Can Virtual Meetings Replace Traditional Meetings?

What are virtual conferences?

Virtual conferences and meetings have long been used by business owners who are outsourcing certain operations of their business. Project managers, in particular, are fond of using virtual meeting applications to discuss progress with team members who are in remote locations. Business to business appointments can also be conducted online. B2b virtual meetings allow time-pressed business owners to accomplish more tasks without needing to travel to distant locations. Large expenses can be avoided, particularly with accommodation and fares. Having virtual meetings is extremely helpful for small and medium sized companies who want to expand globally, but do not yet have the current resources to meet with potential b2b leads located around the world.

There are various software available that allow for comprehensive virtual meetings. These applications include sharing of specific applications relevant to the meeting, recording meetings for future references, chat, email and desktop sharing functions.

Virtual meeting etiquette

Here are a few pointers to remember when conducting video meetings:

  • As with a traditional meeting, make sure that you have complete privacy before starting your virtual meeting to avoid unnecessary distractions.
  • Check that all software and hardware are working properly prior to starting the meeting. Audio volume should be appropriate to ensure clarity of discussion. Ask your co-attendees to position themselves in the best light so that they can be seen clearly on the video screen.
  • Dress appropriately for the occasion. You may be hosting the meeting in the comforts of your home office, but that doesn’t mean you can show up in your home clothes. Your dress code during appointments is important, as it expresses how serious you are about earning the business of potential b2b leads.
  • Behave as you would in a regular face to face meeting. Multitasking (i.e. checking emails, using your mobile phone, typing unrelated matters on your keyboard, checking other programs on your computer) is very distracting for others in the meeting.

Should it replace traditional meetings?

While virtual conference softwares provide a cheaper means of connecting with your business leads, ideally, all important meetings should be done face to face. There is no substitute for conducting b2b appointments face to face. The amount of insights you can get from actually meeting with your clients is invaluable. Body language, minute tone inflections, even the type of beverage they order can point to their propensity of doing business with you. If frequent face to face meetings are not possible with your current company budget, consider having virtual meetings only with your already existing clients. New business leads should always be met face to face. You should show your business leads that you are willing to set aside time to meet with them. Ideally, whether you are outsourcing your business appointment setting service or hosting it yourself, you should instruct your appointment setters to inquire if business leads are willing to conduct meetings online; some business leads may be wanting to save on expenses as well.

This post originally appeared at CallBoxInc