With virtual companies on the rise, and an increasing amount of organizations that hire employees to work remotely, the term “meeting” has started to evolve. For numerous advantageous reasons, face-to-face meetings are often substituted with virtual alternatives and are becoming particularly more relevant in the cloud industry. Whether you’re a new startup that doesn’t yet have the funds for a physical office, or a stable company that’s finding it increasingly challenging to ensure that all of your meetings’ attendees are located in the same time zone, you may have encountered issues with how to brainstorm effectively. As a result, virtual brainstorming is rapidly becoming a contemporary method that is important to master in order to ensure that you and your team not only keep up, but stay ahead of the game.
There are only a few hurdles to consider when planning to conduct virtual meetings and brainstorming sessions. All parties are reliant on an internet connection, and need to decide on a fitting time to convene. However, there are more advantages that trump the aforementioned hurdles, proving that virtual brainstorming can be the truly optimal solution for everyone involved.
For some, brainstorming sessions in a face-to-face environment can be overwhelming and stress-inducing. This is problematic, of course, because they are supposed to facilitate creativity and ultimately spark innovative ideas. Remote brainstorming can therefore be a better option for those that find they are more creatively at ease in their own, chosen environment. The use of shared docs, emails, calls, and video conferencing provide various opportunities for all types of people to be able to share more freely.
The most notable advantage is the accessibility that virtual brainstorming provides. Regardless of where anyone in the team is located, all they need is access to the internet and a pair of headphones to easily connect and share ideas with one another.
Tools & Tips
Luckily, there are a plethora of tools to choose from that you’re probably already familiar with, and almost all of them are free.
Video conferences are a great solution for lengthy meetings where more intricate ideas need to be expressed, since they simulate the face-to-face environment. As with face-to-face meetings, visuals are important to help employees stay focused, and should not be neglected. You can incorporate screen sharing into the mix with some video conferencing platforms or use screen sharing software combined with conference calls. Additionally, recording your virtual brainstorming sessions are possible with many platforms as well, which can be shared with the attendees and used for future reference.
Email is another powerful virtual brainstorming tool, and is the go-to facilitator if you’d like to exchange ideas asynchronously with your team. If you’ve decided to set up a virtual meeting, you can use email to lay out the structure of the upcoming brainstorming session to better direct your participants and include any additional data or visuals that you’d like them to review. After the meeting is over, you can provide an outline highlighting the important points that were mentioned, conclusions, and afterthoughts to facilitate more dialogue.
It’s exciting to think that as communication methods advance, virtual brainstorming will only become easier. Efficiency is crucial to any business, and with the combination of cost effectiveness, and flexibility, it is very likely that it will become the preferred method for all types of companies.