If your association has decided to hold an annual meeting with digital aids, it may be useful to check what special preparations you need to make. The same rules for what the meeting needs to contain apply regardless of whether the meeting is conducted digitally, physically or in hybrid format. In this article we do not go through everything that a general meeting must contain (there are many other good articles that go through this) but focus on those parts that are unique to the digital format.
At both digital and hybrid meetings, participants need to be able to communicate with each other, so the first step is to ensure that your association has some kind of screen sharing tool. These are good options:
• Google Meet
• Microsoft Teams
All the tools are equal in functionality and which you choose is not very decisive for the implementation of the meeting. In hybrid meetings, it may also be an idea to have an external speaker, webcam with microphone and video screen so that they the participants participants on site can see and interact with the digital the participants. Also, do not forget to check that there is an internet connection in the room you intend to conduct the meeting from.
The next step is to choose a system to conduct the annual meeting in. It is, of course, possible to hold the annual meeting without this, but not very practical. What is important to keep in mind when choosing a system is to choose one that covers the needs of your association and that facilitates implementation and administration after the annual meeting. Common features you often need are open list voting , matter voting, roll call and list of speakers. GoPlenum of course has all these features and more, the entire feature list can be read here.
Depending on the system you have chosen, this step may look a little different. In most cases, however, a meeting needs to be set up, an agenda proposal, add attendees and send out invitations. The invitation is best to send out about 7-10 days before the meeting takes place so that participants can register and try to log in without any stress.
The last thing you want to happen on the day of the meeting is to get technical hassle whether it's external circumstances or handling errors. Therefore, we usually recommend that the meeting leaders take and practice handling on at least 1 occasion. Learning a new system can take some time and we strongly recommend that meeting administrators over as much as possible. To facilitate learning, GoPlenum has several support articles that go through all the features of the system. Finally, make sure all other technical equipment is working before you get started.
This part is actually the easiest if you have made the right preparations. The difference between a digital, hybrid or physical meeting doesn't have to be that big. If you use a meeting tool, the meeting should go even smoother with all the features. In order to create a better meeting environment for digital or hybrid meetings, it is important that participants who do not currently have the floor have their microphones turned off.
Once the Annual General Meeting has been held, the same procedures apply to a physical meeting as a digital one. The only difference is that in some tools, GoPlenum included, you can get a record of the meeting that is generated automatically. In this dossier you can see all the information about, for example, votes, speaking time and amendments. This may help in the establishment of the meeting protocol.