Ever been to an office meeting that you’re so excited to attend that you’ve tweeted about it?
Yeah, me neither.
Wouldn’t it be great if you actually didn’t dread the word “meeting”? How about if you knew that you didn’t have to physically be present, knew exactly what was on the agenda ahead of time, and you knew exactly how much time was to be spent on each topic? Would that make you at least marginally more enthusiastic about attending?
Lucid Meetings may be the “genie” with the power to make these wishes become reality.
The traditional Web-conferencing solutions, such as GotoMeeting, tend to be more focused on screen-sharing and one-way presentations, which is great for sales demos and/or webinars. Setting and establishing goals is not something you normally would attribute to such a tool. However, Lucid Meetings is a complete cloud collaboration tool. Yep, that’s a mouthful, but it’s the best way I can describe it.
This online software solves the problem of how to hold “let’s get stuff done” meetings where attendees can be in multiple locations but still have as much input as they would being present in the meeting’s boardroom. It’s much more than the traditional Web-conferencing screen-share: Lucid Meetings focuses on the work, centers the discussion, and drives decisions.
It’s a known fact that for the majority of participants, meetings are more often than not seen as unproductive use of time, and equally frustrating for the meeting-holder. Here’s some eye-opening stats on meetings and how unproductive they can truly be:
Attributes of an unsuccessful meeting:
- Unproductive. It normally contains an extremely low amount of information conveyed per minute (unproductive time spent).
- Presence of a “time vampire.” An attendee who likes to suck even more time talking about unrelated, unnecessary topics — know someone like this? (Description provided by my go-to word geek, Matthew Shadbolt!)
- Disorganized. Agendas are not revealed or made clear to participants.
- Prep, prep, prep. This type of meeting requires a ton of preparation.
What are the attributes of a successful meeting?
- Efficient. Items are discussed and plans are put into place.
- Participative. Everyone is included in the collaboration of information and input is free flowing.
- Unrestrictive. The ability to share openly is encouraged.
- Creative. Brainstorming allows new concepts and ideas to be shared instead of just a single opinion.
Lucid Meetings hits all these successful meeting items and then some:
- Create a separate, secure online meeting room for each of your groups.
- Send email invitations and reminders.
- Collaboratively create and publish agendas.
- Meeting minutes automatically created and exportable for offline storage and sharing.
- Integrated conference calling and call recording which captures all discussions (available to download for 90 days).
- Online agenda with speaker queue, keeping meeting on track.
- Share your screen or PDF presentations in real-time.
- Flag action items and monitor them until completed.
- Keep track of time spent, including how long each participant/speaker takes.
- Vote on decisions on the spot.
Here’s a little sneak peak of how Lucid Meetings works, with an example of how to create an agenda and send out invitations for a meeting:
How can you use Lucid Meetings in your real estate business? As a broker, using it for weekly/monthly meetings with your team is a given. As a single agent, I can envision this being used with vendors, such as website developers, to stay on track and follow up on progress.
A downside of Lucid Meetings, as of today, is that it is not mobile friendly (on-the-go meeting attendance via tablet is not yet an option), it is not as socially friendly as it probably should be, and there is no integration between other obvious hand-in-hand tools, such as Evernote or Dropbox.
Lucid Meetings is a great and affordable option for many meeting requirements. Of course there are other options available for cloud collaboration — one of the most comparable is Meetin.gs, which does allow for mobile device use, Dropbox integration, Facebook sign-in, and Skype video-call integration.
Here’s the good news: We have an exclusive offer for InmanNext readers: Give Lucid Meetings a try with a 30-day free-trial offer; if you like it, get 10 percent off the first year of your paid subscription. Use code NY2012 to get this special offer.
Have you used Lucid Meetings or anther comparable tool? Let us know in the comments below what your experience has been and share those experiences with others!