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Why the value of face-to-face meetings shouldn’t be ignored

Now more than ever before, businesses are relying on the use of long distance communication to run their operations. With remote and virtual workers on the rise, technology is making it easier to stay connected with your colleagues or clients in different offices, states or countries. But does this mean that face-to-face meetings and events are on the decline? Not in the slightest!

Four in five people surveyed by Meetings Mean Business believe they have attended an in-person meeting, conference or event that would have been less successful if conducted remotely. As Meetings Mean Business like to say, “great things happen when people come together!”

The benefits of face-to-face meetings include:

Relationships and Engagement

Being face-to-face is one of the most effective forms of communicating and building relationships. It affords you the opportunity to nurture your relationships and engage those around you in a way that simply can’t be emulated online. Face-to-face meetings are where relationships are built upon, deals are struck, and brainstorming is at it finest.

Connection and Trust

While certainly worthwhile, digital communication doesn’t always allow you to build as solid a level of trust between people. In person, you can physically shake the hand of the person you’re connecting with, you might share a laugh and even go to get a coffee together. All of these things build up strong, personal communication which is at the centre of all positive outcomes.

Clarity and Efficiency

Sometimes what we say can get a little lost in translation across online or digital communication methods. People may misinterpret a tone, meaning or message, and go forth with a completely wrong idea. Face-to-face meetings diffuse many misunderstandings straight away, therefore rendering them a more efficient way to get your point across.

Ultimately, the key to getting the most out of your events is to consider all avenues. With so many options available to us, we can choose the best way for us to communicate and build lasting relationships with our colleagues, clients or stakeholders. This may mean holding your event in-person, online or a hybrid of both. Contact us today to discuss your next meeting or event.

Meeting room

Will video conferencing replace face-to-face meetings?

New technologies are making it easier than ever before to stay connected with your colleagues or clients in different offices, states or countries. Video conferencing connects people in real time, through audio and video communication on laptops, TV screens, computers, smartphones and tablets.

Video conferencing has become the norm for meetings; saving travel, time, and money, and increasing productivity. It’s an effective way of communicating, especially if your organisation has a broad geographical spread.

But are we really getting the same benefits as in-person interactions?  Will video conferencing replace face-to-face meetings?

We took a look at some of the pros and cons of video conferencing.

Pros

Time and cost effective

The time and money saved when meeting virtually as opposed to investing in air travel and hotel stays can be a huge benefit to businesses. It can be faster to arrange these types of meetings because people only have to travel as far as their meeting room or even just reach for their smartphone to connect.

Meeting in real time with anyone across the globe

The convenience of discussing ideas in real time and not having to wait for email chain responses is an advantage when it comes to video conferencing.

Shared data

Depending on the software being used, people can be simultaneously working on the same document while on a video call on opposite sides of the world and easily share documents too. This ease of collaboration can greatly increase productivity.

Cons

Physicality

You can have the most high tech equipment available, but it is hard to replace the value of physically being in the same room as each other. There is so much communicating that is done through non-verbal gestures and cues such as handshakes and body language that is hard to replicate with someone through a screen.

Technology

In a video conference everyone is at the mercy of the technology. If the system stops working, or if there is a lack of knowledge about how to use it, it can throw a spanner in the works. This is why having an AV rep to assist makes sense.

Cost

While video conferencing is cheaper than flying people across the country for meetings, decent quality video conferencing software and services aren’t cheap, and other costs need to be considered as well such as high speed internet connections and perhaps a cost-per-user.

Although video conferencing offers an efficient way to stay connected, face-to-face interactions will always be the most effective form of communication, offering vibrancy and engagement within the meeting that you just can’t emulate via a screen.