When we think about meetings and events, our mind often jumps straight to developing programs that prioritize in-person interaction. But what happens if you're no longer able to meet face to face? Although not always a preference, there are instances when hosting a virtual meeting can serve as a responsible option that keeps business moving forward while preventing outside circumstances from holding you back. Continue reading to learn about conscientious alternatives for in-person events during critical times.
Even in an increasingly digitized, global marketplace, face-to-face meetings and events will always have value. There are a few reasons for this: For one, building personal connections and relationships leads to trust, a critical component of doing business.
Secondly, in-person events lead to greater focus (think about how easy it is to multitask or tune out during a webinar on your laptop), and being able to be physically together, reading body language and understanding the pulse of the room, has a huge impact on engagement. Finally, there are certain things you cannot accomplish through a digital meeting, such as showcasing a product. You want to provide a hands-on experience where people can touch and experience a product, providing both credibility and transparency.
When to Implement Virtual Meetings
In today’s world, however, we’re seeing an increasing need for alternatives to in-person meetings for a number of factors, including the political and environmental climate (concern over climate change and carbon footprint of travel), as well as health concerns such as the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and resulting travel bans.
When these kinds of situations arise, it’s important to first evaluate your original plan for confirmed meetings and events to consider the viability and feasibility of executing them. If you conclude that an in-person meeting is not possible due to the circumstances, you can consider other options that leverage technology to accomplish the same objectives.
Here are some virtual meeting options:
- Host a webcast, which allows speakers to deliver keynotes to a large audience from different remote sites
- Use a two-way video feed to allow speakers to see and connect with the audience
- Utilize virtual meeting software and work with partners to provide necessary AV equipment to facilitate a seamless digital meeting
- Try a human hologram, or “humagram,” which virtualizes a speaker as if he/she is actually on the ground, providing a wow factor
Real-time example: Due to the spread of COVID-19, organizations are making the safety of their employees and clients their No. 1 priority and thereby canceling or postponing previously planned meetings and events requiring travel. This shows due diligence and corporate responsibility, since in-person events are now at risk.
As a leader in digital meetings, BCD Meetings & Events puts clients’ considerations top of mind when helping to execute both in-person and virtual meetings. Want to learn more? Contact our experts today.