Create and Manage Agendas
The problem with most meetings, whether virtual or in the physical world, is that they lack a defined structure. Use the agenda template to create a clear sequence of events for your meeting, including the timing, duration, topic and owner of the specific agenda item.
Assign Pre-Reads & Get Pre-Meeting Input
Many meetings involve long presentations to simply disseminate information, which reduces the time available for meaningful interaction. Define pre-read or pre-work assignments, upload files to review, and solicit input and questions prior to the start of any event to help jump-start engagement and discussion.
Organize and Manage Presentations
Keeping track of presentations can be tough if you have multiple presenters in a single web conference. Use the Presentation Manager to keep track of your overall agenda and individual presentations including files, action plans for presenter preparation, and more.
Brainstorm to Generate Ideas
Brainstorming is an essential process for most teams, groups and organizations. Brainstorming in the digital world can often be more effective than traditional brainstorms since ideas can be created, categorized, and prioritized almost instantly using specific criteria. Create brainstorm norms, define idea categories, and set evaluation criteria.
Collect and Track “Builds” on Ideas
Ideas get better when people “build” on them through comments, questions, and additional supporting ideas. Solicit builds on individual ideas or open up all ideas for input to see which ones surface as the most interesting to the group. All comments are tracked and remain connected to the idea for future reference.
Use Affinity Maps to Organize Ideas
All groups have ideas, but since ideas lie in individuals’ heads, many ideas never surface due to poor facilitation or limited interaction. Affinity mapping provides an easy way to “post” ideas on a virtual wall, categorize them into themes and review results. The possibilities are unlimited. Create journey maps, process diagrams, identify issues and challenges, surface questions and more.
Create “Themes” to Classify Groups of Ideas
Making sense of many disparate ideas can be challenging. Creating “themes” to classify groups of ideas can help organize thinking and help surface the best individual ideas for further development. Use structured templates to define themes for columns of ideas or an entire list of ideas. Create as many theme templates as desired.
View Idea Lists and Portfolios and Export Anytime
The most effective brainstorming processes involve scoring ideas based on specific criteria. When each idea is scored, it becomes possible to view and compare ideas within a broader portfolio. View your portfolio of ideas anytime and export to a common spreadsheet file.
Capture Actions Items During and at the End of Meetings
The best meetings, especially brainstorms, include tangible action plans to ensure implementation of the best ideas. Capture action items for specific topics or ideas including assigning owners and time frames.
Great software? Yes. But we give you something as important: Expertise in creating and leading great online meetings, conferences and events.
Learn the latest in web collaboration from our resident virtual teams and organization development expert, Soren Kaplan. Video tutorials give your team the success factors for online collaboration, including demos of upBOARD’s platform.
Soren Kaplan is an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Organizations at USC’s Marshall School of Business, a columnist for Inc. Magazine, and author of the bestselling and award-winning books Leapfrogging and The Invisible Advantage. He is a co-founder of upBOARD and has been recognized by the Thinkers50 as one of the world’s top management thought leaders.