Online conferences with Meeting Efficiency™

We took another look at Meeting Efficiency, even though it is not in our testing focus in that it is no web conferencing solution. This time we sat through an entire day of training to really learn every aspect of the tool. Now, why do we even bother?

Well, we value software that actually helps users accomplish something, be it organizing a conference spread over continents or “simply” organizing a meeting as such. Anybody who has ever faced this task will know that it is hard work. What do we need to discuss? Where should we start? How do we prioritize the single issues? Who will take care of the protocol? How do the meeting attendees get access to the protocol? That is enough to make an overworked secretary jump out the window...

Meetings are hard work and require a lot of thought from those who plan them. And this is where Meeting Efficiency comes in because all that thought has already been included in the software. Meeting Efficiency is not a tool to organize documents and create timetables, but rather helps you define goals, shift priorities during the meeting, and create a protocol while you are discussing.

Meeting Efficiency divides a meeting into four phases:

1)    Preparation
2)    The meeting itself
3)    Documentation
4)    Communication

For every phase the software offers tools that actually lead the user towards reaching a concrete goal. And since Meeting Efficiency allows users to enter information while the meeting is in progress, the protocol pretty much takes care of itself. As a bonus the software will create diagrams and presentations so that the attendees will get the results in a visually appealing form.

But the software is not only of benefit to meeting host. Every participant will get more out of a meeting. When it comes to web conferencing, Meeting Efficiency will help create more concrete results for all participants since the information is structured very clearly and the diagrams and status screens are intuitive. So whenever the host shows his screen the participants can easily see at what stage of the meeting they are, what will be discussed next, and what priority the upcoming topic has.

Meeting Efficiency is no web-application but rather has to be installed on the meeting host’s own computer. But with a good web conferencing solution that at least offers screen sharing the information will be available to everyone.

You get out of a meeting what you put into it

Making a meeting effective is quite a task: Who needs to attend? What is the agenda? Is there even an agenda? There is some effort involved in a meeting before it actually begins.

This effort is increased when it comes to online meetings. When you remove the meeting from a physical space you loose many ways of interaction. You get no feedback on the other attendees’ body language. And, let’s face it, the other attendees might just be checking their email while you lead the discussion. As you can see, the planning of an online meeting or any face-to-face meeting needs to be given a lot of thought.

So we did just that. We sat down and thought about how to best plan a meeting ahead. Well, to be honest, we were shown how to do this. We sat through a presentation of the software “Meeting Efficiency“ which was developed by the Parmenides Foundation. And we were impressed. Although the tool offers a ton of features and functionalities we could instantly follow the workflow involved.

“Meeting Efficiency” can be a valuable aid in organizing and structuring meetings. If you want more than simply a mind mapping tool to assist you, you can check out the Parmedines Meeting Efficiency website.