WHY FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS STILL RULE THE ROOST
Virtual meetings have an important role to play in a digital age, but face-to-face meetings are still as vital as ever. Instead of replacing traditional meetings, Skype, video conferencing and digital tools now complement them, helping colleagues and clients to stay in touch via a range of channels.
At Basepoint, our network of business centres offer serviced meeting rooms with excellent facilities. They can be hired by licensees based in our centres, users of our virtual offices and other businesses and individuals. Here we look at 6 reasons why face-to-face meetings are so important.
Building Relationships – The value of networking is increasingly recognised, and meetings play a key part of this. Taking the time to talk face to face is appreciated by clients and shows how much you value them. Meeting face to face can also help people working together to build trust and get to know each other better, getting a feel of each other as individuals.
Both formal and informal meetings are important in this, with serviced meeting rooms and a chat over coffee in a breakout area having different roles to play. While digital channels are great for staying in contact from day to day, the human touch is still irreplaceable.
Body Language – It is often possible to get people more enthusiastic about a project when you meet in person, where drive and energy can prove contagious. Meetings also offer an opportunity for reading the body language of everyone taking part. It is often easier to tell just how committed a colleague or client is to a campaign or plan of work when talking direct, and to pick up any reservations or feelings of doubt.
Getting Full Picture – If there is a difficult business decision to be made which keeps being avoided, meetings with everyone round the table offer a better platform for looking at this than email or phone calls. Face-to-face meetings also offer valuable opportunities for speaking “off the record”. There is often the chance of informal chats, sometimes with just one or two key contacts, before or after meetings, and people may be more forthcoming in person than over the phone.
Making an Impression – If clients or contacts come to you for a meeting, there is a chance for you to give them an impression of your company culture. Having good facilities where you can welcome them, such as the meeting rooms in Basepoint centres, will reinforce your image as professional and efficient. Also, if you visit contacts on some occasions for meetings in their offices, it will help you to see exactly how their company is currently positioned.
Full Attention – Meeting in person avoids the risk of participants being distracted by other duties. Increasingly, we have all become used to juggling different tasks in our working lives, but multi-tasking can have a negative effect on phone meetings. If people are speaking to you while doing other things, such as checking their emails or looking at spreadsheets, you will not have their full concentration.
Organising Time – It is often easier to be organised and structured when holding a face-to-face business meeting than when phone or video conferencing. You can schedule the time, draw up an agenda with main pointers for your discussion and decide in advance when to finish. Phone or virtual meetings can be more likely to jump around and to carry on too long, with nobody wanting to be the first one to hang up.
Basepoint runs a network of affordable office centres in 32 UK locations . We offer serviced meeting rooms to hire with facilities including free parking, wi-fi, wipe boards, flip-charts and AV equipment available to rent, while refreshments and catering are also available. At some centres, the rooms include large LED TVs with Apple TV and Chromecast.
Licensees, including those using virtual office services, can also use the informal breakout facilities to chat with colleagues and customers.