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Types of Meetings

Types of Meetings

Types of Meetings

This is the fourth part of our series about meetings. For today’s post Yvette and I have decided to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of five aspects concerning the different types of meetings. However, we need to start off with the different types of meetings.

There are   

  • Face-to-Face &
  • Virtual meetings. These can be over the telephone or by using video conferencing software.

Of course, we’ve all had such meetings before and I’m sure you can relate to many points we’re going to share with you when focussing on the advantages and disadvantages of these types of meetings.

1. Location

Now obviously for face-to-face meetings everyone needs to be in the same place. Which means you might have extra costs, such as transport, accommodation, venue, catering and possibly for equipment as well. Whereas for virtual meetings you could be anywhere just like the other attendees, being together at the same location or in the same room is not necessary. What you need is a good and stable Internet connection and possibly virtual meeting software, depending on which devices you’re using or just a telephone connection. A further advantage of virtual is it’s environmentally friendly as no travelling is involved.

2. Time

For face-to-face meetings you need a lot of time, time to get there and time for the meeting and time to get back. Often such meetings take up half of your day or even more. Whereas for virtual meetings, if your software and Internet connection are stable and reliable you only need time for the meeting. Always assuming there are no technical issues and if you are pressed for time, then virtual is the best solution for you.

3. Distractions

In last week’s post you can read all about ‘Rules for Successful and Effective Meetings’  and if you follow our meeting rules, there shouldn’t be a problem with distractions. However, please consider in virtual meetings you can be more easily distracted as you are not bodily present at the meeting. Honestly, I find this aspect a challenge in virtual meetings, as you can get easily distracted and other attendees probably won’t even notice.

4. Communication

Normally face-to-face meetings are considered to be easier, because besides the words you also have body language, gestures and facial expressions to communicate. Which results in getting more immediate reactions and misunderstandings are less likely to occur. Of course this depends on your preferences, as some people feel more relaxed communicating when they can use all these means of communication: words, gestures, body language and facial expressions. Some people, however, don’t. They prefer communicating virtually, as they feel more comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, we all communicate virtually, if by phone, video conference, email or even via social media, some more than others.

A big advantage here is the reach you have, you can have a meeting with numerous people at the same time or a follow-up meeting with only one person. Another point to consider, for some people keeping a straight face during negotiations is easier in virtual meetings than in face-to-face meetings.

5. Minutes or recording of a meeting

At face-to-face meetings you have your written minutes or a visual graphic and at virtual meetings you can have a recording of the meeting. Personally, in my opinion, I think it’s easier and faster to go through a written record if you’ve attended the meeting. If you couldn’t attend, then a recording is definitely more convenient. It is the best possibility for you to relive the meeting as well, you just need to invest some time then.

What’s best?

This question comes up a lot. The answer actually depends on your goal. We suggest to do both types of meetings.

People trust people and want to have a live experience with real people and real surroundings, i. e. the physical presence of other attendees in a real room. Let’s say you’re planning to launch a new product or project with a team of international experts. Well in that case, having a face-to-face meeting at the beginning of such project or kick-off  would be very advantageous. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to meet each other and build trust and team spirit. Whereas the progress meetings could then be held virtually. Once everyone has met one another, it’s a lot easier to follow the other person’s train of thought and possibly understand them, if they have an accent or different language levels.

So, there you have it!

We’ve covered five important aspects and their advantages and disadvantages concerning face-to-face and virtual meetings. Of course we’re speaking from our experience. What about you? Is there something you’d like to add? Then please just schedule a call with me click here to schedule a call and tell me about it. Are you interested in other business English skills? Then check out the post about listening here and about using your voice effectively here

One more thing

We’d like to thank you for tuning in and downloading our podcast. We’d love to hear more from you. Most importantly you can help us by rating us on iTunes and if you like leave a review. By doing that you’ll help us get a bigger reach. We know that rating us takes up your time and that’s why we’ve decided to raffle three books among all of you who rate us on iTunes.

All you have to do to take part is to rate us and leave a comment. Make a screenshot of your rating and comment and send it to us either by email or as a DM on Instagram.

These are the books you can win: Atomic Habits by James Clear, Denglish for Better Knowers by Adam Fletcher and Paul Hawkins and Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. We’ve been told to prolong the raffle. You can participate till April 12. 2019. We will make the draw on 3 May 2019. Good luck!

Take care

Nadia 

PS Yvette and I have a podcast called “Your English Podcast”.  You can find it on iTunes and on Spotify sign up for it, so you don’t miss the next episode.

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