Virtual meetings are enabled by the technological advances that have been seen in the recent past. People attending the meeting do not need to leave their work station or wherever they are, they can attend meetings. The meeting can be held over the phone, via video call and via other virtual meeting software.
Virtual meetings are very cheap. All that are needed are Internet connection and professional virtual meeting software, which allows to everyone attend the meeting. There is no need to spend money on hiring a venue, the facilities and equipment to be used and organizing transportation for everyone attending.
|Pros of Virtual Meetings||Cons of Virtual Meetings|
|No travel costs for those attending a virtual meeting.||Negotiating multiple time differences can be difficult to accommodate all participants.|
|Virtual meeting software is inexpensive and most people are used to using it at this point.||Technical difficulties can keep people from participating at full capacity.|
|Virtual meetings can be held anywhere there is an Internet connection, perfect for bringing together groups who are on the road and very busy.||Compatibility and speed issues for participants who aren’t in office settings.|
|Can bring together people who would not normally have the opportunity to meet one another.||Body language cues can be harder to decipher than in face-to-face instances.|
|No lost productivity for people out of the office traveling to a physical meeting.||It’s difficult to manage participants’ distractions.|
One of the cons of virtual meetings is distractions and one of the ways to ensure you get maximum participation from everyone is to make a virtual meeting engaging. That’s done through increasing interaction (more on this later).
Both face to face and virtual meetings have their benefits and disadvantages. There is no need to let face to face meetings vs virtual meetings. The best thing to do is to combine the two. The first stages of an engagement or project should be handled by face to face meetings, so the most important details can be discussed and then a follow up meetings can be done virtually. The final meeting should also be done in person. Ask yourself what the goals of the meeting are and how busy the people you are inviting to the meeting are before deciding on the right way to go about it.