We facilitate same time same place electronic meetings for small groups ranging from 10 to 20 people and large meeting events up to 400 participants. The facilitation varies from technical to process facilitation. Before every workshop we provide guidance to determine the goal and process of the meeting.
During the meeting we take care of the technical facilitation so the customer can focus on the content of the meeting. Afterwards we provide full documentation of the results.
- Simultaneous input
- Complete and accurate record keeping
Imagine the chaos that results if everyone in a meeting speaks at the same time. Yet, though everyone "speaks" at once, in an electronic meeting the result is greater efficiency rather than chaos.
Participants type their contributions at the same time, in parallel with each other, and can also read other users' input as it is entered. This is a much faster process than waiting for each person to speak in turn. This design also helps avoid duplication and rehashing the same idea again and again. It also gives participants the opportunity to build on other's input by agreeing, disagreeing, or suggesting alternatives.
Contributing via a keyboard gives participants time to consider their words before submitting input, which results in less misunderstanding between group members. Also, participants whose first language is not the language of the session benefit from reading ideas rather than struggling to follow the conversation; it is usually easier to read a foreign language than to understand colloquial speech.
Unlike a traditional meeting, participants´ input and votes are anonymous. This design has several benefits. Foremost, evaluations are based on the idea's merit. The author’s identity or status within the group cannot be considered when the group compares and votes on different proposals.
Anonymity also nurtures creativity. Participants are free to enter proposals that are not fully thought out or may be based on uncertain information. Frequently this is how the most creative ideas begin and they can be very vulnerable to being nipped in the bud. In a traditional meeting it can be embarrassing when your ideas are not well received. Many people are not willing to risk this, and thus stifle many ideas with great potential.
Furthermore, experience shows that anonymity diffuses confrontation. Users are more respectful of anonymous ideas when the idea’s author may easily be the most senior person present. Also, criticism delivered anonymously is easier to calmly accept than the same criticism delivered face-to-face, and mitigates overly emotional reactions within the group.
Complete and accurate record keeping
Often, the most frustrating part of a meeting is leaving the room and realizing that there is no complete, accurate record of the ideas that the group discussed, the decisions the group made, or why those decisions were made.
Participants in an electronic meeting know that all their input is recorded electronically. Users can navigate through a session, contributing, voting, and reading others' input at leisure, without having to worry about missing what other meeting participants said.