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Membership voice at the hybrid meeting- how can your organization make meaningful engagement a reality?

While more organizations than ever before are embracing digitalization, businesses and membership organizations are still having a tough time identifying how to provide meaningful outlets for membership engagement.

Debate centralizes on Q&A, as organizations grapple with how best to engage stakeholders within the confines of the annual meeting across both digital and physical meeting rooms. Meetings we have seen delivered vary from: behind-closed-doors to closed-meetings with a pre-recorded broadcast; Hybrid conferences which allow for written Q&A but not spoken questions, and meetings which allow for spoken interaction and full debate. Across the board, there’s still no consensus on how to best engage with stakeholders, particularly within the confines of a digital or hybrid meeting.

Detractors of the virtual meeting pin their misgivings on the idea that a member must be able to look their leadership team in the eye and have their issues answered. Although the format is different, a digital or hybrid meeting won’t curb the enthusiasm of stakeholders or close off routes to democratic discussion; sophisticated speaker management and engagement tools will simply ensure discussion is productive and inclusive across both physical and remote locations.

Delivering free-flowing discourse between boards and their stakeholders is a crucial component of your meeting’s format; many membership organizations, unions, and associations, must abide by Robert’s rules: delegates must be able to ‘put themselves in line’ to speak- it is not enough to offer an instant messaging chat function. As a result, it’s important to select a technology partner who can support this obligation.

How can organizations ensure member’s voices are heard and abide by Robert’s rules?

Thanks to Lumi’s integration with Zoom and our sophisticated messaging and speaker queuing functionality, our platform is built to power debate and interaction. Members can put themselves in line to speak, indicating whether For or Against a motion, or raise a Point of Order for example. All those wishing to speak will be visible to the Presider, who is then able to quickly identify and call upon speakers ‘from the floor’ to make their points. This process ensures that the Presider remains in total control, whilst also ensuring no members are overlooked. Key players have transparency over who and how many delegates are waiting to speak, with Points of Orders and Parliamentary procedures being instantly identified and thus taking appropriate precedence. Audits and reports are available of the debate, providing for greater accountability and to help improve future practices.

This function can be coupled with the speaker’s webcam if required. Voting and Elections can also be seamlessly managed within the platform allowing for business to be conducted effortlessly as if all your membership were in the same room.

With these tools in place, all the traditional benefits of a physical Annual Meeting can be achieved within the parameters of a hybrid or virtual meeting. Whilst the tenants of a well-run Annual Meeting or House of Delegates will remain steadfast, the ways in which organization provide opportunities for interaction will evolve.

Want to learn more about how to upgrade interaction with members? Contact a member of our expert team to learn how Lumi can help bring those goals to life.