9 best practices for engagement in virtual meetings

Aditi Verma
• May 2, 2024

(8 min read)

Virtual meetings have become a cornerstone of professional communication, bridging the gap created by geographical distances and the ongoing need for remote work arrangements.

However, keeping participants engaged in a virtual environment presents unique challenges compared to traditional in-person meetings. Engaging effectively in virtual meetings not only ensures the productivity of these sessions but also maintains team morale and fosters a collaborative spirit. 

Read on as we delve into the engagement challenges that virtual meeting attendees face, 9 best practices for maximizing engagement in virtual meetings, and other insights that can help you deliver more efficient and productive online meeting experiences that are engaging and interactive.

online meeting experiences

In the shift towards digital workplaces, virtual meetings have emerged as essential tools for collaboration and decision-making. Yet, the absence of physical presence of team members and other meeting attendees can lead to disengagement, distraction, and a sense of isolation among participants. 

To overcome these issues, it’s crucial to adopt strategies that captivate attention and encourage active participation, ensuring that virtual meetings are not only effective but also engaging for all involved.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the challenges of virtual meetings, before we delve into the best practices. 

Virtual meeting engagement challenges

Engagement in virtual meetings is a pressing issue that organizations across the world are trying to tackle. To get a better understanding of why this may be happening, it is crucial to understand the various challenges that employees or attendees may be dealing with. Here are a few for you to consider, before planning your next virtual meeting.

Being aware of these can help you plan your virtual meetings accordingly and in turn, boost engagement rates.

1. Lack of agenda/ bad expectation setting

One of the primary reasons for lack of engagement during virtual meetings is that attendees don’t know what to expect from the meeting. This could lead to them feeling uncertain and at times, even unprepared and shy. By sharing the agenda of the virtual meeting in advance with all the expected attendees, you can help them come prepared for the meeting. This encourages them to voice their thoughts and participate more freely.

2. Meeting fatigue

This has been a challenge for most organizations, especially in remote work cultures since the pandemic. Considering how every interaction occurs on a virtual meeting in such a set up, it is natural that employees feel overwhelmed, occasionally. To mitigate this, it is important to assess the validity of every meeting request, and only send out virtual meeting invites if absolutely necessary. Being more mindful can minimize meeting fatigue.  

3. Distractions and lack of privacy

Working from home or any environment that isn’t your typical “office” does come with this challenge of distractions. Active interaction and engagement during virtual meeting requires attendees to be fully present, and involved in the discussion. To minimize distractions that are expected while working from home, it is important to have a dedicated work station that is isolated from the rest of the house, or a “home office” set up that gives you the privacy to focus.

4. Lengthy, unstructured meetings

When meetings last for hours and tackle multiple discussion points in one go, attendees can feel drained out, leading to a decline in engagement rates. To overcome this, make sure your meeting agenda is crisp, succinct and clearly defined. Target a maximum of 3-5 discussion points, so everybody pitches in and the meeting is productive. Longer meetings lack structure and fail to effectively engage attendees, proving counter-productive.  

5. Cultural differences and Individual personality

Cultural differences, personal preferences, behavioral choices and differences in personalities – all of these play a role in determining how attendees engage or contribute to the meeting. Being inclusive and allowing people to engage with the meeting in a way that is true to their personality of culture is important. Not every attendee will speak as much, and that’s ok as long as they are involved actively and contributing to the meeting in their own way. 

involved actively and contributing to the meeting

9 Best Practices to Maximize Engagement at your Virtual Meeting

Best Practices for Engagement in Virtual Meetings

  1. Set Clear Agendas and Objectives: Begin by communicating the purpose and agenda of the meeting well in advance. This helps set the right expectation among attendees, who can then prepare themselves accordingly, setting the stage for a productive session.
  1. Begin with Personal Check-ins and Icebreakers: Initiate meetings with a personal touch, asking participants to share a quick update or respond to an icebreaker question. This approach helps to warm up the group and build rapport.
  1. Leverage Interactive Tools: Make use of the interactive features available on a virtual event platform like Airmeet. Polls, surveys, and live Q&A sessions can transform passive listeners into active participants, fostering a more engaging event experience.
  1. Utilize Engaging Presentation Materials: Incorporate diverse and visually appealing content formats , such as slides, videos, and infographics. This variety maintains interest and caters to different learning styles.
  1. Facilitate Actively: An effective facilitator guides the conversation in the right direction, ensures equitable participation, and keeps the discussion aligned with the meeting’s goals. This role involves prompting feedback, managing time, and addressing any technical issues that arise.
  1. Incorporate Regular Breaks: For extended meetings, schedule short breaks to combat digital fatigue. These pauses are vital for maintaining energy levels and attention spans over longer periods.
  1. Encourage Use of Camera: While respecting privacy and bandwidth considerations, encourage participants to use their webcams. Visual connections can enhance the sense of community and engagement.
  1. Ensure Accessibility and Inclusivity: Choose a virtual event platform that is easily accessible to everyone, including those with special needs or impairments. Features like captioning and translation services can make meetings more inclusive.
  1. Gather Feedback for Continuous Improvement: After the meeting, solicit feedback to understand participant experiences and identify areas for improvement. This insight can inform adjustments for future meetings.


adjustments for future meetings

Who can benefit from organizing virtual events?

Several entities can enjoy the benefits of organizing virtual events, including:

1. Businesses: 

Companies frequently host virtual events to announce new products, organize sales or other large-scale conferences, conduct training sessions, and interact with consumers and stakeholders.

2. Nonprofit Organizations:

Virtual events can prove beneficial for nonprofit organizations to promote virtual fundraising events, educational webinars, or awareness campaigns in order to reach their intended audience and achieve their goals.

3. Event Management Companies:

 Event planning and management companies specialize in creating virtual events for clients in a variety of industries, offering comprehensive services ranging from planning and logistics to execution and post-event analysis.

4. Associations and professional societies: 

Associations and professional communities routinely hold virtual conferences, workshops, and networking events to bring members together and promote knowledge sharing and collaboration.

5. Educational Institutions: 

Schools, colleges, and universities can deliver successful virtual lectures, seminars, workshops, and graduation ceremonies to engage students, teachers, and alumni.

6. Government agencies: 

Government agencies can use virtual town halls, conferences, and training events to communicate with constituents, spread awareness, and encourage public participation.

Government agencies

Make virtual meetings more interactive, engaging and productive with Airmeet

Airmeet is a virtual event platform that has transformed the way thousands of global enterprises conduct their virtual meetings. Remote teams love Airmeet for its advanced engagement capabilities that empower both meeting organizers as well as attendees.

From polls, quizzes, surveys, Q&As to emojis, chats, breakout rooms, and detailed engagement reports, our platform lets you design the ideal virtual meeting experience so your meetings are productive, engaging and interactive – and nothing short of fruitful each time.

Test ride the Airmeet platform today to understand why more than 4000 enterprises trust us to power their webinars, online conferences, and virtual meetings. 

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