Virtual meetings, whether you love them or not, were a necessity during lockdown. Since in-person meetings were no longer possible, this innovative method made it possible for businesses to conduct daily meetings, host team check-ins, communicate with existing clients, and meet prospective clients. Although this virtual option was a lifeline in so many ways, day-to-day operations were subject to a variety of drawbacks such as frequent disconnections, video/audio dropouts, slow internet speeds, and poor lighting. Perhaps the biggest side-effect of virtual meetings was a growing feeling that, although they were a convenient and safe alternative to traditional meetings, they made it difficult for professionals to connect in a meaningful way especially with new or prospective clients.
Now, the lockdown is over thanks to increased vaccinations. As the world begins to open up and get back to business, it’s time for business to move away from the reliance on virtual meetings and welcome back the opportunity to meet in person again! Below, we’ll discuss three of the main benefits of in-person meetings for you and your business.
1. Build Better Business Relationships
Generating new business leads in the middle of a pandemic was pretty difficult – especially when you have to do it over a small screen. Virtual meetings are usually bound by time constraints which leaves little opportunity for professionals and clients to break the ice and relax before they start to talk about specifics. They force everyone to get down to business which may feel detached and, for lack of a better word, impersonal. It’s difficult to establish a strong business relationship if everyone is uncomfortable from the start.
In-person meetings create a more natural atmosphere where all parties feel relaxed and free to make casual conversation before the business discussion evolves naturally. This allows both professionals and clients to break the ice, establish trust, and lay the foundation for a lasting business relationship.
2. Fewer Distractions and Disruptions
How many of your virtual meetings were disrupted by lost internet connections, power outages, crying children, playful puppies or photobombing cats? Even worse, how many times did a virtual meeting feel futile because a client or coworker kept being distracted by emails, texts or direct messages? Probably more than you can count.
Hosting in-person meetings in a business setting requires everyone’s full attention and participation by limiting the amount of distractions and disruptions. Everyone is present and accounted for, phones remain in pockets, and all attention is focused on the business at hand. Plus, in-person meetings are less likely to be interrupted by pets who want to play.
3. Better Communication
Much like how it’s often difficult to assess an individual’s tone in an email, it’s sometimes equally difficult to interpret a coworker or client’s body language or mannerisms when you’re not in the same room, can only see them from the shoulders up, or maybe only see an icon or avatar in place of their actual face.
Hosting in-person meetings ensures that everyone can not only hear and understand everyone clearly (since there are no audio or video dropouts), they also allow participants to see and comprehend each other’s body language, mannerisms, facial expressions and other nonverbal cues.
Those are just three of the many reasons in-person meetings may be more effective than virtual meetings for you and your business. If you’re a small business owner, a start-up company or solopreneur in need of a location to conduct in-person business or client meetings, consider HeadRoom. Our shared office space and flexible meeting space rental options in the Philadelphia area range from small offices to collaborative workspaces to large team meeting rooms to conference rooms of various sizes. Whether you need space for weekly meetings, quarterly check-ins, or annual gatherings, HeadRoom meets your professional needs. Find your perfect shared office space and flexible meeting space today!