ONLINE MEETINGS MADE SIMPLE

Your Guide to Successful Online Meetings

The who, what, where, when and how of successful and productive online meetings

Online Meeting Guide

After much anticipation, your organization just invested in an online meeting tool. You're eager to host your first online meeting, but you'll need to consider a few crucial factors before you jump in. Our step-by-step guide answers the what, who, when, where and how of successful and productive online meetings. We'll show you:

  • What type of online meeting best fits your group's needs

  • Who should lead and who should attend the meeting

  • When to plan a meeting for maximum attendance

  • Where to hold your meeting

  • How to run a successful online meeting
 

Before we get into these questions, let's answer the most crucial question ― why? 

Why choose an online meeting format?

If upper management isn't sure online meetings are worth the investment, point out video conferencing's many benefits. Online meetings: 

  • Facilitate participation from a distance, reducing travel costs and time required to bring people into the office.

  • Provide a record of the entire meeting without dilution or miscommunication from meeting participants. 

  • Allow easy information sharing with an entire team or department, reducing unnecessary repetition and follow-up meetings.

  • Enable fast, reliable, on-demand communication with clients and partners across the globe.


What kind of online meeting is right for your needs?

Decide which type of online meeting suits your agenda best: 

Audio-only meetings

Standalone audio meetings are perfect for quick touch-base sessions when you don't need Wi-Fi, video or screen sharing capabilities. Your meeting may involve discussing just a few items, sharing an important piece of company news, or alerting team members to a change in protocol. Make a note of who attends the meeting to serve as a record for future reference or follow-up. 

Video conferencing

Adding video to your online meeting can be valuable if the meeting involves a small, dispersed group or a virtual face-to-face with a client. Video conferencing builds better rapport and trust among meeting participants and strengthens communication by reducing the chance of misread nuances or tone. 

Who should lead an online meeting?

Identifying the best person for leading a meeting can be a challenge. The ideal leader may not always be the most senior person in the room. Choose someone who knows how to lead a meeting effectively ― an organized, natural public speaker who will keep the meeting on track.

Delegating responsibility is also key to a smooth meeting. Encourage your host to delegate specific tasks, such as keeping a written list of meeting highlights in case of a recording malfunction, and handling the meeting's Q&A portion.

When is the best time for an online meeting?

Selecting the best time for meetings is crucial to ensure solid attendance. Mondays are usually catch-up days for many, and by Friday, people are heading home early or thinking about weekend plans. Whenever possible, schedule your meeting mid-week and aim for a time slot between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Be sure to take into account attendees in different time zones.

The best advice on how to encourage participation in a meeting is to give attendees plenty of advance notice and send reminders. Be clear about the meeting's purpose and clarify the expected start and end times.

Where should you hold your online meeting?

The best environment for online meetings is a quiet room with space for your equipment and a blank wall as a backdrop. Encourage meeting participants to find a suitably quiet location as well and to mute their mics unless they are speaking. Be mindful that your attendees may be joining your meeting from:  

  • A remote workstation or from home

  • A business location in a different time zone 

  • A hotel, airport or overseas location


How do you run a successful online meeting?

Create a clear agenda to guide your online meeting. Figure out the meeting objectives, then break your session into segments. Decide how to convey the information in an organized fashion and prepare your source material in advance

Here are a few tips to help you conduct a killer presentation: 

  • Be descriptive with your words, especially when you're not using visuals

  • Screen share vital information, reports and key metrics

  • Use a slideshow to highlight points, but don't read directly from it

  • Keep your information pointed and on pace

  • Avoid distractions or interruptions that may derail the flow of the meeting 


At the end of the meeting, encourage participation via an "open mic" discussion or through a more structured Q&A session.

After your online meeting concludes, always send a follow-up email after the meeting to all attendees. Recap the session with key highlights and any conclusions or decisions that you reached. When possible, send a recording or transcript of the call. 

Now that you understand the benefits of online meetings, you're ready to plan, organize and execute a successful and engaging video conferencing session.

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Holding an Online Meeting

What can I do with GoToMeeting?

With GoToMeeting, you can deliver presentations, perform product demonstrations, brainstorm with colleagues and securely share confidential information online from anywhere at any time. Your meetings can be one-to-one, or you can meet with multiple people at once.

Presentations: Give a slideshow to your online audience and reduce travel costs.

Demonstrations: Show prospects how your product works by inviting them to view a demo in real time, whether they are across town or a thousand miles away.

