Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wonder Wednesdays: F2F Meetings vs. Video Conferencing

We live in a time where information is accessible to us in the blink of an eye or rather the click of a button. Chatting with friends who live across the country or even the world is no big deal. The advances that have been made in technology in the past decade are mind boggling. We can now video conference with people anywhere at a fraction of the cost that it takes to have a face-to-face (F2F) meeting. Which begs us to ask the question, why have F2F meetings anymore? Today we will compare the pro’s and con’s of each and let you, the reader, see the benefits of why F2F meetings are still the best.
Anyone who has used Skype, Oovoo, or any number of free video chat software knows how easy it is to video chat and the biggest perk? It’s free. Now let’s compare this to a F2F meeting which requires making travel arrangements, lodging, transportation, meeting space, and so much more. Why would we have a F2F meeting when we could save ourselves all this trouble and money? There are some things that a video conference cannot replace ever. Having the ability to sit down with a fellow while listening to an expert in your field, enjoy a meal, and make real connections is something that a video conference cannot ever be a substitute for. Sure you may save yourself a ton of money but you would not be able to experience a new location, meet someone face to face and shake their hand, or be surrounded by a number of people who share the same passion and interests that you do in the same room.
Some may argue that having to travel to meetings and conferences is detrimental to productivity because of the stress involved with travel. However, this is not the case. Oftentimes, meetings and conferences will be held in either a large city or resorts across the world that otherwise the attendees probably wouldn’t be visiting on their own dime. Traveling to these locations gives the attendees a chance to experience a new place, meet new people, and relax away from the stressful office environment that they are in most of the time. This time away, while still considered work, is much more relaxing and conducive to productivity. Talking to people who are in the same industry allows for more creativity and flow of ideas.
Let’s say Wicked is your absolute favorite musical on Broadway. Wouldn’t you rather see it live instead of watching it full-screen on your computer screen? This is the same for video conferencing. Yes, it may be more convenient and leave a smaller footprint. However, it cannot compare to seeing a speaker in the flesh and having the chance to go speak to them afterward where they could answer all the questions you have. It is so much easier to make a personal connection face to face than seeing someone over a computer screen. This is something that is irreplaceable.
We have outlined some of the many reasons why F2F meetings are still relevant in the world and how they compare to video conferencing. This is not to say that we shouldn't use video conferencing. For small meetings and calls, it is a great resource that would help to get information across more effectively than just regular phone calls or emails. However, in a larger setting, it cannot substitute for the experience of being there in person.

1 comment:

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