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Subject: Go To Meeting
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03/13/2020 10:56 PM  
With the current coronavirus pandemic that the nation is currently facing, I convinced my daughter that until things settle down to conduct board meeting via a webinar program. I am in California helping her get everything set up for all the associations she manages. After contacting all the boards, the response from them has been 100% positive. Might even get more homeowners to participate that normally wouldn't.


03/13/2020 11:43 PM  
You most likely will get more participation. We offer video/audio conferencing in person or remote and we see an uptick each time; either watching the recording afterward or being at the live meeting.


03/14/2020 1:41 AM  
I would like to encourage homeowner participation at board meetings. How do we do this using a webinar program?


03/14/2020 7:35 AM  
In CA, the meeting must be set up so that remote attendees can participate in open forum (required in CA open meetings).



03/14/2020 8:14 AM  
Good job.


03/14/2020 8:21 AM  
Phone teleconferencing is also an option. One of my HOAs did this with pretty decent effectiveness. It worked best when a board member repeated the question or comment of anyone who called in. It takes a little practice. For those not agile with Google, see for example:


03/14/2020 1:36 PM  
I wish we could use telephone conferencing, but we decided to give up the clubhouse oh I after someone got hold of it and started making a bunch of long distance calls. There may still be one in the building for emergencies, but set up the service so You can only make local cal!s.

I do know there are a number of organizations that do offer conference call services for free, so you might want to do an internet search. You should be able to do the same with video conferencing if someone has a laptop and web camera.

To everyone - stay safe and continue to live your life - with some extra precautions to protect yourself and the people are and you, whether you know them or not. Be mindful of where you get your information, because a lot of weird stuff is being said. To quote sometime I just read on the Huffington post:

Be confident in your capacity to work out of through whatever comes your way. Their IS a bright side in all of this - find it.
(New York)


03/17/2020 6:36 AM  
Great idea!

Yes you're right you may actually get more participation using the webinar program.


03/18/2020 11:51 PM  
As the president of our HOA, I've been looking for the past several weeks to move our in-person HOA meetings to an online format in response to current Covid-19 recommendations. Although we have a small HOA with meetings typically with less than 10 people (usually in my covered patio), our HOA needs a solution that allows us to conduct our meetings while honoring the "Shelter In Place" recommendations. Although we haven't tested out a solution, I actually think I could increase owner participation by allowing them to attend meetings from the comfort of their homes. We have an older community, and people simply don't like leaving their homes.

Having retired from long career as a corporate manager with a service territory covering 22 states, I had hands on experience in migrating from the dark ages when weekly and monthly meetings were conducted face to face in the 70's and early 80's to conference calls in the late 80's and 90's to holding online video and keyboard conferencing, with whiteboard presentations, online respositories of documents, and chatrooms for sidebar meetings.

I haven't yet selected a service. Before I start having conversations with the various online services, I've been trying to refine my checklist of requirements to ensure our needs would be satisfied.

1. Participants should be able to join the conferencing service online (using a PC microphone and speakers) or by phone.
2. Every homeowner participant should be given a unique passcode in order to ensure uninvited participants are not joining the call. The unique passcode can only be used for single call; if another person logs in with the same passcode, they will be rejected.
3. The service should provide a rollcall or participants list based on those joined passcodes. This would be supplemented and verified by a verbal rollcall.
4. The meeting holder should have the ability to mute participants as a whole or selectively. Meetings do not flow when people are talking over each other, so the meeting holder has to have the ability to control the verbal exchange.
5. I would like to have an open window for group chat for 5 days prior to the meeting for homeowners to suggest any additional topics not covered by the planned agenda.
6. Desktop sharing of HOA documents to be viewed by the homeowners. I need the agenda and monthly financials to be viewable by the desktop participants.
7. Audio recording of the meeting and if possible, a transcription to text. Also a text capture of any information that is typed in the main or sub chat windows.
8. A push button voting system.
9. Last, but not least, a language translator. We have a few non-English speaking residents; their grasp of English is rudimentary and they aren't frequent participants in our meetings. If I can find a way to ease the language barrier for them, the HOA benefits by gaining their participation. This is probably not doable, but it's probably worthy of an inquiry when I shop for a service.

At time point, I'm looking at Google G-Suite, Chatty, and largely because of their minimal costs or even zero cost per user. Our board has decided to do this, but with the goal of minimizing new expense.

I would probably be more prone to selecting a service that allows a free hands on demonstration so I can touch, feel, and test the product. I don't have time to experiement with the board members with free trials of these products, I'd rather select a service that has outstanding live support to assist with problems and technical advice.

I'm also going to look at the current up-time reports (if I can find them). I've heard some horror stories coming out as the corporate world is also moving to these online conferencing solutions and causing some of these services to crash because their servers can't handle the new traffic of telecommuters forced to work from home.

Hopefully, the folks here will share their experiences. In our case, this could forever change how we conduct our HOA meetings, hopefully for the better.

6. A respository for documents

(New York)


03/19/2020 5:17 AM  
Zoom and Uber Conference might have these capabilities. I use all the time and it's great, but I'm not sure if it does everything you want.


03/19/2020 8:10 AM  
I think Michael is asking for a hell of a lot of feature, for FREE!


03/19/2020 10:32 AM  
Are the goals 1 through 9 or to minimize expenses? With a laundry list of features and capabilities like that I think you're looking at an expensive solution.


03/19/2020 10:48 AM  
For my daughter's company, we went with GoToMeeting. The one we went with was under $200.00 annually. After the online tutorial, we will probably migrate to GoToTraining as it has added features such as polling and having the documents right there for participates to download.

We are working on Board Member training to people outside our current client list. For 50 per training session, the annual price was $160.00. That's a steal.

Sometimes good things come out of bad situations.
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