The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact with subject matter experts (SMEs), as we’ve had to transition our in-person workshops and focus groups to virtual settings. Although some things are beginning to, and will continue to, return to “normal,” many clients have recognized the benefits of virtual collaboration in terms of both cost and time savings.
Notably, virtual workshops offer a simpler way to gather a wide range of perspectives, including the international focus many programs seek to help ensure their exam content is applicable to a global audience.
As such, the need for effective virtual collaboration persists, and we must continue adapting—or better yet, redesigning—our activities for virtual environments to capture the valuable input that only SMEs can provide. It’s important to acknowledge that virtual meetings are different from in-person meetings and to treat them as such, designing them intentionally instead of attempting to shoehorn an in-person meeting into a virtual format.
Together, we have worked with thousands of SMEs, most in virtual settings. We put our heads together to come up with our top 10 tips for engaging SMEs in virtual work. While many of these tips apply to any SME workshop or meeting, we have found them to be especially critical in virtual activities.