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Face-to-Face Meetings VS Virtual Meetings

November 3, 2020

As a chain of London conference venues standing on the frontline of business destruction by Covid-19, we’ve had a front row seat witnessing the virtual events era rising to all time high. It is really impressive how technology has developed and managed to completely replace physical conferences and other events.

I have to admit that capabilities of some virtual event platforms are amazing, you can almost replicate a physical conference with built in networking via video chat, brand the conference room, add exhibitor tables and breakout rooms, invite people on stage and other interactive aspects, which is what we need at times when the whole world is severely impacted by covid restrictions. The question is – will this virtual events era carry on the momentum after we get the hang on how to deal with Covid?

Fast forward to the days when Covid vaccines and medications are available, when the “pandemic” status is reduced to the level of common cold, will people be still so keen on the virtual events?

Quoting Steve Jobs “There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and video chat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions”

We agree! Face to face meetings are so much more valuable. According to research, 85% of people believe that in person meetings contribute to more meaningful and stronger business relationships.

In addition to being able to read facial expressions, body language and establish eye contact, it is proved that face to face meetings leave more positive and lasting impressions than the virtual meetings. Also, in person meetings are considered more credible than conversations via video chat.

“Succeeding in business is all about making connections” – Richard Branson

Another issue with virtual events is technical issues. And I’m not only speaking about connectivity problems, camera quality or speaking on mute for 10 minutes. There are also security settings… Like firewalls preventing you to access virtual event websites. Not long ago we were hosting a virtual event for public sector and 50% of attendees weren’t able to participate due to exact same reason – NHS firewall settings.

So to answer the question “Is the future of business events is virtual?” The answer is NO! We predict that some types of events will probably remain virtual, but the ones that are dependent on making quality business connections will definitely make a return in their physical form. All those conference rooms and auditoriums which were left empty and abandoned for months will be buzzing again and I can promise you that everyone at Cavendish Venues will still be here silently waiting for our chance to shine again..

“Man is by nature a social animal” – Aristotle

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