There was a time when in-person meetings were the only way for people to communicate ideas to one another. With advancements in technology such as emails and virtual meetings by Skype and Facetime, fewer and fewer meetings are done in person today. Although virtual meetings may be more convenient, they create barriers between attendees, making it harder to truly focus and engage.

Here are the 5 main reasons why in-person meetings are here to stay:

1. Reduce distractions

alt

Have you conducted a virtual meeting on your bed? Do you check your emails during a conference call? With advancements in technology, people are more compelled to multitask during virtual meetings. In-person meetings do not allow this type of behavior and you have to stay engaged with the content throughout the duration of the meeting. Without distractions, you can communicate your ideas more effectively and pay closer attention to others.

2. Avoid technical issues

alt

Video conferencing seems like a good alternative for in-person meetings, but we all know the struggle of dealing with technical issues and poor connectivity during a video call. Although video conferencing allows face-to-face interactions, it is still far less effective than in-person meetings. People still feel disadvantaged and disconnected when attending meetings remotely. Side meetings and distractions can still occur outside the frame of a video call.

3. Inspire positive reactions

alt

It is not what you say, but how you say it. Use body language and facial expressions to convey your message effectively. If the speaker is trying to arouse enthusiasm and passion in listeners, then in-person meetings offer a valuable opportunity to spread these attitudes. Just like when you share a good laugh with your friends, positive emotions can spread in the meeting room among a large group of people and make everyone more open to new experiences.

4. Allow “free speech”

alt

When you are communicating through email or telephone, your conversations will be much more guarded. It can be hard to share important information over the phone because your coworkers can hear your conversations. When attending an in-person meeting, there are more opportunities to speak freely about issues within the company. You will be "off the record" and feel more comfortable expressing your ideas.

5. Build closer relationships

alt

In-person meetings provide opportunities for meeting attendees to bond with each other before, during, and after meetings. This will help fosters feelings of trust and empathy, which are essential to building successful business relationships. While virtual meetings allow people to share a connection with one another, the lack of face-to-face limits on the amount of connection that can be shared.

Next time you turn on your webcam, think twice. Of course, there are factors of cost, time and distance, but try to make the effort to meet in person if you can.

10 tips for having the most engaging in-person meeting:

1) Connect with your eyes, but don't stare.
2) Nod and show that you are paying close attention to what they are saying.
3) Have all the distractions put away, including your phone.
4) Don't interrupt.
5) Let the other person choose the pace of the conversation.
7) Don't sigh because it can come across as you being bored.
8) Summarize what the other person said to make sure there aren’t any misunderstandings.
9) Remember to thank them for being open and direct.
10) Try to remember the details, so when you meet again, you can prove that you were engaged.

Visit Quikspaces.com to find amazing venues for your next in-person meeting!