Why face-to-face meetings will never meet their demise

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Video meetings and telecommunications may be gathering momentum in the business world as an effective and convenient way to conduct meetings remotely, but they will never replace the unique benefits of face-to-face meetings. From building relationships to learning more about a business, there are certain traits of physical meetings that remote communication will never achieve.

Weetwood Hall takes a look at the many benefits of meeting in-person and why face-to-face meetings will never meet their demise.

Generating a personal connection

Talking over the phone or via video technology may be convenient but it doesn’t engage participants personally, the way face-to-face meetings do. Meeting someone in person and physically shaking their hand, nurtures a strong and positive business relationship with that person, crafting a mutual sense of a shared mission remote meetings fail to achieve.

As Forbes writes in a feature about the ‘Immeasurable Importance of Face-to-Face Meetings’:

“No matter what industry you work in, we are all in the people business. Regardless of how tech-savvy you may be, face-to-face meetings are still the most effective way to capture the attention of participants, engage them in conversation, and drive productive collaboration.”

Win new customers

As a customer yourself, would you be more likely to be swooned over a product or service over the telephone or in person? According to Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of National Meetings and Events, organisations rely on face-to-face meetings to win new customers and close new deals. Massari says companies are twice as likely to convert prospects into customers via a face-to-face meeting, since it’s easier to say “no” over the phone or in an email and the chances of getting a “yes” response increases when face-to-face.

Network and build relationships

Attending a physical meeting gives attendees the chance to mingle with other like-minded professionals, network and build business relationships in a way that virtual meetings will never allow. This can be particularly advantageous to freelancers, start-ups and SMEs looking to make new contacts, build relationships and expand their business network.

Read situations through body language

Despite the prolific rise of digital methods of communication, body language still plays a major role in communication. From eye contact to someone’s facial expressions, being able to witness the body language of others at an in-person meeting can tell us a lot about a person and how they perceive the different issues and topics of the meeting. The unique value of body language as a form of communication is lost in telephone conversations.

Drives engagement

As the Time Management Ninja notes, when we’re on a conference call, who knows what other participants are really doing? By their very nature, face-to-face meetings require engagement and that everyone in the meeting are “in the conversation”. For example, it would be rude to pick up your phone and start texting in the middle of a physical meeting, but teleconferencing provides an opening for greater levels of disengagement.

Encourages participation

The same way in-person meetings help drive engagement, they encourage participation. Being sat in a room around a table with other participants encourages people to participate in the meeting and consequently helps individuals and the person hosting the meeting get more out of it.

Provides a broader perspective

When meeting face-to-face with someone, we are more likely to form a closer bond, by chatting a little less formally, perhaps about our hobbies and interests outside work. By contrast, remote meetings tend to have a more formal, get-the-job-done-and-get-off-the-phone-as-soon-as-possible kind of approach.

As Small Business Trends writes, by getting a broader perspective of a person and a business through in-person meetings, we can finalise course of actions, put a plan in place together and generally decide on the next step with greater clarity and decisiveness than in virtual meetings.

Boasting a whole host of unique business gains, it’s safe to say that old-fashioned ‘belly to belly’ meetings will never be vanquished, as there’s some things we can only learn about a person and company by meeting them face to face.

If you are looking for a quality meeting room to hire in Yorkshire with great meeting room facilities, Weetwood Hall is home to contemporary conference facilities. We offer a range of flexible meeting and conference room packages, designed for businesses to host effective meetings on the outskirts of Leeds.

You may be interested to learn that, driven by a charitable ethos that prioritises supporting the community, Weetwood Hall proudly gift aids all our left-over profit to the University of Leeds, so we can continue to support education and development in the city of Leeds.

Get in touch with our conference team today to discuss your bespoke meeting room Yorkshire requirements. What’s more, if you host an all-day conference at Weetwood Hall between June and August 2017, your all-day conference delegates will receive a free day pass to enjoy a day of fitness and pampering at David Lloyd. This great one-day pass to the popular fitness club is worth £25 for every delegate!

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Categories: Business, Conferences, Meetings