We’re seeing more and more of it all the time. People are forgetting the conceept of getting everyone together in a Church building, and doing online Church meetings instead. Welcome to the new world!
Stake leader meetings, Ward leader meetings, youth leader meetings, almost everywhere we see members of the Church conducting online meetings. We’re not talking about Sacrament meetings, Sunday School and such. We’re talking about leadership meetings, Presidency meetings, High Council meetings, etc. etc. etc.
There are a handful of services that offer this ability that Church Members can utilize.
1) Citrix GoToMeeting (also GoToWebinar, GoToMyPC, GoToTraining, GoToAssist)
Citrix offeres plenty of services that handle online meetings of ANY sort, and they do it VERY well. We use them exclusively for our meetings, and see many others doing the same. Here are some of the key services they have (click to see more info):
Citrix GoToMeeting is an online environment that allows you to run a meeting with many people, share your screen (or anyone else’s), have people interact within the meeting online as well as gets everyone on the same conference call (phone or computer mic/speakers). GoToMeeting is likely the most popular online meeting service out there.
Citrix GoToWebinar is an online service that works like GoToMeeting, but it’s for when you want to present to many people and the meeting will be mostly uni-directional. You can still ask for input and questions from the group, via voice OR them raising their hand (virtually) and typing questions. It’s a great online environment to
Citrix GoToTraining is an online training service that is geared toward training people on anything. You can teach them anything you want, show them, poll them, check their learning, quiz them, etc. It’s a great way to push training or learning out to a group of people.
Recording Online Meetings
The other good news about many of the online meeting services is that you can record the meetings and post them for anyone to view later. We see this used frequently in LDS Church training, or Youth Conference training or similar things.
2) AnyMeeting Online Meetings
is a similar online meeting service to GoToMeeting. AnyMeeting also has a “free” component to try it, although we’ve found the performance and reliability is not as good as GoToMeeting and related products.
All of these services can help you conduct effective meetings without having to travel to the Church all the time. Many use them for Youth Conference planning, Youth Conference planning, training chaperones for activities, and pretty much any other possible meeting we have in the Church that’s not a formal one that happens in the building.
Another trend along these lines is that the LDS Church is not building “Stake Centers” like they used to. Stakes are left up to what they have as far as buildings to try to fit everyone in. And if they can’t, they broadcast their meetings to the other buildings in the Stake via the Church’s broadcast service it uses over the Internet. If you haven’t seen it in your area yet, it will come eventually.