How to Host a Virtual Town Hall

How to Host a Virtual Town Hall

Virtual town hall meetings have become a regular fixture at most companies, especially with so much of the workforce now working remotely. It's one of the most effective and productive ways to give employees a chance to voice their concerns and ask questions. It also helps create more authentic contact between employees and management. These meetings used to take place primarily in person, but like most company events, have now moved online.

Many organizations have embraced work-from-home policies since early 2020, and that means organizational alignment is more important now than ever. To that end, hosting virtual town halls as part of weekly or monthly routines is common. These events, however, don't always achieve the intended results. It can be challenging for employees to engage over a video call the same way they would in person. But if you keep the following tips and tricks in mind, you will all but guarantee virtual town hall meeting success.

What is a Virtual Town Hall?

A virtual town hall meeting is a business event for employees that a company streams online. It’s an opportunity for employees to ask questions, comment on company policies, and sometimes exchange news and progress updates. A virtual town hall provides an opportunity for business leaders to make themselves available to their employees and provide answers in a live interaction. A town hall also helps build a sense of community among staff members. Plus, since employees tend to interact with the same colleagues day after day, town hall meetings are a great way for people to engage with others from different departments. This helps to get the whole organization aligned so your teams can stay focused on big-picture goals.

Tips for Planning and Preparing a Virtual Town Hall Meeting

The main priority of a virtual town hall is to provide a Q&A opportunity for employees. They are a way for upper management to open the floor to employees who have questions or want to offer feedback or suggestions regarding company policies. When they are executed successfully, engaging virtual town halls can have myriad other benefits as well. Let’s run through the most important elements of how to hold a virtual town hall to make sure yours is a success.

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Establish Meeting Objectives

Make sure to plan the objectives of your virtual town hall from the outset. Town hall meetings generally offer an opportunity for employees to ask questions of management, get the answers they need, and give feedback. But what else do you want to accomplish? For example, you could use the meeting to celebrate individual employees who have done exceptional work on a project, exhibited company values, or otherwise delivered a winning performance. Or perhaps the event will focus on a particular issue or concern at your company to generate awareness and see where your employees stand on it. The more you're able to articulate clear objectives, the more successful you will be at streaming a virtual town hall for employees.

Choose Hosts and Create a Schedule

After outlining your goals for the meeting, it’s time to plan the details. It's a good idea to choose one host or moderator for the event. That person or group of people can be responsible for taking questions from employees. In addition, make sure to have a basic timeframe for the different elements of the event. That way, the host or hosts know when they are scheduled to speak and employees know what to expect. Sticking to the schedule means employees and management can count on a reliable start and end time.

Use Great Software and Tech

Having the right software and technology is crucial for ensuring success with your virtual town hall meeting. As for the service you'll use to stream the conference, Viostream is the top online video platform for optimizing virtual town halls. It lets you streamline engagement, encourage interactivity, and promote asynchronous communication. Plus, you can live stream your event right from the professional video hosting platform. That means you'll benefit from video management features you can’t find on other platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. You can even integrate it with virtual conferencing software like Pigeonhole Live for even more online engagement. See how Viostream can help.

Send Invitations and Promote Your Virtual Town Hall

Contact Monkey recommends putting together a dazzling meeting invite to help you with engagement and attendance. Make sure your meeting invite includes a link to the event, any ground rules for the meeting, and key contacts to reach out to for questions before or after the meeting. You can also send out a company newsletter and post the event on your internal social media and other platforms to promote it. Just make sure you know who your audience is beforehand so you know who to invite to the meeting!

Hosting a successful virtual town hall is all about thoughtful planning. Make sure to think through the outline of your meeting and be prepared to discuss any important news or topics that employees might bring to the table. Create an informative invitation so your guests know what to expect. It might even be helpful to do a test run of the event to make sure all your tech elements are working together seamlessly.

A virtual town hall is one of the most effective ways to increase employee engagement. With the right software and online platform, you can live-stream your event and encourage attendees to ask questions and discuss topics.

How Viostream Can Help

Viostream is an online video platform that can help make your next virtual town hall meeting your best yet. Viostream offers world-class security that protects sensitive information from being exposed to the public. Our platform allows you to have complete control of guest lists so that nobody outside your company can view your live stream. We also provide accessibility features like interactive transcripts and closed-captioning so you can post a recording of your town hall after the event. You can easily host all of your videos in customized video galleries for employees to access in the future. Sign up for a free trial to learn all that Viostream has to offer.

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Paul Vecchiato
Paul Vecchiato
Paul Vecchiato (Chief Technology Officer) is an experienced technology professional with over 15 years experience in developing and delivering complex web applications across a wide variety of industries.
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