With the recent climate, we are all now so used to working from home, Zoom calls and being part of Microsoft Teams. Now more than ever, we seem to be in an age of digital communication, with many companies not planning on changing this anywhere in the near future. But are face-to-face meetings still important? This article aims to discuss the benefits of face to face meetings and why they are still important even in today’s digital world.
In recent years, there has been a lot of reports and statistics on how meetings are a waste of time. And this is correct. A meeting that is poorly organised and can easily be done via email is in fact a waste of time.
But this doesn’t mean we should eliminate face-to-face communication from our world. A short, well planned, well-structured and organised meeting can in fact save your company time and money. Not to mention, showing your face to the client every once in a while, is key in building those oh so important relationships.
Not quite what you’re after? We also have a blog on 70 of the best one to one meeting questions for managers.
Benefits of face to face meetings
Sometimes face to face meetings are crucial in enhancing your client relationship to the next level, building trust and obtaining loyalty. We have put together our list of the most vital reasons why face to face meetings are still important and the benefits of face to face meetings.
Face to face communication is important for building strong relationships
Did you know that nearly 100% of people say face-to-face communication is essential for long-term business relationships? That’s right, almost 100%!
Meeting your client in person demonstrates that you value their time and business. If you can go to the effort of getting smartly dressed and driving across the country for a meeting, you are clearly a dedicated and motivated individual. It shows the client that they are important to you and the meeting topic in question is worth valuable time.
Face to face meetings is key to building strong relationships. The customer or client will feel as if they have connected with you better if you meet with them in person over communication via email or phone. The personal attention you are showing the clients proves that you are actively listening to them, therefore building stronger relationships.
Face to face communication also allows you to better read hand gestures, body language and facial expressions. Often things can be misinterpreted when on a video chat and especially over email or instant messages! Meeting face to face enables you to properly read the room.
Face to face meetings are important for loyalty and trust
Did you know that customers with an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend the company at a rate of 71%, rather than the average rate of 45%? (View source here).
Face to face meetings with clients and customers will increase the emotional relationship and will help build loyalty. As humans, we naturally want to meet and interact with the people we are doing business with. Especially at the beginning of a client relationship, where the trust has not yet been established.
Lost language is a problem you will find if you solely rely on technology for communication. Body language, eye contact and tone of voice are immensely important in establishing a loyal client and this is lost when you are only communicating through email.
Face to face meetings with clients and customers prove that you are dedicated and want to listen and build a relationship with them.
Face to face meetings are more focused and productive
Yes, we have all been stuck in an internal meeting that has been a total waste of time. But a properly organised and structured face to face meeting is actually more productive than video conferencing, a phone call or email chains.
Did you know that on average, an in-person meeting will generate about 13.36 ideas, whereas a virtual meeting will only generate around 10.43? View source. This is because we communicate with each other better when we have face to face interaction.
Virtual meetings are great because they can be more convenient, but they can also be more awkward. It is more difficult to mind map ideas within the company and has in-depth discussions. A large number of people also admit to browsing social media to pass the time when on audio-only conference calls.
It is also more tempting to browse your text messages or social media profiles when you are on a virtual call. Face to face communication means that the temptation of checking your phone is eliminated.
Face to face meetings clearly communicate goals
Another reason why face to face meetings are still so important is that it is much easier to communicate goals and objectives. This is because we can easily read facial expressions and body language. The conversations we have in person are often deemed to be more credible and beneficial than those done via technology.
With face to face meetings, the chat is usually more to the point, meaning that the conversation will flow a lot more naturally. This enables us to be clearer with our objectives, come up with more ideas and lead to more opportunities for the business.
The takeaway notes and actions from face-to-face meetings are also a lot clearer than if you were hosting a meeting online. That’s because it is easy to misinterpret an action point or takeaway note if you can’t properly communicate with your colleagues.
Face to face meetings helps make focusing easier
Technology is great! Nobody is denying that. However, we can all admit that we have been less focused during a virtual meeting. Sat on our computer, the temptation to sit and scroll through social media through a drab internal meeting is tempting. And we have all done it.
It’s not only social media that causes an issue for virtual meetings. People tend to multi-task throughout and this includes replying to emails or continuing with their project. This means that more often than not people in a virtual meeting are not fully concentrating on the meeting topic and are distracted.
However, in a face to face meeting, the chance to get distracted is greatly minimised. It would be considered extremely rude to get your phone out during a meeting and start scrolling through social media or checking your emails.
People tend to engage more in face to face meetings because there isn’t that opportunity to do anything else, meaning that in-person meetings are still relevant and important, even in today’s world of technology.
The importance of face to face meetings and face to face communication
We have outlined the 5 benefits of face to face meetings and why you should be utilising face to face communication. We also explained why they are still important, even in today’s digital age. Virtual meetings are great but even in today’s climate, it is still necessary to meet face to face. We understand that working from home is the new way to work, but sometimes a virtual meeting just won’t do.
As a quick recap, the 5 main reasons why we still need face to face meetings and face to face communication are:
- Face to face meetings are important for building strong relationships
- Face to face meetings are important for loyalty and trust
- Face to face meetings are more focused and productive
- Face to face meetings clearly communicate goals
- Face to face meetings helps make focusing easier
At Yarnfield Park Conference and Training Centre, we understand that whilst your team may be working from home, you’ll still want to meet every now and then for a client or team meeting. We have 32 meeting rooms for hire at our venue in Staffordshire, that can be adapted to suit your needs. Our national training centre is compliant with social distancing and can be hired on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly ad-hoc basis – meaning you can save money on costly office rental contracts.
We also have some fantastic meeting packages that include day delegates and 24-hour rates.