Face to Face

Why Face to Face meetings matters

17 November 2020
Sometimes it’s easy to forget why people get together, what the benefits are and how these benefits have increased tenfold since the pandemic.
So, what are the advantages of meeting a client, a colleague or a friend, face to face; for starters it shows that an effort has been made, it also demonstrates the importance of the meeting and that its worthy of their presence, especially as organising an event or a meeting isn’t as straight forward as it used to be.
A meeting isn’t just about the words spoken, it’s also about what’s not being said, facial expressions, posture and eye contact, all important elements in any meeting, whether it’s for business or pleasure. The body language of a participant helps to indicate an interest in the conversation or discussion, it also indicates if the discussion needs to be adjusted to keep everyone’s attention, easy to do face to face but not really possible on a video call unless you ask and get an honest reply.
Tone of voice and how you present yourself can be deciding factors on the outcome of many meetings, first impressions provide clients with the confidence that their business will be handled with the same amount of care you have put into your own appearance and meeting preparation.
Over the past few months, we have seen the demand for the offsite meeting return, even with the new limitations, this shows how important businesses deem a face to face meeting to be.
However, what use to be a monthly meeting is now a quarterly meeting, so getting the most out of them is paramount, effective planning, setting realistic objectives and establishing clear actions are key.
Since the start of the pandemic PRIORITY have been monitoring venues and accommodation to ensure we are informed of establishments that are open, what they offer and the procedures they’ve put in place to ensure participant safety, especially when hosting events.
Clear Communication from the Start – during the planning process of a meeting or event there can be many forms of communication to minimise confusion and missing information, we’d suggest combining all material together either in an email, email attachment or even a printed pack.
It’s the best way to provide the attendees with all the information they need, having a FAQ section will help answer a lot of questions, saving the organisers time, especially around the ongoing pandemic and the safety procedures put in place by the venue and the company.
Clear Minds - Attendees should be well rested and relaxed before a meeting or an event, you’ll get more interaction from the start, no one wants to jump straight into a daylong meeting immediately after a long flight, train or car journey, so if you have people travelling from a distance, offer accommodation the night before so they are refreshed for the meeting ahead. Alternatively make sure you get everyone involved at the start of the meeting, making them more receptive for the rest of the day.
Clear Meeting Schedule – Always try and keep to the plan, attendees will be planning their day based on the information provided so sticking to it is crucial, having to rush due to a presentation over running can not only leave the attendees frustrated, it also lessens participation as people refrain from further communication due to knowing time is short. Don’t try and squeeze too much into the day, provide plenty of time for each agenda point, this will increase interaction and possibly end up unearthing that solution you’re looking for.
When a schedule slips breaks can become a matter of minutes and the attendee has less time to refresh and prepare their mind for the next topic. The break and associated refreshments are an important part of any event so stick to them and use the opportunity to encourage your delegates to do some informal thinking around what the event is about - people can come up with some great ideas over a coffee and a slice of cake.
Clear Involvement - there are so many ways in which you can make a meeting more engaging, not least by increasing the interactivity between everyone present. Sometimes that can be as simple as making sure everyone has a chance to speak, but there are also some technology solutions you can use to get people putting ideas together on a smart wall which you can save and bring along to a later meeting.
The UK is amongst the best places to meet and talk - research from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has seen the UK move into the top three destinations in the world for international association meetings. Ultimately, whether you are getting together with thirty people or several colleagues, the intention is to make decisions as productively as possible. Helping you do that, makes us feel even better about the service we provide.
For guidance on your future events please contact our team at [email protected]
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