Guidelines for committee manager and convenor to virtual meetings

This article is relevant for:

Working area: ISO meetings

The platform you are using can contain international, regional and national working areas. 

The following article contains information that is only relevant in the context of activities carried out for ISO. For activities carried out for a regional or national organization please refer to those applicable guidelines. 

Permission level: Meeting Organizer


This article is an extract of the Participation guidelines for virtual meetings.ppt published in April 2020

Before the virtual meeting

Please note

If a WG has no Convenor Support, Convenor also will need to consider these added tasks before, during and after each meeting.

  • Create the meeting in the Meetings application as “Virtual”. Please note that meeting notice periods have been shortened temporarily following TMB resolution 32/2020. When meeting details are finalized, don't forget to 'Confirm' the meeting to enable registration.
  • Circulate the meeting agenda, keeping in mind the following:

Add a link to the virtual meeting on Meetings. Also note meeting details shall not be shared with ineligible participants.

List all items for discussion/decision and appropriate time dedicated for each item.

In consultation with the Chair, schedule important discussions/agenda points strategically – not necessarily at the end of the agenda.

Anticipate expected outcomes and decisions (e.g. draft resolutions if required) in advance for each agenda item. Prepare draft resolutions and a draft meeting report in advance, if possible.

It is recommended to schedule meetings for 2-3 hours (maximum) at a time and include a break. Spread a meeting over multiple days if more time is needed (bearing in mind the time zone challenges).


You only need to create one zoom link for all sessions. The link should be provided in the location field of the meeting and not in the Meeting information section

  • Request national bodies to submit working documents in advance of the requested deadlines and inform the Committee Manager or Convenor of any agenda changes by a certain date before the meeting – 48-72 hours is recommended.
  • Make efforts to accommodate the time zones of the virtual participants by rotating start times by region from one meeting to another. Consider tools such as to manage your scheduling.
  • Circulate these virtual participation guidelines to all meeting participants.
  • Test your internet and Zoom connection well in advance of the meeting.
  • Discuss and decide in advance with the Chair the practical aspects of running the meeting (for example, who will share their computer screen, who will control the chat and answer questions, who will mute participants, etc.). You may need to mobilize additional resource to monitor comments.

30 minutes before the virtual meeting

  • Initiate the virtual meeting at least 15 minutes before the meeting starting time.
  • Create and project a welcome slide that participants will see as they log in that will feature key reminders of important points on their virtual participation (stay muted, use the chat function, etc.)

During the virtual meeting

  • Ensure all participants are authorized individuals that have registered via the ISO Meetings and that their attendance is noted in the attendance sheet. Call-in details shall not be shared with ineligible participants.
  • If Heads of Delegation (HoD) do not have the option to “Raise Hand” (if they are not connected through the web application), they should send their questions to the Committee Manager or another designated support person for the meeting.
  • Share the computer screen as needed.
  • Ask the Head of Delegation to introduce their delegation so that everyone knows who (including NSB or organization and name) is participating. It also might be easier for the Committee Manager or Convenor to do a read-out summary of attendance and check names that may have been missed, instead of waiting for individuals to speak up.
  • Remember that local recording of a Zoom meeting is only permitted for the purpose of drafting minutes. All participants shall be made aware of your recording in advance and with no objections. See Annex SF.10 of the ISO/IEC Directives Part 1.
  • Remind participants of the following:

For committee meetings, only the Head of Delegation (HoD) can speak unless s/he gives the floor to someone else in the delegation.

Ask participants to ‘ raise a hand’ or use the chat function if they wish to speak to avoid crosstalk.

Every time they speak, individuals should start by identifying the national body or organization they represent and their names.

Speakers are to speak one at a time, be brief, clear and speak slowly.

Participants shall mute their lines when not speaking.

Just before a vote, the Chair will summarize the points on which participants are expected to take a decision. The clearest option is to summarize the points on the shared screen – to avoid any misunderstanding.

  • Involve participants throughout the meeting (including use of online chat, which can be saved).
  • Suggest that any questions on reports and presentations are made AFTER they are completed, as switching between speakers can add delay to a tight agenda.
  • Discuss with the Chair any items that may not achieve consensus during the meeting but may require a committee internal ballot for approval after the meeting.

After the virtual meeting

  • Ensure that meeting resolutions are circulated within 48 hours.
  • Ensure the minutes, including the follow-up actions, are saved in the committee or working group workspace as N-documents within 4 weeks.

Please note

A feedback survey has been incorporated into ISO Meetings and will automatically be sent to participants after the meeting.

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