The Chaos of Mobile Meetings: Three Steps for Better Online Collaboration and Greater Productivity

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If a businessman from the past were shunted forward into the technologically-satiated world of the modern enterprise, I expect that he wouldn’t know what to do with himself. To him, the tools and devices we take to be routine would be confusing and more than a little disconcerting. More importantly, the means by which we communicate – both at home and at work – would be absolutely, inarguably foreign.

We’ve seen communication shift almost entirely to the digital space, to a host of different mobile messaging and conferencing apps. The software that drives instant messaging has found a ready-made home on smartphones and tablets, as on-the-go users embrace the convenience of quick and easy communication with friends and family. According to Forbes’ Daniel Newman, mobile has furthermore become the most popular content consumption platform in the world, and nearly 91% of people sleep within arm’s reach of their mobile device.

It’s thus not surprising that more companies and institutions are going virtual with their work and meetings, and that mobile devices are central to that shift. The convenience of mobile instant messaging technology makes for a welcome change from boardrooms and teleconferences; digital meetings furthermore potentially allow for far greater attendance numbers than anything done in person. There’s just one problem.

Meetings themselves are still a horrendous mess. It’s common knowledge that they’re among the biggest productivity killers in enterprise, to the point that some advise eliminating them altogether. Simply moving them to a digital format isn’t going to change that; it isn’t going to fix what’s broken.

As a matter of fact, using mobile devices as a ‘band-aid’ fix for one’s meetings would end up making things even worse if you fail to use the right platform. Attendees might be forced to contend with needlessly-complex passcodes and PINs, obtuse interfaces, and difficulties connecting. Hosts, meanwhile, could become overwhelmed wrestling with attendee management, scheduling, and the provisioning of meeting materials.

The question, then, is simple: how can businesses adapt to the fact that much of their communication is now taking place on mobile devices, and then utilize those devices to enhance their meetings? The answer can be broken down into three parts:

  1. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Application. An effective mobile meetings platform needs to put the user experience first – it needs to be quick and intuitive to use for both host and attendees. More importantly, it needs to be built for collaboration – attendees should be able to quickly and easily run demos, share resources, and message one another without disrupting their workflow; regardless of the device they’re on. BBM Meetings, for example, does away with conference IDs and features private messaging, single-button sign-in, and full integration between all major mobile devices and desktops – in addition to allowing for the easy sharing of content with other participants.
  2. Plan Your Meetings Intelligently. A great mobile meetings platform won’t help you if your meetings don’t have any purpose behind them. Before you host any sort of conference, make sure you know the core goals you want to accomplish, the direction in which you want the meeting to flow, and how many people absolutely need to be there, and who those people are.
  3. Use Meetings as Tools for Collaboration. Meetings should enable attendees to work harder, better, and more efficiently. They should enhance what your employees are doing through collaboration. With the right meetings platform, guests can continue conversations they started during the conference without missing a beat.

Technology has changed the way we communicate. What’s important to remember about this trend is that for all its strengths, mobile won’t make a time-wasting meeting any more productive. Only by hosting your meetings on the right platform and designing them intelligently can you really enjoy any of the productivity advantages mobile technology has to offer.

Whether you’re reviewing a presentation, sharing an idea, or working together towards a common goal, you don’t want to have to jump through hoops or wrestle with a poorly-designed meetings platform. You want to jump right in. With BBM Meetings, you can turn any BBM chat, multi person chat, group chat or BBM Voice call into a live BBM Meeting with the push of a button.

To learn more about BBM Meetings, visit: www.BlackBerry.com/BBMMeetings.

About Nicholas C. Greene

Nicholas C. Greene is a technology writer based in Calgary, Canada. An English graduate of the University of Calgary, he's written for publications and organizations such as VPN Haus, Streetwise, Northcutt, and The Coolist.

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