4 October 2019
4 October 2019,

one male and three females having a face to face meeting

With the continuous technological advancements being done, it is no surprise that conducting meetings have also changed drastically over time. Virtual meetings have gained popularity and are slowly being preferred because of their convenience. Despite this, some people still lean towards traditional face-to-face interactions because there are less barriers and therefore has less potential for miscommunication.

So what should you choose? Virtual meetings or the traditional face-to-face? Let’s break down their advantages and disadvantages to know more! 

Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings, powered by technology, are truly convenient. The various types of virtual meetings can be applied to different situations and can be utilized by many people.

Advantages of Virtual Meetings

Conducting virtual meetings reduce costs. Team members do not need to travel to the office, as well as clients and business partners.  This is especially a good advantage when it comes to small businesses that are only starting out and businesses slowly trying to cut down expenses. 

It also happens to be environmentally friendly. Because traveling is more infrequent, and online meetings do not require paperwork, virtual meetings are definitely better for the environment. It may not be much, but these can help lessen our burden on the planet. 

Another advantage is that everyone has a chance to participate in the meeting, wherever they may be. Whether someone is working from home or at a local coffee shop, just finished a meeting with a client somewhere else, or even stuck in traffic, they can still attend the meeting. With this, important announcements and crucial information are not missed. 

And of course, virtual meetings save time. Virtual meetings are also more flexible, so there is less concern for reschedules or delays. Meetings online also do not require traveling, therefore, you can start immediately. The time you save can be used for other important tasks and employee productivity can be increased even from remote workplaces

Disadvantages of Virtual Meetings

No matter how convenient virtual meetings may be, there are still quite a few disadvantages. For one, the different time zones can significantly affect the time of the meeting. Local virtual meetings are not a problem of course, but if you and your colleagues are scattered all over the country or even the world, time zones can be difficult. 

Another thing is the dependability of the meeting towards technology itself. Bad signals, slow internet connection, poor equipment, these things can disrupt your meeting one way or another. 

Also a disadvantage is the fact that people can be easily distracted. Most likely, as people participate in the virtual meeting in the comforts of their own home, they can also do other things and try to multitask. This can lead to divided attention and poor concentration towards the meeting. 

And of course, virtual meetings have certain security risks – uninvited guests may be present and may get access to the meeting – even unintentionally. So it is vital to find a secure and reliable conferencing service for long-term use.

Face-to-face Meetings

Traditional face-to-face interaction is still preferred by some people. This kind of meeting definitely has a personal touch to it and is a great form of direct communication. 

Advantages of Face-to-Face Meetings

Traditional face-to-face meetings build relationships. With every meeting you do with your employees or colleagues, and clients and partners, your relationships get better. Even in a survey by Forbes, 84% percent of business executives prefer face-to-face communication, and of those, 85% prefer this kind of meeting to build stronger and more meaningful business relationships. 

It is also a great way to avoid misunderstandings. More often than not, misunderstandings arise from emails, messages, and more. With face-to-face meetings, there is less chance of miscommunication and/or misunderstandings among team members. People can discuss ideas thoroughly, address concerns, and give out announcements clearly.  

Another advantage of these traditional meetings is that you get to read body language. Body language is essential when it comes to important meetings, especially with clients and business partners. You will be able to tell if they’re convinced, relieved, agitated, or worried, and then you can adjust and rethink your next steps in the meeting. 

Disadvantages of Face-to-Face Meetings

Face-to-face meetings first and foremost depend on finding the right time. Meetings can be postponed or moved to a different time because others might be sick, some may have prior engagements, or some might not make it in time because they’re stuck in traffic.

Another disadvantage is that it can be costly. People would need to travel to the venue of the meeting and clients who are in a different state or country would need to drive long hours or even book flights. 

Admittedly, people can also lose concentration quite easily, especially in large meetings. These can go on for hours and if the speaker doesn’t know how to engage well with the audience then other people might lose focus. 

Virtual Meetings Versus Face-to-Face Meetings

So which should you choose between the two? It’s clear that they have their own merits and downsides, and all of these should be taken into consideration. Ultimately, your nature of business and/or situation will definitely be a weighty factor in choosing the type of meeting suitable to your purpose. 

If you’re a local business owner with employees and clients in town, meeting up for a face-to-face meeting is suggested. You can discuss things personally and with a small meeting, everything can go well. But if you own a business operating nationwide or internationally, it may be better to have virtual meetings instead. Traveling by land or air will not be practical for you and other team members. Not only is it time-consuming, but it’s not cost-effective as well. With a virtual meeting, it’s easier and faster for everyone involved. 

Whether you like it or not, these meetings can affect your business one way or another. Take the time to think everything through so you know which is best for you and your business. 

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