I was just facilitating a brainstorming session with a client in Phoenix, AZ – with two other locations dialed in to the conference room.
In order to keep the remote attendees engaged, I took several steno pads and wrote the name of each person on the pad. When a remote attendee joined the call, we propped the steno pad up – and took it down when they exited the call. (If you do a little prework, grab a 8×10 photo of the person!). One of the team members took responsibility for keeping track of who came in/left the call.
Then, when we would “go around” the room to get ideas, I would make sure to call on them. And, if I hadn’t heard from them in a while, I would invite their comments.
Question: What do you do to involve people in remote locations in your phone conference calls?