How To: Hold an Effective Virtual Meeting

Molly Lynyak

Did you know that ASTM offers both conference call lines and a virtual meeting platform through Webex for technical committee meetings? This information and these tips will help you decide which platform is best for your meeting and help make your meeting
a success.

Conference Lines: This option is best for small groups when on-screen information presentation isn’t as important. 

Webex: This platform provides various options for screen sharing, presenting information to small and large groups, gathering consensus through polling and virtual affirmative and negative gestures, registration tools, and more. 

Three types of Webex Centers allow you to choose what works for your type of meeting:

Webex Meeting — The most used type of Webex Center, Webex Meeting allows users to collaborate easily because the ability to share a screen can be passed to other participants. Chat features, screen sharing, and registration are all options here.

Webex Training — With more built-in controls, Webex Training allows the host to make users either presenters or panelists, create breakout sessions, take straw poll votes by using the check marks or X gestures, call on members in order of hands raised, choose registration requirements, formally poll participants, and more.

Webex Event — Large-scale events such as workshops, conferences, or seminars, for example, work well in this type of Webex Center when there are multiple panelists, and collaboration between attendees and presenters is not required. 

Your staff manager or administrative assistant can help you decide which type of virtual meeting platform is best suited to your needs.

Regs Corner

ASTM Meetings

The Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees provides this overall guidance for meetings.

Open Meetings

The meetings of committees and subcommittees shall be open to visitors when technical matters relating to the development of standards are to be discussed. 

Closed Meetings 

 It is permissible to hold closed meetings of executive subcommittees when technical matters relating to the development of standards are not discussed. 

Also, electronic recording of ASTM meetings is prohibited, unless approved for educational events.

More Tips for Your Virtual Meeting

Before the meeting:

  • Participate in an ASTM Webex member training session (;
  • Ensure that you have the Webex link to join the specific virtual meeting;
  • Plan to log in to your Webex meeting 5 minutes early;
  • If you are the host, print your meeting attendance sheet and update rosters; and 
  • Confirm who will take attendance and minutes.

During the meeting: 

  • If you are the host or presenter, be ready to open any meeting documents that you might want to share on-screen;
  • Mute your phone line when not speaking to avoid unwanted noise;
  • Turn on/off video as desired (for large meetings, video is best left off to help avoid bandwidth issues);
  • Use the chat feature to encourage questions or comments; and
  • Contact with any technical difficulties.

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