Corporate town hall meetings are effective ways for companies to hear feedback from team members and engage the entire company. Corporate town hall events should inspire employees, motivate improvement, and spark a dialogue among executives and other team members.
Having a town hall meeting at work is a significant effort for everyone involved, whether the event is virtual or in person. If you're planning an in-person, virtual, or hybrid company town hall meeting, this guide will help you optimize your event and improve the experience for all attendees.
that people, props and cues are in place. Put simply, experienced stage managers are more like master jugglers. They maintain awareness of every independent system that catalyzes show-stopping presentations and fold that into their management of the action on stage.
8 Ways to Improve the Town Hall Experience
A company town hall meeting, also called an all-hands meeting or global town hall, is an excellent opportunity to discuss company news and strategize for future success through open conversation. Using a few event-planning strategies helps you turn your corporate town hall meeting into an engaging, must-attend event. Here are a few ideas for how to run a town hall meeting successfully.
1. Invite Leaders From Across the Organization to Speak
Have various organizational leaders provide business updates or deliver a short speech on topics relevant to your industry or field. Asking leaders from different departments or teams to share the stage allows employees to learn from their peers and engages more team members.
2. Make It Fun With Music, Free Food, and Awards
Though you'll share business updates at your corporate town hall event, the meeting doesn't have to stay serious. Holding a town hall meeting at work is an excellent opportunity to encourage attendees to have fun and get to know one another better through activities. Making your all-hands meeting fun also displays your brand's values and can promote a greater sense of camaraderie.
Incorporate fun elements like icebreaker games, music, free food, and even employee awards. Audience interaction and an event soundtrack make your town hall event memorable and keep attendees engaged.
3. Use Video Walls and Projection to Improve the Scenic Environment
Creating a visually appealing event space improves the attendee experience at company town halls and makes a brand statement about your company. Use some strategies to dress up your event stage, like video or LED walls, projection, and backdrops. These elements create a more professional impact on your audience.
4. Invest in Audio
Good audio is essential for your corporate town hall. Provide speakers throughout the venue to ensure attendees can hear music and presentations from wherever they're sitting. Placing microphones at accessible locations may encourage more audience participation. Use professional audio services to enhance your venue and keep attendees grounded in the moment.
5. Ensure Good Lighting
Lighting is another critical aspect of hosting a successful town hall. Effective lighting makes speakers on stage visible and creates a comfortable atmosphere. You can also use creative lighting elements to enhance the event's tone.
6. Use a Teleprompter
A teleprompter might be an effective strategy for helping keep speakers on track and creating a smooth transition from one portion of the agenda to the next. Rent these screens for executives to read their presentations and provide cues for the next speaker.
7. Create Event Content
Using pre-produced content in your town hall meeting demonstrates your company's professionalism and helps you tie the event into a pleasing visual experience. Event content can also help you market the event to your employees or fill in teams who could not be present live.
Use media production services to craft media like graphics, customized slides, and screen layouts. This content should be visually appealing, branded, and high-quality to give your attendees the best experience possible and communicate the brand message you want to send.
Livestreaming is another opportunity for creating event content that brings your virtual audience into the room and makes their experience memorable.
Your employees or executives may also want to reference these corporate town halls in the future. Creating audiovisual recordings with professional video services ensures you have high-quality media to use later, whether for planning new events or keeping track of employee suggestions.
8. Consider if You Want Audience Engagement
Town hall meetings for companies are a unique opportunity for your employees to have their voices heard. Audience participation is critical to a successful company town hall, but employees may not feel comfortable speaking up unless they feel valued and appreciated.
One way to make your team members comfortable enough to speak is by ensuring they have plenty of time to comment. Audience response technology also allows attendees to share their thoughts during the meeting. Any of the following tools could help engage your audience during the town hall meeting.
- Polling: Live polling gives virtual audience members the chance to share their thoughts. By voting on an issue discussed in a presentation, your audience can make an immediate impact through their opinions.
- Questions and answers: Gathering questions before the town hall event can provide audience members with a comfortable environment in which to ask questions. If your employees have more time to think about what they want to discuss at your meeting, they may come up with additional topics.