Work together: Meet with others online to share, discuss and edit any document. Transfer presentation controls to other attendees.

How do I start using GoToMeeting?
Simply register for your free trial now. After the quick automatic setup is completed, you can immediately begin using it.
Do I have to be at my computer to hold a meeting?
No, you can hold a meeting from any computer – or even a mobile device – as long as it has Internet access. Just log in with your account email and password at www.gotomeeting.com.

Hold a scheduled meeting: Your scheduled meetings will be listed under My Meetings – just click the Start Meetingbutton next to the meeting you want to start.

Hold an instant meeting: Click the Host a Meeting button, then choose the Meet Now button. Your meeting will start immediately. To invite people to your meeting, click the Invite Others button in the control panel. A window will open with instructions for joining that you can email, instant message or tell your attendees over the phone.

To schedule a meeting: Click the Host a Meeting button, then choose the Schedule Meeting button. Fill out the meeting information and click the Schedule button. A meeting invitation email will launch automatically.
How do I start an impromptu meeting?
On a PC
There are several ways to start a one-click impromptu meeting:
· Double-click the GoToMeeting system tray icon.
· Click the Meet Now button integrated into Microsoft Outlook and various instant-messaging applications.
· Scheduled meetings can be started with one click from the My Meetings web page after logging in to the GoToMeeting website.

On a Mac
Just click the GoToMeeting icon in the dock and then click the Meet Now button.
Your meeting will start and the GoToMeeting organizer control panel will appear on the right side of your desktop.
How do I schedule a meeting?

On a PC
To schedule a meeting in advance, right-click the GoToMeeting system tray icon on the bottom-right corner of your screen, select Schedule a Meeting... and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the Schedule Meeting dialog box, enter your meeting information and click the Schedule button.

You will be notified that your meeting has been scheduled. If you are using Microsoft Outlook, a meeting reminder will be generated and give you the option of inviting attendees via an Outlook Calendar appointment.

On a Mac
To schedule a meeting in advance, click the GoToMeeting icon in the dock, select Schedule Meeting and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the Schedule Meeting dialog box, enter your meeting information and click the Schedule button. You will be notified that your meeting has been scheduled.

How do I set up recurring meetings that I can use any time?

On a PC
To set up a recurring meeting, right-click the GoToMeeting system tray icon on the bottom-right corner of your screen, select Schedule a Meeting... and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the Schedule Meeting dialog box, click the check box next to Recurring meeting. This will disable the scheduling settings, keeping the meeting open and available in My Meetings until you delete it. Click the Schedule button.

You will be notified that your meeting has been scheduled. If you are using Microsoft Outlook, a meeting reminder will be generated and give you the option of inviting attendees via an Outlook Calendar appointment.

On a Mac
To set up a recurring meeting, click the GoToMeeting icon in the dock, select Schedule Meeting and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the Schedule Meeting dialog box, click the check box next to Recurring meeting. This will disable the scheduling settings, keeping the meeting open and available in My Meetings until you delete it. Click the Schedule button. You will be notified that your meeting has been scheduled.

How do I start a scheduled or recurring meeting?
On a PC
To start a previously scheduled meeting, right-click the GoToMeeting system tray icon, select My Meetings and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the My Scheduled Meetings dialog box, select the meeting you wish to start and click Start.

On a Mac
To start a previously scheduled meeting, click the GoToMeeting icon in the dock, click the My Meetings button and log in by entering your account information and clicking the Log In button. Then, on the My Meetings – GoToMeeting dialog box, select the meeting you wish to start and click Start.
Can I use GoToMeeting with email or instant-messaging applications?
GoToMeeting integrates with Microsoft Outlook and other popular email and instant-messaging applications, so you can easily start or schedule meetings while using them.
How do I save chat sessions from my meetings?
Under the File menu select Save Chat Log... This opens the "Save Chat Log to a File" dialog that allows you to store it locally.
How do I share one application and nothing else?
On a PC
A presenter can share a single application by right-clicking the screen-sharing icon on the control panel grab tab and then selecting the application to share from the list of applications presented.

On a Mac
Since specific screen sharing is not yet available for Mac users, we recommend you close any application you do not want to share before initiating screen sharing.
What do I do if my attendees can't see my screen?

Screen sharing needs to be turned on after starting a meeting – GoToMeeting starts with it turned off to prevent early attendees from viewing your preparation.

To enable screen sharing, click Show My Screen in the organizer control panel.

If attendees still can't see your screen, please contact Global Customer Support.


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