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Business Meetings of the Future - Virtual or Face to Face?

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To push your paradigm, challenge your business meeting processes, here is a recent article based on an interview of experts.

May 2010

The Meeting of the Future

To get some probable answers, Meetings Media spoke with an assortment of industry gurus who have witnessed their share of cycles and changes affecting meetings and events. They are business and marketing consultant Stan Aaronson, CSEP, owner of S M Aaronson Marketing Strategies; demographics expert Maddy Dychtwald, co-founder of Age Wave and author of the new book <>; meetings management consultant Daphne Meyers, CMM, of the Red Barn Group; meetings technology consultant Corbin Ball, CSP. CMP, of Corbin Ball Associates.; and trade show and event marketing consultant Charles Allen of C.W. Allen Group.

Will virtual technology have much more of an impact on meetings than it does now, perhaps reducing the size and number of face-to-face meetings?

Stan Aaronson: We will see more hybrid meetings, where there are virtual and face-to-face components. The fact that there are so many people working on a contract basis or remotely from the office is having a big impact on meetings. Increasingly, you will have the in-house people meeting in the conference room, while others are linked into it.

One reason that face-to-face-meetings won’t go away is that you can’t get the same kind of synergy from a virtual event. All five of the senses need to be stimulated for retrievable memories to be created. Virtual meetings can’t do this. That’s why food is an important part of a meeting.

Will perception issues continue to have a big impact on meetings? Is the big splashy sales incentive a thing of the past or might it return with a stronger economy?

Stan Aaronson: Perception issues aren’t about the economy but about competition. The reason that people have cancelled meetings is not about money but out of fear that the competition will spin it against them.

We were going to produce an event in Surinam, but the client cancelled because the competition got wind of it and was gearing up to make them look bad in the press. I don’t see this kind of thing changing. It just becomes more critical to focus on the purpose of the meeting.

You can read the rest of the article here

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Topics: Business Technology