May 22, 2012


Streaming can unlock the potential of town hall meetings

By Stephen Blankenship – Director, Product Management

Business video streaming has the potential to add considerable value to a company’s town hall meetings, as it provides an underlying foundation to connect more employees to the events in an immersive way.

During the average town hall meeting, executives gather employees together in a conference room and discuss the organization’s past in relation to where it is going in the future. This provides a key level of engagement in that it connects workers to the overarching goals of a company and helps motivate them to work more effectively. It also helps cross the gaps between various departments while also making corporate leaders more accessible to staff.

The problem with most town hall meetings, however, is that it is difficult to get full participation. Even when companies hold a series of meetings in an effort to include as many workers as possible, there are still plenty of individuals who end up calling in via conference call or skipping out entirely.

While conference calling is certainly a nice function, those workers are not really connected to the meeting in the same way as those who are there in person. This not only limits the effectiveness of the town hall event for those on the call, but can also disrupt the meeting as a whole if the conference call is not well integrated into the event. Furthermore, the benefit of meeting other staff members is also lost.

Video streaming is the answer to these problems. Streaming the town hall meeting live allows employees who cannot be present in person to actually watch the meeting with high-quality picture, getting them much closer to the action. This immersion helps connect the individual employee to the event in a more meaningful way. Some platforms also support some levels of two-way communication, allowing the viewer to use text or voice chat functions to participate in the event in a non-disruptive way. The video participants also get to see their co-workers, maybe putting names to a few faces, and have the chance to really participate in the meeting instead of just listening to it on the phone.

Implementing enterprise video strategies can have a major positive impact on the effectiveness and reach of town hall meetings. To unlock that success, it is vital that organizations ensure their network systems are capable of handling the challenges presented by streaming and make upgrades as necessary.