Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like face to face meetings have become a thing of the past. When people couldn’t leave their homes to go and see other people, they turned to applications like Zoom and Google Meets each time they needed a meeting. It became an effortless and efficient way to communicate with clients and coworkers, so it managed to stick even when the pandemic subsided.
However, we should not forget the importance of face to face meetings. They may seem like you have to put in more time and effort to get to them, but they come with many advantages you can’t get from virtual meetings.
How face to face meetings can benefit you
Hosting a face to face meeting, whether it's with prospective clients, co-workers, or loyal customers comes with a wide range of advantages that can put your business on top. Here are the top five benefits you can expect to experience if you switch over from Zoom to the board room:
While you can form some form of relationship with people over applications like Zoom, it doesn’t have the same effect as if you were to go and meet them in person. On the other hand, you have a higher chance of forming stronger and longer-lasting business relationships if you take the time out of your day to get ready, prepare yourself, and drive to see them.
Clients and co-workers want to feel important to you, so if you plan an in-person meeting, you’re showing them that you want to put the effort in. You also feel more connected to them compared to if you are video chatting with them. There are more opportunities to read body cues, express eye contact, and show others that they are listening to them.
All relationships are built on emotional connections, which is better accomplished when you are physically near each other. Not to mention, a face to face meeting has a higher chance of becoming memorable for the rest of the relationship.
Have you ever had a virtual meeting that seems like an entire waste of time? You and your team talked for hours, but it seems you didn’t come up with one good idea. This could be because you aren’t physically near them. Face to face meetings have been proven to generate more quality ideas than if you are just sitting in front of your computer.
While a virtual meeting is quicker to set up, it may actually not be worth it in the end. It can be harder to discuss ideas through the use of hand movements, drawings, and mind maps. While there are applications that make sharing ideas on Zoom easier, there is nothing quite like sitting next to someone and brainstorming the next growth solution for your business.
So, although it can seem more enticing to sit at home and simply discuss ideas over email or voice call, it can be detrimental to your growth. Instead, meet up with your co-workers or clients to take your business to the next level.
You may believe that virtual calls with your clients or associates can provide the right amount of communication, but this isn’t always the case. Sure, you can talk to them directly, but there are a lot of factors you’re missing out on. For example, if you’re on a tight schedule and your internet connection decides to act up, it can be more difficult to effectively communicate what you had set out to.
Similarly, most meetings are made up of more than two people at a time. When you’re in a boardroom, you can clearly see when someone is ready to talk. However, when you’re sitting in front of a computer, people don’t see the same cues, and therefore you’ll see team members talking over each other. As a result, communication starts to lack, and you can’t share ideas in the same way.
Displays body language
Now, this is one of the main advantages of conducting a face to face meeting over a virtual one. Sure, if you set up a video call, you can hear what everyone has to say and see if they are making any hand gestures, but there is also so much else you’re missing out on. Body language isn’t always about hand gestures; sometimes, the way someone is sitting can indicate how they feel about one of your ideas.
This is extremely beneficial when you’re meeting with a client. You want to impress them, so reading their body language is really important. For example, if you’re giving a presentation, you can see by their facial expressions and the way they’re sitting if they approve of what you’re providing them. If they aren’t happy, you can quickly make a u-turn and try and save the meeting. This can be nearly impossible if you’re in a virtual meeting.
We’ve mentioned how face to face meetings will increase productivity, and one of these reasons is that you aren’t exposed to as many distractions. For example, when you meet with a client or associate in person, you focus directly on them. You feel less inclined to reach for your phone or stare out the window because you know the other person will notice.
On the other hand, if you’re on a virtual call, you’re often surrounded by many of your things at home. Similarly, the camera isn’t always necessarily turned on. This can make it much more tempting to reach for your phone, play a game, or start throwing a ball for your pet.
When you’re always distracted, you won’t achieve the goals that were set out for that meeting. This means you may have to reschedule another one, which can take longer than you initially wanted. That’s why face to face meetings can be much more beneficial in the moment and the long run.
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