- Live questions: A question-and-answer period is also valuable at a town hall event. Leave adequate time for people to think of questions or alert them there will be a Q&A session at the end of your presentations so they can think of questions in advance.
- Chat: A chat feature in a virtual town hall meeting enables audience members to chime in with their thoughts and questions during a presentation. Real-time conversations can spark more dialogue and give your audience a more convenient way to share their ideas.
6 Tips for Hosting a Virtual Town Hall Meeting
If your company is large, global, or has many remote team members, a virtual town hall meeting might be the best way to get participation and optimize the experience. Here are a few virtual town hall best practices to implement in your virtual meeting.
1. Think About Time Zones
Consider the time zones in which your remote employees live and schedule a virtual employee town hall when it suits everyone. Depending on where your team members live, you might not be able to find a slot that works ideally for everyone. However, you can pick a time within each employee's workday to ensure they can attend.
2. Ask for Questions in Advance
Gathering live feedback from remote employees participating in your virtual town hall meeting can be a challenge. Ask employees to submit questions in advance, then have executives prepare answers before the day of the meeting.
3. Allow Time for a Live Question-and-Answer Session
Even if team members have already sent in questions for the town hall event, they might think of new ones after a presentation or project update. Prepare time for a live question-and-answer session to promote a productive dialogue.
4. Improve Engagement With Interactive Elements
Involve your remote audience as often as possible by incorporating interactive elements into your town hall meeting. You can use tools for hybrid event engagement, like live polling, quizzes, and contests, to replace live games and icebreakers. These activities can work just as well to engage attendees.
5. Test Your Technology in Advance
If you're livestreaming your speakers and moderator to multiple remote computers during a virtual town hall meeting, you need technology that can stand up to the task. Do a test run of your event a few days before so you can solve any issues and ensure the experience is seamless for presenters and audience members.
You might find it beneficial to hire a production company like HB Live to handle EventCasting and livestreaming with state-of-the-art technology. HB Live optimizes corporate events by making remote attendees feel like they're in the room.
6. Record and Share the Meeting
Recording and sharing your virtual departmental all-hands ensures people can revisit specific topics later. Enlisting a professional video production services producer can help your video look and sound outstanding. From writing the script to shooting the live video and professionally editing it afterward, HB Live video services provide everything you need to create a high-quality corporate video for team members to look back on.
3 Common Mistakes to Avoid
Even a carefully planned town hall event can have mistakes. Here's how to steer clear of these pitfalls to make your corporate town hall event exceptional.
1. Winging It
The lack of a clearly defined plan makes coordinating an effective town hall event challenging. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the town hall and focus on refining your company's message to make it impactful. Don't have a meeting solely for the sake of it — craft your event so the audience walks away feeling inspired, challenged, or valued.
2. Lacking Audience Interaction
Building plenty of time for audience interaction into your town hall event agenda demonstrates that your company genuinely cares about its team members and their thoughts. Dedicate at least one-third of a 60- to 90-minute town hall meeting to answering questions, taking comments, and listening to employee ideas.
3. Technology Failures
Technology failures are embarrassing and disrupt the event's flow. Double- and triple-check your technology solutions before the day of the meeting to head off any difficulties. Hiring a production company like HB Live takes the responsibility off your shoulders and optimizes your town hall meeting for in-person and virtual attendees.
Execute a Successful Town Hall Meeting With HB Live, Inc.
Planning a successful town hall meeting requires advanced planning and a commitment to engage and learn from your employees. Whether you're hosting an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event, working with an event production and technology services provider can help you pull it off seamlessly. When you need a trusted partner to help execute your corporate town hall event, work with HB Live.
HB Live is a full-service event production company providing on-site and hybrid event services to optimize the attendee and presenter experience. Our state-of-the-art technology and extensive experience enable us to provide top-of-the-line service at each event. Our experts will help you exceed your event's goals.
If you're planning a corporate town hall, contact us to learn how HB Live can help you optimize your event.