As we have discussed in past blog posts, there are significant differences between agenda management and meeting management. While agenda management can save you and your team a lot of time, effort and headaches when preparing materials prior to meetings, a true meeting management solution enables powerful efficiencies and eases staff escalations before, during and after meetings. Meeting management encompasses agenda management as well as other facets to help you conduct meetings in real-time, manage minutes and resulting actions, index with live video, and publish and archive your outcomes.
The eSCRIBE platform is a comprehensive solution for the entire meeting lifecycle, making it easy for staff to collaborate and approve legislation, manage meeting logistics, agendas and outcomes all with the same tools and integrated workflows. After the meeting, eSCRIBE’s fully-responsive WCAG 2.0 design allows organizations to easily engage stakeholders with digitally accessible meeting content through their existing website, without programming.
To help you visualize how eSCRIBE can enhance your live meetings, let’s take a tour through some of the real-time meeting functionality it offers.
If you’re not an eSCRIBE user yet, read on to discover the advantages that a unified meeting management approach can bring you. If you’re already using eSCRIBE but only to create and manage your agendas, you’ll learn how you can take your meetings to the next level.
Minute-taking is one of the most essential tasks for ensuring the lasting effectiveness of meetings. In our earlier blog post “Meeting Minutes Made Easy with eSCRIBE”, we explored some of the platform’s real-time minute management capabilities. We’ll recap them quickly here. eSCRIBE supports both narrative and procedural styles of minutes, but its rich toolset particularly shines with the latter. Procedural minutes often use standardized wording as specified by your organization or by legislation.
eSCRIBE’s minute and motion templates let you pre-build all of your standard text phrases so they be automatically incorporated into your minutes through simple drop-down lists, minimizing typing. Draft minutes can also be pre-staged at the same time you create the agenda, and then edited as necessary during or after the meeting. These tools let staff concentrate less on typing and more on the meeting itself, while facilitating greater accuracy and consistency in the resulting minutes.
Managing Camera Control, Video Streams and Closed Captioning
Video streaming is an indispensable tool in helping local governments and public sector organizations improve the transparency of their meetings, and eSCRIBE’s real-time tools make it easy and efficient for users to manage their streams without distracting from the meeting. Staff have intuitive control over selecting between multiple encoders, and can start recording and streaming with a single click.
Video and audio status monitoring give you ongoing confidence in your streams, while the ability to pre-load and interactively trigger informational splash screens lets you avoid audience-frustrating blank screens and silence during closed sessions and planned (or unplanned) breaks. eSCRIBE automatically time-stamps your video in real time during capture for linking to meeting minutes on your website, letting subsequent viewers jump directly to specific agenda items of interest.
Last but not least, eSCRIBE’s Webcasting Plus includes an optional automated real-time closed captioning service which exceeds accessibility mandates.
Managing Request to Speak Queues
During the meeting (or even before it), participants can use the eSCRIBE app on an iPad or Windows tablet to submit requests to speak. Members indicate which agenda item they will be speaking about, whether they will be speaking for or against a particular motion, and can include comments with their requests.
Requests are automatically queued and appear on the meeting chair or organizer’s screen alongside the related agenda item. The organizer can mark requests as completed after the participant speaks, and create additional queues to address both original items and amendments.
Real-time Electronic Voting
Meeting participants can electronically vote on resolutions in real time through their tablet, whether they are present in the meeting room or connected remotely. Once the meeting administrator opens the vote, the in-room Public Display shows the motion being voted on. The voting screen appears on each member’s tablet; they then choose their vote (for, against, abstain etc) as configured and tap submit. The administrator can poll anyone who hasn’t voted yet, and closes the vote once it is complete.
Once voting has finished, eSCRIBE presents the results: in either tabular or graphical form on the Public Display, showing how each member voted. The same graphical representation is also included in the live and recorded video streams through the web, further enhancing transparency.
Bringing Efficiency to your Meetings
These are just a few of the eSCRIBE platform’s powerful yet easy-to-use tools that extend benefits beyond agendas and into your live meetings. To experience them for yourself or learn about more of eSCRIBE’s functionality, request a free demonstration today.