Three months into the pandemic and I had "Zoom fatigue." The meetings were running incredibly long, nobody really knew how to collaborate after the fact, and the whole thing was becoming increasingly chaotic.
As it turns out, I wasn't alone.
According to a survey by Virtira Consulting, 49% of people working remotely, about 32 million people, suffered exhaustion due to increased and longer meetings. By April 2020, Zoom was having 300 million daily meeting participants worldwide.
With 63% of remote workers participating in more meetings online than they would have in the office, what's needed is effective meeting management software—helping you run better meetings and seamlessly collaborate with your team. Fortunately, you’re in the right place.
This article covers the basics of meeting management along with the top meeting management software and details how to conduct effective meetings.
Let's dig in!
Meeting management software helps your team to plan and run productive meetings and collaborate cross-functionally after the fact. With the right meeting management tools, it's easier to plan and schedule meetings, record and transcribe your conversations, capture and share insights, and collaborate with other teams.
You and your team are likely spending several hours on meetings every day and having a meeting management tool ensures they are getting the most out of their conversations.
More specifically, with the help of meeting management tools, you can
Every tool in this list has its use cases and benefits. Feel free to pick the ones your team needs to plan and run productive meetings and collaborate cross-functionally after the fact.
Grain is one of the most comprehensive meeting management software focusing on turning video meetings into your company's most valuable asset.
Grain lets you record your meetings and automatically transcribes both live and recorded sessions. You can clip and share the key moments and build a shared video library—from which your team can search, discover, and review insights from all the conversations.
Grain helps companies hire better talent faster, capture valuable insights for the product teams, grow revenue by analyzing prospect conversations, and preserve institutional knowledge.
With a free plan, Grain allows you to record, save and transcribe up to 50 video meetings. The paid plan starts at $19/month and offers unlimited meetings and transcripts, advanced integrations, and more.
With their customizable enterprise plan, you can access features based on your company's needs.
Webex, purchased by Cisco in 2007, is a meeting management software built for huge enterprises. You can use the built-in scheduler to host meetings quickly or use the advanced scheduler to send email reminders.
Webex has all the features you’d expect in a meeting management tool—scheduling and recording meetings, audio via call-in or VOIP, and video conferencing.
Webex also has a mobile app that lets you message, call, and attend meetings. You can share and edit files, host large virtual events with up to 100,000 attendees, and add interactive polls to improve audience participation.
Webex has a free plan that allows you to have meetings with up to 100 people. The pricing starts from $13.50/month and goes up to $25/month. You can also get a custom plan based on your enterprise's needs and requirements.
A meeting management platform, unlike others Vyte, lets you access your page and meeting schedule straight from the browser. The team at Vyte wanted to eliminate the middle steps in scheduling meetings and sending invites. Vyte also has an app for iOS users.
One of the huge benefits of using Vyte is that it requires minimum storage space and has an extremely easy-to-use interface. You can also hide participants from each other and customize your booking page according to your liking.
Vyte has a free plan available with limited features. The paid plans start from $8/month per person. You can also get custom pricing based on your company's needs.
Parabol is an online meeting tool built for scrum masters and other leaders to conduct powerful guided sessions. It's ready to go out of the box and integrates with your favorite tools.
With customizable templates, anonymous feedback, multiplayer grouping, and guided discussions, Parabol helps teams find their flow and improve the way they collaborate over meetings.
Parabol is free forever for up to two teams per company. Their paid plans start from $6/month per user. You can also get a custom plan based on your company's needs.
GoTo Meeting is a video conferencing software with a focus on ease of use and minimalistic UI. The platform pairs productivity with flexibility to let employees work effectively anytime, anywhere on any device.
With features like in-meeting chat, screen sharing, browser-based meetings, and HD video conferencing, GoTo Meeting is a great tool that works on any device.
GoToMeeting has a professional plan for 150 participants that starts at $12/month. Their business plan is for 250 participants and starts at $16/month. You can also get a custom package based on your company's needs and requirements.
Fellow is a meeting management tool that focuses on increasing collaboration through productive one-on-ones, task-setting, and accountability.
With features like meeting agenda templates, creating and assigning action items, and meeting notes, Fellow makes sure the meetings are organized, and everyone is clear on the next steps.
Fellow is great for one-on-one meetings, collaborative note-taking, brainstorming, and real-time feedback. The app also allows you to invite people you work with outside your company to the platform to keep meeting agendas and action items in one place.
