We weren’t expecting for our March meeting to be a virtual one. We were supposed to be making kokedama – Japanese hanging planters – but suddenly, the government warnings came, advising us all to stay inside and we needed to make a fast decision of what to do.
Luckily, we are a crafty bunch, and managed to think fast to come up with an alternative meeting that we could run online. We decided to host a quiz night. So after the normal notice announcements read by our President Alison, we handed over to her helpful partner Iain who is a seasoned quiz master and has very kindly arranged us a quiz with short-notice. We were given four excellent rounds – and a picture round – to keep us entertained, and it was a fantastic evening.
It was really good fun, and brilliant to see so many people join in. We had 25 people join us on the night. It allowed a slight sense of normality in a very strange time and left everyone feeling much more cheery.
After sharing pictures of our meeting on social media, we had a huge number of messages from other WIs wanting to do the same thing. So, I’ve listed some top tips below to get you started, if this is something you want to try with your own WI meeting.
- Remember, you only have 40mins on the free Zoom platform (although the time is automatically extended on your very first meeting to give you a taste of a longer meeting). You might want to upgrade if you think you will be using it a lot.
- It helps if everyone mutes their microphones apart from the speaker – it helps cut out background noise. You can always unmute if you want to ask a question or say something.
- If you have problems, it might be due to your WiFi connection – try joining without video as this cuts down the bandwidth. You will appear as a black screen, but will be able to see and hear everyone else.
- Plan what you are going to do in your meeting! It might be that you just want a chat, but it can be difficult if everyone is chatting at once, so maybe plan something a bit more structured like a quiz or a demonstration. Just make sure you time it to fit 40mins!
There are lots of other platforms you can use for your meetings – you don’t have to use Zoom, you could use any of the following:
- Google Hangouts
- Facebook Live https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-live-guide
- Instagram Live