The world has gone digital and most offices are leaning that way as well. With today’s technology, holding meetings online is an efficient alternative to holding meetings in person. So, how do you choose between digital and physical meetings?
The first step in deciding which forum to use for your meeting is to understand your objective. What is the purpose of this meeting? Are you looking to present or convey information? Maybe you want to solicit ideas or brainstorm solutions. Each style of meeting works better for different kinds of objectives, so it is important to establish your goals early. Next, consider the key stakeholders for this meeting. How many people do you expect to participate? Even more importantly, where are these people located?
When to meet in person
If all attendees are already located in one place and that place has an ideal meeting space, having the meeting in person seems logical. However, if your staff are scattered, or many participants would need to commute a notable distance to attend the meeting, it may be more efficient to hold your meeting online.
In-person meetings are best for situations in which physical presence is advantageous. For example, when you need to touch things, such as product samples, then it is clearly necessary to meet in person. Similarly, if you are meeting someone for the first time and hope to begin building a business relationship, meeting in-person is preferable so that you can establish rapport. This type of meeting is also best when everyone is already conveniently near the meeting location and won’t lose valuable time and money on transportation.
The advantages of online meetings
Online meetings, on the other hand, are ideal for everything else. Perhaps the most valuable benefit of holding your meeting online is efficiency. With online meetings, it doesn’t matter where your staff are located. Rather than wasting time commuting from point A to point B, participants simply log in from their desks. This is even more valuable when your participants would have been travelling from other cities.
In addition to saving time, online meetings save money. The expenses associated with in-person meetings such as flights, accommodation and car hire are unnecessary when participants only need to log in to an online account. This doesn’t even factor in the billable hours lost in transit.
With online meetings, you can disperse information quickly and easily. By sending the materials digitally, you not only give your participants faster access but you also save on printing costs as well. You can even gather data rapidly with features which allow you to conduct instant surveys or voting sessions.
When it comes to meeting formats, it is important to get the right match for your needs. With a little advance planning, you can make sure that your meeting happens in the right place. Nothing says project success like an efficiently-run meeting.