With the advent of technology, many aspects of doing business have been eased. Among these are meetings which are now often carried out virtually. Team mates can meet over a telephone conference, an investor can get to know more about the business over a video conferencing call and so on. There are some enterprises that still hold on to the old face to face meetings because they believe they are effective. Who is right? Face to face meeting vs virtual meeting, which one is better? Here is a dissection of the matter.
Virtual meetings are enabled by the technological advances that have been seen in the recent past. People attending the meeting do not need to leave their work station or wherever they are, they can attend meetings. The meeting can be held over the phone, via video call and via other virtual meeting software, like ezTalks Cloud Meeting.
With virtual meetings, distance is not an issue. People can take part in the meeting regardless of where they are. In other word, they are able to hold meetings without having to travel all the way. When working on a project, team mates at the field does not have to travel all the way to the office to make a presentation during a meeting. There are many other scenarios when virtual meetings will come in handy.
Many people can participate in a virtual meeting since they will only have to set aside some time for the meeting. Also the carbon footprint is reduced since people do not have to travel (in cars and aeroplanes) that emit fumes to the location of the meeting.
Virtual meetings are very cheap. All that are needed are Internet connection and professional virtual meeting software, which allows to everyone attend the meeting. There is no need to spend money on hiring a venue, the facilities and equipment to be used and organizing transportation for everyone attending.
Face to face meetings are those that are held by people in the same room and in person. People come in the room specifically for the meeting and come prepared. It can be a meeting at a restaurant, a board room or just an office. What are the benefits of this kind of meeting?
When meeting face to face, people are freer with each other than they would be online. People are able to express themselves by using body language, gestures and words all of which work together to convey a message. Communication is better in face to face meetings because misunderstandings are less likely.
When you go in for a physical meeting, it is the primary reason why you are at the particular place at any given time. You will be with others attending the meeting as well and none will tolerate the other wasting their time. Everyone will be disciplined and will not be easily distracted by things like phones and computers. The serious environment will emphasize the need to concentrate fully on the meeting and keep off any distractions.
During face to face meetings people get instant feedback. This is very important, especially in the development of something that requires teamwork. It is the best kind of meeting for brainstorming. Face to Face meetings create stronger bonds than virtual ones. People get to know each other and understand each other more. This is as important as team building is to any business.
Virtual meetings allow people to exchange ideas and information while saving on money and time. They are more convenient than face to face meetings. However the chances of having a communication breakdown are increased in virtual meetings. Distractions by personal and work related issues are more likely to happen during virtual meetings than face to face ones.
Virtual meetings widen the networking capabilities a business has. By holding such meetings companies can now connect with employees, clients and others half way across the world without having to waste time and money. However, to build trust, face to face meetings are better.
Both face to face and virtual meetings have their benefits and disadvantages. There is no need to let face to face meetings vs virtual meetings. The best thing to do is to combine the two. The first stages of an engagement or project should be handled by face to face meetings, so the most important details can be discussed and then a follow up meetings can be done virtually. The final meeting should also be done in person. Ask yourself what the goals of the meeting are and how busy the people you are inviting to the meeting are before deciding on the right way to go about it.