Virtual Meetings Haven’t Taken Over Yet

By |Published On: February 1, 2010|

Several years ago, shortly after the internet was invented, the association and hospitality industries were very worried they would become dinosaurs because people no longer needed to meet in person.  I must admit as we all have more demands in our lives, professional and personal – connecting with people  through the internet as opposed to traveling to connect has some appeal.  We certainly are utilizing advances in technology to connect more often with members of our association partners through webinars, virtual committee meetings and more.  However, as time has passed, virtual meetings don’t seem to have taken over just yet.  Here are a few reasons why I think people will always need to meet face to face – at least occasionally:

1.  Business is all about relationships.  Relationships require some personal contact.

2.  People like a change of scenery.

3.  You can’t read the body language of all the people in the room when you’re meeting virtually.

4.  Marketing works and the hospitality industry wants us to travel to meetings.

These are some of my thoughts.  Do you have any to add to the list?  Do you think face to face meetings are going to be extinct?  Let me know what you think.


  1. Lee February 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    I think it will be a matter of degree.

    At some point it will look and feel as though you are in the room with the other participants in real time. Likewise, at some point our normal conversations with people far away will be in a virtual space where it seems as though you are face to face.

    Technology at that level when affordable won’t totally eliminate live meetings, but it can be expected to reduce their prevalence. The better and more virtual the technology, the less compelling is the need to travel and meet face-to-face.

  2. Janet February 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    I would agree that virtual meetings are inevitable – technology just keeps getting better and budgets get tighter. And face it, we all have more constraints on our time as well as a growing comfort level with technology. So we’ll work into this for some tasks like committee work. But it’s pretty hard to “work the room” at a virtual meeting. I’m not sure technology has come up with a replacement for the informal networking that happens before and after a meeting or during a reception or other more casual association event. However, these relationships are always the most valuable benefit association members point to. Sop= here’s another dilemma – if we meet in person less often, do we eventually lose the benefit of these personal relationships? Or do we work harder to maintain them?

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