In this digital age, it’s no surprise that virtual meetings have become commonplace. Platforms like Zoom and Skype have made communicating with colleagues and clients easier than ever, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. People have been forced to adapt to this way of working, with many getting to grips with little training. However, there’s arguably still a place for face to face meetings in business, with many benefits to be had from collaborating in person rather than online. Here’s why we still need face to face meetings.
Build strong and lasting business relationships
Most people agree that face to face meetings are vital for business relationships. Meeting up with a client in person shows them that you value not just their business, but their time too, and that you’re willing to go to the distance – literally – to converse with them. Travelling to meeting rooms in London to do business shows them that they’re important to you. As such, this builds strong relationships that are likely to last longer.
Establish loyalty and trust
Face to face meetings in business can establish loyalty and trust with clients and customers, creating an emotional relationship. This is important since customers who develop an emotional connection with a brand are more likely to keep using its products or services, as well as recommend the company to others. Whilst virtual meetings do allow you to make eye contact and smile to build trust, it’s not as personal. Neither can you offer a handshake, which can be incredibly useful for promoting cooperation and bonding.
More focussed and productive
Whilst most people have, at some point, attended in-person meetings which are a total waste of time, those which are a structured and organised well are usually a lot more productive than Zoom or Skype conference calls or communicating via email. Face to face meetings generate many more ideas than virtual meetings. The reason for this? Quite simply, people communicate better face to face. Some people are anxious over appearing on camera, and awkwardness can get in the way of ideas flowing freely. In-depth discussions can be considerably easier face to face.
Communicate goals and objectives clearly
Face to face meetings allow people to communicate with each other more clearly. As well as being able to read and interpret facial expressions and body language, in-person meetings are usually more positive and viewed as more credible than online discussions. Non-verbal clues reduce the risk of misinterpreting information, with tone and message less likely to be misread.
Whilst technology plays a vital role in the world of business, face to face meetings continue to be the number one way to communicate and connect. Millennials, which are currently the largest generation in the UK workforce, have grown up in a highly digital age. However, most will admit that they still prefer communicating with colleagues face to face rather than virtually.