29 Jan 4 Reasons Face-to-Face Meetings Rule
Over the past month, many Americans have experienced severe hardships and trials due to the federal government shutdown. Thankfully it has ended, even if temporary. However, the experience left adverse effects on all sectors of business, including the events industry. From air travel delays to lack of patrons at restaurants to cancellation of important conferences, the effects were widespread and damaging. However, one aspect this situation also elevated was the importance of face-to-face meetings, especially during times of conflict.
It’s often easier for opposite parties to retreat and not want to engage. But that clearly doesn’t work. Plus, people do business with people, and most communication effectiveness is decided by non-verbal cues, which makes face-to-face meetings even more important. Not convinced? Consider the following to help make the case for face-to-face meetings:
Builds Trust. In our social media world, there are some who hide behind electronics to try and make their case. In many instances, they will say things via computer that they won’t say face-to-face. That’s why meeting in person is so powerful as it weeds out the faux versus fact, while establishing reliability and trust.
Translates Body Language. Have you ever been in a meeting room with people where the atmosphere seemed to be cold and distant? But after conversation and collective discussion, there seemed to be a thaw? This is one of the greatest powers of face-to-face meetings. You can better read people to determine how your message is being received and adjust as needed. It also helps to build camaraderie.
Focuses Attention. When meeting face-to-face, the meeting can go in different directions more naturally, which is critical in meetings of negotiation. When watching how people react, whether verbal or non-verbal, this can guide the discussion to better explain your point or ask for additional input from those around the room. These discussions can then lead to more opportunities.
Fosters Relationship. We are all human and you can’t handshake over email. Face-to-face communication emphasizes the human element and helps to build a relationship. This is true even if you may not like certain people – you can still build a relationship based on respect for their role. Meeting in person will be critical to this type of relationship, and over time, there might be other factors that emerge to help strengthen it.
It’s always beneficial to meet in person as this approach helps to emphasize that it’s not about you. Working together can achieve great results, which makes it well worth the investment.
What success have you had meeting face-to-face? We’d love to know!
Jennifer D. Collins is the founder, President, and CEO of JDC Events. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Digital Events Strategist (DES) and well known events industry thought leader. She is Vice Chair of the Board for WBEC Metro NY and WBEC Greater DMV, a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization (WPO), and the Author of Events Spark Change: A Guide to Designing Powerful and Engaging Events.