There was once a time when face to face meetings were the only way for people to hold discussions and communicate ideas to one another, hard to imagine I know as the ‘always-on’ culture continues to seep into every area of our daily lives. With the advent of technology, new, easier methods of communication are now available, things like virtual meetings by way of Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime and the good ol’ conference call are now commonplace.
However, while virtual meetings may be more convenient than scheduling meetings in-person, they create a barrier between attendees, making it harder to truly focus, engage and generate chemistry.
I’m a senior account manager at Ingenuity and based on my experiences, here’s a few reasons why I think meeting face to face is best:
- Body Language – We tend to forget that body language plays a major part in our communication. It is not just how you say something, but also your facial expressions, body posture and general energy. This is lost in a phone conversations.
- Ensures Engagement – Who knows what people are doing while on conference calls (you might not want to know…). Face-to-face meetings, however, leads to greater engagement. Why? Because you can’t fall asleep, play on your phone or work on something else in a face to face meeting.
- Drives Participation – When you are all in the same room, it encourages people to get stuck in, which is better for chemistry and ideas generation, resulting in a more beneficial and full-bodied meeting. You can’t go sit in the corner and think about what you’re having for dinner.
- More Efficient – Face-to-face meetings tend to be shorter than conference calls. On the phone, calls can be overcrowded and untargeted, whereas in face-to-face situations, there is a greater pressure to get to the point and have a free flowing conversation, which usually results in you uncovering something that the brand or agency might not have unveiled on a call.
With all of this in mind, a face to face meeting is a winning point of approach with regards to agencies clearly understanding the brand and communicating their challenges effectively. You can build trust and empathise, finding that perfect match and collaborative relationship between agency and brand. Think of it like your personal lives, you wouldn’t agree to spend the rest of your life with someone you have just spoken to on the phone!
By Hannah Baxter, Senior Account Manager.
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