Face-to-face meetings in a post-pandemic world
The pandemic has changed the way many of us work as we navigate through what is Covid-19. We set up desks at home and enjoyed the opportunity to dress for business on top and casual below the desk as we engaged with clients and colleagues on Zoom calls or Microsoft Teams.
Many companies will permanently adopt a more flexible work-from-home attitude for staff. But it’s essential to keep in mind the value of the face-to-face meeting once it is safe to do so. Keep reading to see some of the main benefits of an 'IRL' business event.
The benefits of face-to-face meetings:
‘Zoom fatigue’ is a thing
Humans use nonverbal communication to read people and a situation. It’s harder to read the body language of those talking on a screen, and we can’t always see the facial expressions of those listening, leaving us feeling disconnected.
In a virtual conference, we may have to focus on multiple speakers, which splits our attention so that we cannot focus on any one person in a meaningful way. The need for our brains to hyperfocus on visual cues from on-screen presenters can be so tiring it even now has a name ‘Zoom Fatigue’.
Studies also show that video chats are less collaborative than a face-to-face group meeting or conference, as one person dominates the conversation. What’s more, seeing yourself on a screen can make you feel insecure about how you’re behaving and distract you from truly relaxing and engaging with your colleagues.
Humans are hard-wired for ‘IRL’ connection
Technology has its place, and digital tools have become imperative for our modern workflow. But face-to-face conversation remains crucial to a teams’ communication and helps to improve group cohesion and attitude.
Over 80% per cent of both Gen X and Millennial employees say that face-to-face meetings are more practical at maintaining work relationships than phone, email, instant messaging, texting, social network sites and video chat.
Perhaps that water cooler small talk is not as much of a timewaster as once considered?
Improved information retention
In a study that assessed face-to-face and online courses to examine initial knowledge acquisition and knowledge retention, the online class outperformed the face-to-face on the initial performance evaluation. However, knowledge retention was more significant in the face-to-face.
While diverse delivery methods are helpful for training, the face-to-face meeting appears more effective in deep learning. After all, it’s harder to give in to distractions when we are face-to-face with others.
Face-to-face builds relationships
There’s no denying that Zoom meetings have their place, but so too do face-to-face meetings. Meeting with people can help build relationships in the early stages of business with clients or colleagues and increase loyalty and trust over time.
When people say, ‘It’s good to put a face to a name’, they refer to the value of in-person contact and communication. Ultimately, face-to-face communication strengthens the social glue between employers, colleagues, and clients. An off-screen business relationship feels more personal, so face-to-face meetings can help increase loyalty and trust.
As social creatures, face-to-face meetings are great for productivity, creating a strong team culture and building long-standing relationships with clients. So, if you’re teaching your employees, running a brainstorming session, need to achieve purposeful focus or nurture interpersonal bonding, a face-to-face meeting will prove invaluable time and again.
Whether you are looking to hold a conference, product launch, annual general meeting, seminar, breakfast meeting or the like, Ellerslie Event Centre is a versatile venue with full audio-visual technical services, outstanding cuisine and dedicated account managers to ensure your face-to-face event will be a complete success.
*Statistic sourced from: https://www.greatbusinessschools.org/networking/