Collaborative meetings are an excellent way to get different expertise, perspectives, and ideas from various organizational teams. This kind of meeting is certainly catching on: a recent Harvard study found that employees spend 50% or more of their day in collaborative activities.

But the challenge for each organization is making these meetings effective while contributing value to the overall strategy. A collaborative meeting allows key contributors from different business functions to create solutions that benefit the entire organization. Knowing this, it’s worth figuring out how to make them work for you.

Whether your collaborative meetings are in person or virtual, it’s essential to structure the meeting to get the most out of them. Read on for the best tips for designing an effective collaborative meeting.

Make collaborative meetings convenient

Schedule the meeting at a time that works for everyone. This can be challenging when you need to be mindful of:

  • Different department schedules and work hours
  • Time zones if teams are global or throughout the country
  • Other meetings that pull cross-functional team members
  • Travel schedules

To coordinate an ideal time for all meeting members, use an effective meeting scheduler application for the entire company.

{{< blog/cta-1 “Collaborate at your next meeting with Vibe” “” >}}

Define a purpose for collaborative meetings

Before scheduling anything, you should have a clear goal for the meeting. Identify the purpose beforehand to determine if it’s necessary to bring everyone together. For example, you don’t want to take up your team’s time if the meeting is only to share information, motivate, or socialize.

Are there better ways to communicate that won’t monopolize everyone’s time? Maybe an email, forum, or chat would make more sense. If your meeting is to solve a problem, create or review a plan, make decisions, or delegate responsibility, you may benefit from a collaborative meeting.

A Harvard study found that 75% of cross-functional teams were dysfunctional because they couldn’t:

  • Stay on budget
  • Stay on schedule
  • Follow project specifications
  • Address customer expectations
  • Align with corporate goals and strategy

Avoid these issues by creating a clear agenda so the team can come to the meeting prepared to contribute and invested in its purpose.

Have multiple people represent different departments

If your organization has large departments or teams, you should have 2-3 representatives from each department. Not only is this easier to manage, but it also doesn’t monopolize everyone in the department.

A smaller number of people also encourages everyone to contribute because they represent the values and ideas of their entire team. This can generate active discussions where everyone participates.

Engage with meeting participants

Your meeting participants should feel like they can be innovative and think creatively. So, create a warm and inviting environment that doesn’t feel rigid or formal. Set the tone by engaging with team members in a friendly, encouraging tone.

To lead effective collaborative meetings, you need tools and applications that encourage interaction. Think about ways to boost collaboration among participants where they can offer their expertise and add value to the discussions.

Using an interactive whiteboard makes it easy to share, contribute, and brainstorm. Create that napkin idea on an interactive whiteboard to capture ideas more effectively and inspire innovation.

Related: Why Brainwriting Produces the Best Team Ideas

Take notes during the meeting

An effective collaborative meeting requires taking vigilant notes to capture everyone’s ideas and input. These notes will not only keep track of decisions, vision, and solutions, they’ll also create a reference for future meetings and determining measurable tasks. Using an interactive whiteboard is an easy solution for taking notes.

The Vibe digital whiteboard creates opportunities for teamwork during collaborative meetings.

Use a digital whiteboard at collaborative meetings

An interactive whiteboard is an ideal tool for collaborative meetings and allows participants to easily:

  • Share and draw ideas on an unlimited canvas.
  • Utilize smart objects to create easy to follow and read.
  • Import documents and images for faster workflow.
  • Connect across different devices for seamless collaboration.

Bring teams together with active collaboration

You can start the meeting with an activity designed to encourage participation from your team. This can either be something fun or directed toward the project. Create mini discussions between smaller groups to drill down on specific problems or tasks.

App integrations for improved workflow

Using an interactive whiteboard, you can integrate with other apps, documents, and images to create a shared space where participants can bounce ideas off of each other or inspire better workflow. The Vibe Board integrates with over 80 popular collaboration apps such as Slack, Zoom, Canvas, Creative Cloud, and more.

Edit and annotate in real time

During brainstorming or problem-solving meetings, you’ll want a tool that allows for dynamic editing in real time. An interactive whiteboard lets all participants edit, modify, remove, or annotate ideas that can be saved for later or shared among the team to encourage workflow outside of the meeting.

Easily access and share files with your team

Digital whiteboards allow participants to import documents and images that can be edited, annotated, and saved as a PDF. This provides a digital record you can keep in a shared folder for people to access later for reference.

Top-notch security for information storage

Cybersecurity is a growing threat that requires constant vigilance. You’ll need to ensure proper VPNs, software, and applications are secure within your meetings. Vibe Boards provide:

  • Identity Management
  • Data Protection
  • Audit Log
  • Access Control

These safeguards are essential in today’s marketplace. By integrating these tips into your next collaborative meeting, your team will improve workflow and overall effectiveness.

Related: Top 25 Tools and Apps for Better Remote Collaboration

Vibe offers a collaborative solution combining an interactive digital whiteboard and innovative smart software. Increase engagement and efficiency at your brainstorming sessions, virtual training, and classroom sessions by integrating your favorite applications with video conferencing and an infinite, mess-free writing canvas. Collaborate today with Vibe.

Looking for the latest in interactive whiteboard technology? Check out Vibe today!

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