Client Company and Main Contact:
This event is a biannual meeting that is an integral part of the process of assessing the risk of different wildlife species. During the meeting, participants met to come to a consensus on the status of each species. Participants spent four days assessing species. The assessment process included presentations from the chairs responsible for the different species, discussion on the assessment recommendation, and voting from committee members, who voted in pairs, with only one vote between them. The assessment meeting was followed by a three-day business meeting and a social event.
The major challenge we faced with this project was how to adapt the client’s voting system and internal tracking system for documenting the reasoning behind the assessments to an online platform. In person, they had voted using a keypad voting system that plugged into PowerPoint. One of the requirements for voting was that we needed to be able to register the actual number of votes received, not just the percentage of votes for each option. We also needed to create a space where participants could comment on different documents involved in the assessment process and make suggestions cooperatively.
This event, in the past, had also been an opportunity for members of the committee – who were spread across the country – to come together with each other, and the client wanted to keep that connection available to participants.
Our solution to adapting their assessment process to a virtual format was to use Howspace. We created an online space for voting, information sharing, and suggesting/commenting on documents, and trained members of their staff on how to use it for their assessment purposes.
We also worked with the committee Chair on ways to effectively moderate the meeting and make sure that everyone’s voices were heard. We provided back-end technical and passive moderation support, as well as working with their voting team if they needed help sharing polls or results to ensure that the assessment process went as smoothly online as it had in person in the past.
At the end of the event, we wrote a recommendation report to provide guidance for how to set up the next virtual meeting, should they want to run it themselves in the future. We also included recommendations for adapting the event to a hybrid meeting for next year, considering the unknown nature of the state of the COVID-19 pandemic during their next assessment meeting.
The use of Howspace not only provided a space for voting, collaborative document review, and resource sharing, but also provided the opportunity for the members of the committee to chat and interact with each other in a fun and friendly way.
We were able to successfully adapt their assessment process to allow for the continuity of the work of the committee through the COVID-19 upheaval, and gave them a chance to connect and enjoy themselves together. As a result of the first set of assessment meetings, the client decided to come to us for assistance on their second set of meetings.
7-day event: 4 days of assessments, 3 days of business meetings
~70 voting members
~45 hours of meetings
A team of four people providing co-facilitation and backend support