.
  • – The expiration period of the offer and next steps to follow: for example, the person to whom the offer must be returned duly signed up.
  • – Some extra information, like the expectations that are connected with the role, paid time-off policy, holidays, official closure dates.
  • – In general, you should mention all the points that were discussed during the interview, including bonus, merit increases, and so on and so forth.

7) Communicate the necessary legal requirements related to compensation according to the specific legislation of the states and cities concerned. For your information, be aware that wage theft acts have been adopted by California, New York, Seattle and the District of Columbia.

If you are interested in video interviewing, you are going to find more resources on this topic on R-HUB`s blog (http://www.rhubcom.com). It is also possible to enjoy a free 30 days trial of the products of R-HUB`s suite of video conferencing servers.

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The Secret of Successful Virtual Teams is Collaboration

July 24th, 2017

A merely working together is different from true collaboration that requires a high level of mutual trust between team members and their capability to set aside egos. As difficult as achieving true collaboration may be for your collaborators, this is vital to build efficiency and win your competitors in the global market.

Unity is strength, an old idiom says. But what is exactly unity? This word is not a synonym of working together, as a team is something more than the mechanical sum of its individual parts. True collaboration is an expression that describes much better unity, instead.  It implies that team members are able to build mutual trust, share knowledge and set aside their egos without losing their energy, enthusiasm and proactivity. When collaboration is achieved, teams become magic and creative. The motivation of their members peaks up, and great results are achieved.

How do successful virtual teams achieve collaboration? According to some researches, team sizes matter. The larger the team, the more difficult collaboration becomes. So, the present trend to build teams of even a hundred of people is bad. A better solution would be the utilization of a fluid structure distributed on an inner core (charged with important decisions), an operational level (day-to-day ongoing work) and an outer network of freelancers or temporary members that are taken on board just to take care of a particular segment of the project. This setting allows gathering together those team members who need to collaborate with one other for some specific purpose or reason.

Social Media plays a great role in virtual team, as they can make the miracle to make dissimilar people to collaborate. The reason is that social media help your collaborators to find a common ground and share practices and advices. So, don’t be afraid of using them. The organizations that have been able to use social media correctly have all enjoyed consistent improvement in their workforce productivity.

Playing Games that encourage collaboration is another way to build great teams, in the measure that these games are able to get your team members into the right mindset for working together. This implies another important activity, staff training, the only way to help your collaborators to develop quickly some crucial skills like networking and emotional intelligence.

Role Clarity is the last (but not least) important factor behind collaboration. Some researchers have given evidence that collaboration increases when the group has not got a certain goal, but everyone has a well-defined role. It seems that it happens since doubt encourages everybody to collaborate and think more creatively.

In conclusion, collaboration is what makes the difference between mere working together and really effective and successful virtual teams. Recent researches have enlightened some of the key-factors that are behind true collaboration, like the skillful usage of social media, a wise team hierarchy and the specific training that teams receive.

Are you interested in virtual teams and their complex problems? You are going to find more resources on R-HUB`s blog (http://www.rhubcom.com). It is also possible to have a 30 days free trial through which to test your virtual team on R-HUB`s real time collaboration servers.

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The ABC of Online Meeting Participation

July 14th, 2017

In a world where herds of employees have been transformed into remote workers, knowing how to be a successful online meeting participant is important. Especially if you crave for success as a digital freelancer.

In a world where freelancers made up 35% of US workforce in 2016 (Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2016/10/06/new-survey-freelance-economy-shows-rapid-growth/#4b533e847c3f) , knowing how to behave during online meetings is a matter of life and death.

So, in this article I have taken down the most important best practices for online meeting participants, with the hope to help digital nomads, freelancers and remote workers to make the most of their participation to video and audio conferences.

1 Be active. Like in real-life meetings, during online meetings you shall be active and give your contribution, no matter how important it is. Wallflowers have been never welcomed; on the contrary, being able to add value to meetings has been always the first step to success.

2 Respect good manners. That politeness always wins on rudeness goes without saying, doesn’t it? But what are the rules of etiquette in a digital world? They are quite similar to those of real-life meetings. So, give the other participants respect by arriving on time, paying attention to speakers, avoiding butting in, waiting your turn to speak, and respecting the dress code. Nothing so different from the old, traditional meetings around a table, after all.

3 Prepare yourself before. Study the topic before and prepare some questions. Prepare your answers to the possible questions that some other participants could ask you.

4 Check and know how to use your technology.  Virtual meetings rely on a more or less complicated technology. Before entering a conference, check that everything is fine with your cam, computer, laptop, headsets, microphone and conferencing tool. Don’t look clumsy; illiteracy on the tech matter is not much appreciated today.

5 Be an active listener. Pay attention to speakers, and try to retain what they say. This will help you to come up with some few questions or a contribution later. If not, you will have fulfilled your obligations as participant to the meeting at least.

6 Invite other participants to contribute. If it occurs that you end up leading a meeting for any reason, don’t panic. A good strategy is to invite other participants to contribute by asking them their opinions on the topic of the moment.

7. Ask questions. When in doubt, ask questions. Often the meeting leader can’t wait for that, as questions break monotony and make meetings lively and productive.

8. Make a revision after the meeting. It is always useful to check your behavior after the meeting in order to understand what work for you and what does not.

In conclusion, being a good participant to an online meeting requires the same dedication of real meetings. The rules are similar, except for those few rules expressly connected with technology.

If you are interested in on-line meeting strategies, you are going to find many other resources on R-HUB`s blog at http://www.rhubcom.com You can also enjoy a free period of 30 days when you can test your ability as online meeting leader by hosting some web video conferences through R-HUB web video conferencing servers.

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