Virtual Meetings: Troubleshooting the inevitable


In the previous blog posts on virtual meetings we talked about making the decision to go virtual, how to prepare for successful virtual meetings and how to facilitate them. In this post we talk about ways to troubleshoot problems as they arise.


You will likely develop a love/hate relationship with any technology you use for virtual meetings. If something can go wrong, it probably will.

Aim to address technical issues with minimal disruption to the meeting.  If people have logged in or called in before the meeting according to your previous instructions, there will be time to address technical issues before the meeting starts. If one attendee experiences a technical problem during the meeting, encourage an IT person to assist them off-line. Decide whether the meeting can continue in their absence or if a short break is needed.

Be sure to have an admin or IT person in attendance or quickly available if you experience technical problems that affect everyone at the meeting. If the web service is the problem, consider whether you can continue via conference call while the technical problem is being investigated. If the phone conference service is the problem, communicate using chat until the problem is resolved or another solution is found.

Do not allow technology – or its failure – to hijack your meeting or to paralyze a discussion. Keep your meeting objectives in mind and look for the simplest way to meet those objectives with whatever technology is working at the time. Here are some guidelines.


What could go wrong

Consider this first

Possible Solution

Attendee can’t log into the web meeting How important is this person’s participation in the web portion of the meeting? If visuals are not vital, ask them to continue via conference call alone. If they must be in on the web portion, have an admin or IT person available to address this with the person over the phone either before the meeting or outside of the meeting so as not to disrupt the rest of the meeting
Attendee can’t access meeting materials available online Must this person access materials during the meeting or will you be showing them on screen? Do they have a hard copy or electronic copy stored elsewhere for the purpose of the discussion? It may not be necessary to resolve this issue during the meeting. If you must resolve this issue, have an admin or IT person address this problem with the person over the phone before the meeting, outside of the meeting or through the use of chat
Attendee loses Wi-Fi connection Is the web portion of the meeting critical to their participation in the rest of the meeting? If not, invite them to continue via conference call.If the meeting materials were saved previously, then they don’t need Wi-Fi to access them. Ask the person to reconnect their Wi-Fi or move to a better location. If that doesn’t work, contact IT to assist and resolve this problem outside of the meeting.


We hope you enjoyed this series and that it will help you with future virtual meetings. Feel free to let us know any tips and tricks we might have missed in the comments below.


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