While the rise of digital technology has transformed daily communication, in-person meetings remain crucial for developing business relationships. A face-to-face meeting allows you to increase engagement, improve communication, obtain loyalty, and build trust among coworkers and clients. To understand why in-personal meetings are still relevant, let’s look at some of the many benefits they offer.
Benefits of Face-to-Face Meetings
Building Strong Relationships
Why are face-to-face meetings so important for building quality, long-term relationships? First, clients need to know they are important, and meeting them in person demonstrates that you value their business. Personal attention shows that you are actively involved and invested in the business relationship.
When it is time to brainstorm and collaborate, a face-to-face meeting is ideal for allowing everyone to participate. Following nonverbal and social cues, participants can tell when someone else is finished talking and can be confident they will not talk over each other. Finally, in-person meetings allow the team to brainstorm tangibly with a whiteboard and collaborate more naturally.
Limiting Technology Issues
The ability to communicate with multiple people across the building or worldwide without having to leave your seat is undoubtedly useful. However, there are times when technology, such as camera and microphone difficulties, make it challenging. In addition, internet connections may drop or lag, making people feel disconnected. With face-to-face meetings, everyone can be engaged in the meeting and presentation.
Interpret Nonverbal Cues
A quick email or conference call may work for relaying simple messages, but communication goes far beyond words. Even video conferencing can make it challenging to interpret nonverbal cues, especially with technological issues. If you want to read the room, you need to be able to read facial expressions, gestures, and overall body language in real-time.
Engage in Purposeful Small Talk
Casual small talk can help people relax. It is another simple way to strengthen relationships because you can find common interests and show interest in them as an individual, not just as a business associate. Sometimes small talk leads to useful information that can benefit future projects and business endeavors. Allow a few minutes before or after face-to-face meetings for casual conversations.
Address Sensitive Issues
The best way to address sensitive issues is in person. It will allow you to explain the problem thoroughly and leaves less room for misinterpretation. Additionally, it will enable you to express empathy, which can be hard to convey through an email. Working through issues together can be more effective when everyone is present and actively involved.
It can be tempting to multitask or easy to lose focus when on phone or video conferences. However, face-to-face meetings limit distractions and can increase focus when everyone is in the same space.
Increase Engagement and Participation
To increase engagement and participation, you need participants to be fully present. Many of the benefits previously mentioned, such as being able to read nonverbal cues, eliminating technology problems, and increasing focus, will allow everyone to be fully present for the experience. When everyone is in the same room face to face and gets a feel for the tone of the meeting, they are more likely to engage and positively contribute to the conversation.
Face-to-Face Meeting Tips
Follow these meeting planning tips for a more productive face-to-face meeting, have a specific purpose for the meeting, and make sure everyone understands the purpose of the meeting.
- Create an agenda so participants know what topics will be addressed and can be prepared to contribute.
- Schedule the proper amount of time – if you don’t reach your objective by the end of the meeting, schedule a follow-up instead of expecting everyone to stay over.
- Allow participants to engage and contribute by asking questions and leaving time for open dialogue.
- Hire a professional event planner to ensure that important meetings and conferences are handled properly.
Miller Tanner Associates understand the Importance of Face-to-Face Events
When your schedule is packed, but you have a crucial meeting to execute, there is immense value in trusting an expert event planner like Miller Tanner Associates. With our decades of experience, we know how to deliver superior experiences every time.
Contact us today to begin planning a meeting that exceeds your expectations.