Have you tried telephone conferencing ?
Have you ever had a telephone conference with more than 2 people on the phone?
The new Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and strata schemes management regulation 2016 allows other means voting including telephone conference video conferencing, pre – meeting Voting and other electronic means such as a website.
In order for an owners corporation to adopt electronic means of voting at either a strata committee meeting or a general meeting, a resolution must be passed to allow that to occur at subsequent meetings.
The ability for owners to be able to attend a meeting without being there in person has many advantages. Owners and have their say are having to same time travelling to and from the meeting venue (especially if they don’t live at the scheme where meetings are often held) but if they are away, they can still contribute to the meeting.
However some of the pitfalls I’ve experienced with telephone conferencing is the inability to see the other person and their body language. A remark made may be taken the wrong way or misinterpreted when you cannot see the other person’s facial expression.
More often than not, participants at the meeting tend to talk over each other because you cannot see the other person. The other problems that I have encountered are not knowing when the person has finished speaking because there was a pause and the next person then is talking over that person.
Another experience I have had is at the quality of the call declines as additional locations added to the conference call. A way to overcome this is to use a program that requires each attended a call into a central number and use the code to enter the meeting. An example of a good program that does this is the Citrix GoToMeeting.
I am not discouraging the use of telephone conferencing at meetings. I think this is a positive move to try and use existing technology to allow more inclusive meeting participation for those that cannot be there in person due to prior commitments or travel encumbrances. There are limitations especially in relation to the number of people that can be on a telephone conference and also the types of matters that can be discussed (which are not controversial) and these need to be understood so that the use of telephone conferencing becomes a positive aspect of owners corporation meetings.