In your more recent moments, you may be finding (or will find) yourself in a potential state of flux due to the ‘rapidly evolving situation’ that is the COVID-19 pandemic. Are you scrambling?  Are you looking forward to a prolonged indefinite break?  Were you already prepared with a ‘continuity plan’ for large scale events that may unfold?  We wonder; did you look beyond to – what’s next for your business? 

Where will your business fit into the new world?

Where have you positioned yourself?

What are you doing to achieve those goals?

What are you going to do differently tomorrow?

 

Here at Sandbox Centre we’re going to focus the conversation on the future, the ‘new world’ and what innovations will shape our region and our country. Some of the questions that have been posed include;

With the quarantine, how will business continue to run? How do we get our people together to move the needle?

The emerging answer of course, is online good friends.. ..  virtually.

Virtual meetings or video conferencing is nothing new, but it is arguable the adoption rate in small-med businesses vs. the TAM leaves a lot of great opportunities for both service providers and end users to come online.  Most medium-to-large scale businesses will already have dipped their toe in the online meeting platform marketplace by now. If you’ve NOT YET delved into the video conferencing marketplace, good news is that things have changed a lot in the last 3 years!

You will be delighted to find that available platforms like zoom, ring, zoho, webex, join.me and the traditional offerings of citrix and even google can work with minimal additional tech.  Most, if not all base level devices (laptops, tablets, phones) in 2020 have audio and video capabilities that will work with the platforms’ native apps / web apps – from anywhere with an internet signal.This of course is a welcome answer for those organizations whose people are being marked as safe through quarantine and self-imposed -or- governmental lock down. If you’re wondering what it all looks like or ‘how-to-do-it’ the team at owl labs gives you their take with their blog, Everything You Need To Know About Hosting a Zoom Webinar.

How To Use Zoom Webinar

First things first — it’s time to schedule your webinar.You’ll need to select the date, time, and topic of the webinar, and determine and invite the panelists. Webinars can require advance registration from attendees, with approval being either automatic or manual. Or Zoom webinar registration can be turned off so attendees can join without registration by clicking a link at the time of the webinar.When choosing the link option, make sure to use tracking URLs in your social media and publicity efforts to track the best sources of attendees. Webinars can be held once, recur in a series or a weekly office hour, or the same session can be held multiple times. You can also record webinars and use them as a resource for others to watch at their leisure.

Now if you want to up your virtual meeting game and user experience, you can always look into some additional audio/video gear from providers like owl labs, konftel, sennheiser, lifesize, jive and old stalwarts like microsoft & logitech who I’d bet dollars to donuts you have some old cords and gear kicking around in a box somewhere. It’s funny to say in 2020 that video conferencing is the wave of tomorrow because it has been around since 1870! Yet here we are talking about which platforms will help your organization position yourself for success on the back half of COVID-19. Many of the service providers listed above will of course be elated they will finally have their day in the sun as a must-have operational tool for businesses of all sizes moving forward.  The team at lifesize aptly captures this in their blog, The Unexpected, Early Arrival of the Future of Work.

Coronavirus Response: Supporting Customers Through Unprecedented Change

At Lifesize, they want their customers — and any other organization struggling with these challenges — to have the ability to keep working effectively without complexity or compromise. It is their position that work is what you do, not a place you go.They have heard directly from customers that are being asked to support hundreds of remote workers overnight. This rapid shift to remote, decentralized work comes with new questions and uncertainties, not the least of which relate to how to manage costs and ensure employees have access to tools required to remain productive and connected from their new virtual or home offices.In response to this unprecedented need, starting immediately, Lifesize is offering free, unlimited video conferencing service to all global businesses for six months.

 

Organizations can provide access to an unlimited number of employees, who can host an unlimited number of video meetings with no time limits. Simultaneously, we are providing all existing Lifesize customers globally with six months of unlimited ‘oversubscription’ service to accommodate organization-wide deployments. Once you’ve got your preferred platform and/or system sorted out,  you’re going to also want to spend some time considering the decorum and format of your new online medium.   A clear and concise communication plan will set the stage for your team to not only adopt this technological advancement as part of their own process, but enable them to also use these tools in order to operate in the business landscape of tomorrow (today).  The team at Slack has this to say in their ultimate guide to remote meetings in 2020

Set an agenda and agree on remote meeting guidelines

If you want your scheduled remote meeting to be efficient and successful, you need to plan your agenda. “The best remote meetings have a session agenda [set] beforehand so that people come in knowing what it is they will be talking about,” says Galindo. “If the meeting doesn’t have that, then you spend 15 to 20 minutes just figuring out what it is you are even trying to do.”For every virtual meeting, it’s important to create a clear meeting agenda that includes:

  • Key talking points
  • Meeting structure (for example, when and for how long you plan to discuss each talking point)
  • Team members/teams that will be in attendance
  • What each team member/team is responsible for bringing to the meeting
  • Any relevant documents, files, or research

Just as important as the meeting agenda are the meeting guidelines: the rules and expectations of how the team is expected to contribute to the virtual meeting.

Get Support With Sandbox Centre

The above is intended to get you thinking about what’s next? You can take advantage of current technology to adapt to the ‘rapidly evolving situation’ rather than shutting down or going quietly into the night. This will allow you to make a shift in your own process, which we predict will be an overarching theme through 2020 and the foreseeable future. 

As an Ontario-based company, Sandbox Centre strives to uplift the Central Ontario economy and support those looking to start-up or expand. At Sandbox, we connect people and their ideas to business resources. 

Here at Sandbox we know that we are all connected and strive to fill gaps in our ecosystem as we rise the tide for all. We have a focus on Social Innovation, Women in Business, Professional Development, Start-ups & Scale-ups as well as the larger global economy. Sandbox Centre also offers plenty of opportunities for learning and advancement with guest speakers, programs, and networking events. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Sandbox Centre, or your start-up is looking for help becoming B Corp Certified, contact us today. You can find Sandbox Centre at 24 Maple Avenue 2nd floor in Barrie, Ontario and join the Sandbox community on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.  

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