Though the name may make you think of a local town council meeting, the virtual town hall meeting has become a business staple. Before the digital era came along and COVID pushed even more businesses online, these meetings were held in person. But like everything else in the modern world, they have moved online. These meetings generally take place so company or project leaders can update attendees on important information such as performance statistics, future goals, progress on current goals, and more. This makes having them incredibly important. However, having a virtual town hall meeting today is very different than having one ten years ago. Again, the switch to the digital space has changed the way these meetings are run and organized. They ultimately have the same intent though, which is to educate and energize attendees.
When planning a virtual town hall, there is a lot to consider. One must come up with town hall meeting topics, ideas for virtual town hall meetings, creative names for town hall meetings, and more. This can be a time consuming process that takes away from your other work. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources and examples available to make this process easier. Do not be afraid to see what others have done and integrate that into your town hall. There is no shame in using ideas that others have come up with. An important resource to consider as well is the meeting platform. Whether you meet on Zoom, Google Teams, or Filo can have a huge impact on your town hall. A lack of features can result in not being able to do the activities planned for the town hall, which is not a desired outcome. Certain platforms may not even be able to host the number of attendees required. You want the freedom to not have to worry about whether the platform can handle it. This means that considering your meeting platform while planning the town hall is critical. Consider using a platform with robust features like Filo to avoid running into roadblocks and issues.
Before a company town hall meeting can happen, invitations must be sent. The town hall meeting invitation to employees is a crucial aspect of the meeting. The virtual town hall meeting invitation may seem unimportant, but it has a big impact on how attendees perceive the meeting. First impressions are everything, and the invitation will be the attendees’ first impressions of the meeting. A bland and boring invitation can make attendees dread yet another meeting they think will be boring. An invitation that is lacking in necessary information can result in low attendance, confusion, and disorganization. This means that crafting the perfect invitation is essential to the meeting’s success.
Tone is a large factor in how the invitation is perceived. Little things like word and punctuation choice can impact how the message comes across. “You’re invited to an exciting virtual town hall with company CEO John Doe!” is going to have a very different effect than, “You are invited to a virtual town hall.” Even things like font choice and picture usage will have an impact on tone. These small details are a big part of how the invitation is perceived, so pay careful attention to everything in the invitation. Since tone can be the difference between a successful meeting and unsuccessful one, it is not to be overlooked.
As with finding meeting ideas, do not be afraid to use online resources to help in the process. Using a town hall meeting invitation to employees template can help you avoid some of the most common mistakes in invitations. Part of being a smart leader is knowing when to get help. Acknowledging a weakness and using the resources available to make up for it is what good leaders do. Do not hesitate to get help if you believe it can make your invitation better.
Just like with invitations, a town hall cannot happen without an agenda. The town hall meeting agenda is what the meeting will be. Whatever activities, discussions, presentations, and topics are on the agenda are what the town hall will be. Do not underestimate the importance of a well planned virtual town hall meeting agenda. Without an agenda, meetings typically are freewheeling, aimless, and waste more time than they need to. This is not good considering time is a person’s most valuable resource. So avoid wasting time and carefully craft an efficient meeting agenda.
This pattern is becoming more and more apparent, but again, do not be afraid to use the resources available to you. Using an employee town hall meeting agenda sample could make your meeting more efficient and effective. And with the multitude of samples available on the internet, creating an effective agenda is easier than ever. While crafting the agenda, remember to keep in mind the platform you are using. Having a fun activity on the agenda only to realize during the meeting that the platform cannot handle it is not a good outcome. This can be avoided by doing proper research before hand. If you have something planned that the platform cannot accommodate, the activity must be modified or another platform must be used. It is also possible to avoid this issue altogether by choosing a platform that can handle nearly anything like Filo. If the platform is capable of accommodating almost anything, you are much less likely to run into an issue where your ideas are not doable. No matter the platform you choose, just be sure that it is capable of doing everything you need it to.
A Zoom town hall meeting is no different than any other virtual town hall meeting, except that it takes place on Zoom specifically. Zoom has become the most well-known digital conferencing tool, so it is not surprising it has worked its way into the lexicon around town hall meetings. The virtual town hall meeting Zoom provides is similar to those of other platforms, though obviously limited to the functionality of Zoom. This means the town hall must be tailored to fit Zoom’s features and cannot do what Zoom cannot. While Zoom is fairly robust, it still lacks in features compared to many other platforms. Filo, for example, has nearly everything available one could need, making internal meetings that inspire and connect easy. Regardless, be sure to keep in mind Zoom’s limitations when planning a town hall for Zoom.
Like all the other aspects of a town hall, there is nothing wrong with using a template. A virtual town hall meeting template can help make your meeting the best it possibly can be. Using the resources available to you is the best way to ensure your meetings are successful and achieve their goals. Another way to ensure your meetings go well is to follow the best practices. The best practices for all town halls are basically the same as Zoom town hall best practices and will be discussed in the next section. That said, there will be some slight differences depending on your platform. A feature that is essential for best practices on Filo or Google Teams may not be present on Zoom and vice versa, meaning you have to keep the platform in mind while following best practices.
Just like any other type of meeting, there are virtual town hall best practices. These best practices serve as guidelines to make sure your town hall is successful. Things like having a town hall meeting script and having an agenda are included in best practices. Though they will vary from company to company and meeting platform to meeting platform, many of the best practices are universal. Making the town hall fun is a best practice that applies to any town hall, whether it’s physical, digital, on Zoom, Filo, or any other meeting platform. Town hall game ideas are something that can benefit every town hall. Virtual meeting fatigue is a very real thing that has only gotten more common in recent years, but having fun games or activities in a town hall can prevent it. This just underscores the importance of following best practices, especially since they are based on years of collected experience.
Another example of a universal best practice is getting feedback on town hall meeting. No matter how you are having the town hall, feedback is an incredibly beneficial resource. Many managers and bosses overlook the importance of employee feedback, but it is arguably their most valuable source for inspiration. Knowing what does and does not work for your employees can help make your town halls more effective in the future. Do not stop learning and just rely on the same methods you have for years. Times change, people change, and that means town halls change. Always take attendee feedback to heart and consider how you can improve town halls in the future. It can be the difference between stale meetings that bore attendees and exciting meetings that keep them engaged and inspired.