Tips for a Successful Electronic Meeting

Electronic meetings must facilitate active participation from all attendees and maintain the same access as in-person meetings.

Steps for a Successful Meeting:

Choose the right application:

  • Select software that supports the needs of your organization (i.e. video/audio recording, chat features)
  • Ensure there are no technical or financial barriers that prevent members from using the application (i.e. is it free to download for members to participate; does it use minimal bandwidth)
  • Ensure the application doesn’t have a time limit that prevents the full meeting from occurring
  • Test multiple applications prior to implementation. Choose what works for your organization

Test electronic system prior to meeting:

  • Send the meeting invitation in advance so that others can prepare their system
  • Test your internet connection
  • Be mindful of connectivity issues in your area or for members of your organization

Provide technical support:

  • Appoint a technical assistant that can answer technical questions before/during the meeting
  • Set up an email address, or telephone number, strictly for technical help

Appoint a moderator (chair) to:

  • Control proceedings
  • Ensure speakers and debate is orderly
  • Ensure everyone has the agenda
  • Keep attendees focused on agenda

Choose an appropriate physical location:

  • Attendees should be in a physical space that is private, quiet and well lit
  • Everyone should mute their microphone when not speaking
  • Don’t use a camera if you’re doing something distracting

Take notes:

  • Assign someone to take notes (meeting minutes), ensure they are completed and send a summary to participants for a final factcheck
  • Ensure the minutes accurately record the meeting for members who could not attend or would like to review the meeting

Ensure meetings are inclusive:

  • Remember meetings are to be inclusive – everyone should be able to participate
  • Use software that supports inclusion

Challenges to Holding Electronic Meetings to Consider:


  • Applications may not allow you to distinguish between voting and non-voting members
  • Your organization may need to adopt email voting, mail in ballot voting, or other manual voting forms


  • Persons with disabilities in your organization may need you to:
    • Provide documents ahead of time to review ahead of the meeting
    • Explain visuals on screen in plain language to those that are visually impaired
    • Consider having breaks for American Sign Language interpreters on long meetings
  • Some attendees may have trouble interpreting facial expressions, pauses, and appropriate timing for comments/questions
  • Attendees with limited access to technology may require telephone access

Technical requirements:

  • Technical requirements should be shared ahead of time with members of your organization
  • Allow the option to use video or chat features
  • Remember some attendees may need a support person or interpreter to help them. You will need to accommodate these assistants