April 15th looms large in the minds of U.S. taxpayers. Even though it arrives on the same day each year, Tax Day sends many people into full-blown panic mode—especially if they have waited until the last minute to file their returns.
Video conferences can make people feel that way, too. The proverbial “shoebox full of receipts” is to the last minute tax payer, what a quickly approaching conference date is to an event host. Regardless of how much planning you have done, the video-conference host often asks him or herself: will my event fall flat?
We’ve heard both of these scenarios many, many times. Therefore, we couldn’t help but draw a parallel between taxes and video-conferences. They have more in common than one might think:
1. Taxes and Video Conferencing require strategies.
The organizations and people we admire the most are diligent about preparing plans of action designed to achieve an overall goal. A tax strategy, for example, often means reducing risk and liabilities. When it comes to video conferencing, you’ll need a strategy that improves your ability to manage outcomes by aligning your presentation with clearly defined goals. If it’s done properly, your strategy should connect the reason you are doing the video-conference with the specific outcomes your organization hopes to achieve.
2. The more organized you are, the less stressful it is.
Ever notice that some people never seem to flinch when you say, “April 15th”? How about the ever-confident video-conference host that didn’t lose a wink of sleep the night before her event?; Their secret is being organized. Whether you’re dealing with a tax deadline or an approaching video-conference event, thinking ahead and planning for emergencies will set you free.
3. Assistance is often required with taxes and video conferencing.
Not all taxpayers are equipped to handle every tax situation on their own, and that’s where tax professionals enter the picture. Likewise, you may or may not be equipped to handle every aspect of your video conference. If you’re out of your depth in a specific area, recruit internal and/or external assistance. In some cases, that could mean working with your IT department to manage the technical aspects of the conference; in other cases, it could involve bringing in an outside expert or pundit to conduct part of the presentation.
4. Both can be inspiring and spur opportunity.
The best tax preparers constantly look for opportunities to leverage the tax code for financial advantage. Truly memorable video conferences result in participants who find opportunities to extend and share the conversation, carrying the momentum into social media circles or other online communities long after the video conference ends.
5. Taxes, like video conferences, can inspire improvement.
This year’s tax season is drawing to a close, but next year’s tax season is already underway. Smart taxpayers use their filed returns to inform and improve future tax strategies. By conducting thorough post-meeting analysis, you can improve the planning, execution and outcomes of your next video conference.
Video conferences can be just as intimidating as tax returns. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be successful at either one. With your taxes, having the right forms, software or accountant can make it a pretty painless process. The same is true with video conferencing; with the right combination of planning, preparation and strategy, you’ll be on your way to an effective and fruitful meeting.