Fellow has a free-forever plan for a team of a maximum of 10 users. Their paid plan starts from $6/month, and they also offer custom and enterprise plans based on your company's needs.
Hailed as the manager's toolkit for staying organized, Hypercontext focuses on providing a platform to managers for effective one-on-ones, team meetings, and company-wide discussions.
You get access to built-in libraries of meeting agenda templates, conversation starters, and 250+ ways to set team goals and KPIs on the platform through ready-to-use templates. Hypercontext has an easy-to-use modern interface that makes the platform easy and fun to use.
Hypercontext has a free forever plan with unlimited one-on-one meetings and 500+ conversation starters. Their paid plans start at $5.60/month to $8.80/month and have advanced features like AI-powered conversation insights, goal-setting, and milestones.
Chanty is an easy-to-use collaboration tool that allows communication through texts, audio and video messages, and meetings with a focus on secure unlimited messaging.
You can share screens, send files and links, and assign tasks to team members for increased accountability. You can also switch to a Kanban board view to optimize your workflow.
While Chatty has a free plan for up to 10 users, their paid plan costs $3/month and allows three guests per member for free.
Magic Minutes is a meeting management software focusing on running better meetings by sending and requesting reports ahead of meetings, so attendees turn up informed and ready to engage in the discussion.
The minute-taking tool helps to note down the minutes of the meeting and assign action items during the discussion.
Magic Minutes has a free forever plan with limited features. Their paid plans start from £12/month per person. For more than ten users, their pricing is £6/month per user.
According to McKinsey, 90% of companies will be operating on some combination of remote and on-site work after COVID restrictions.
It's becoming increasingly important to learn effective meeting management—for both online and hybrid meetings.
Let's have a look at some of the tips you can apply to make your meetings great (again)!
If you don't know what you want to achieve through the meeting, it's not likely going to be a success. To have a successful meeting, you need to have a clear goal and a strong plan.
Before the meeting, define an agenda and ensure all the participants have access to it. Your agenda should include:
Nicole Kahansky, Senior Content Manager at Hypercontext, says to always stick to an agenda. “With an agenda, everyone shows up prepared, the meeting stays on track, and you can get through all the topics that need to get covered. Using an agenda in your meeting is often the difference between time well spent and time wasted,” she concludes.
I am always a minute or two early to a meeting because I detest late arrivals. They make the meeting run longer or eat up 5 to 10 minutes—and no one likes that.
One way to discourage late arrivals is by starting the meeting on time. This sends a clear message to the latecomers and develops an expectation for promptness.
Mostly, during meetings, one or two people keep on rambling while the rest of the team struggles to remain focused. I have been part of those meetings where I constantly thought of doing something more valuable with my time.
Make room for creativity in your meetings. Get everyone to actively participate in the discussion through brainstorming sessions and acknowledging everyone's participation.
Have you ever been in a meeting where one person (usually a senior manager) starts telling anecdotes irrelevant to the meeting's agenda?
Yeah, me too!
You need every participant to focus on the problem at hand. So, someone must always take responsibility to guide the meeting back to the agenda and bring back the focus.
According to Atlassian, 91% of people daydream during meetings.
Sometimes, I do too. But only because the meetings are too long and I find myself thinking about what to eat for dinner.
Having short 15 to 30-minute meetings is essential to improve your team's efficiency. Don't schedule meetings longer than an hour. With a strong agenda in hand, you will be able to tackle all the things to discuss more quickly than you imagine.
Will Yang, Head of Growth at Instrumentl, shares his best advice for an effective meeting, “Be as clear and concise as possible. It can be challenging, but it's important not to ramble on or throw out extraneous information that wastes everyone's time.”
This one is especially important for hybrid meetings. Before an important meeting, test the entire setup—both on-site and for remote participants. If it's a company-wide meeting, you can also schedule a 10 to 15-minute dry run to make sure your remote participants are comfortable with what they will see and ask if everything is visible and audible to them.
Even after two years of (almost daily) online meetings, finding the best tool for meeting management that fits your company's needs can be a bit overwhelming.
All the tools mentioned above offer something unique. Make your decisions based on the key features, the problems this tool will solve, and your budget.
If you’d like to preserve the knowledge, clip and share insights, and build a searchable video library for your meetings, then Grain is the tool for you. No matter what video conferencing you choose to use, leverage Grain to make your recordings more valuable, shareable, and accessible.
Sign up for Grain today and start turning your video meetings into a shared library of knowledge and resources!