With the ongoing coronavirus it’s become apparent that in today’s business world of video meetings and teleconferences, the value of face-to-face encounters can often get overlooked. Collaboration and conferencing tools have made the way we communicate sprightly and convenient and are essential for conducting day-to-day business. But when it’s very important business, nothing is as effective as a face-to-face meeting. In a world of advanced communication technology where Zoom and FaceTime are the norm, it’s difficult to remember a time when face-to-face meetings were the only way to conduct business.
There’s something about face-to-face communication that email, or any text-based communication for that matter, just can’t top. Personal communication seems best – whether you know the person or not. You should never underestimate the power of face-to-face communication. Research has shown that, even with all the advances in communication technologies, there is no substitute for interacting with your client or colleague in person, and here are the reasons why!
Communication between one another
“Humans need and crave other human interactions. It’s just not the same as doing a virtual meeting,” says Kira Lynch-Karras, Senior Client Services Manager at Catalyst Ranch. “Of course, it’s nice to see each other’s faces and hear their voices, but a face-to-face conversation is always going to be better than a virtual one.”
Better non-verbal understanding
Body language speaks a lot louder than words; you can gain a much better understanding of how a colleague or client is feeling than you would otherwise be able to through other forms of communication. “In my opinion, maybe the most important benefit is when you are talking to someone or a group of people in-person, you have the unique opportunity to read the audience and adjust your communication accordingly,” says Matt Gubernick, Client Services Manager at Catalyst Ranch. “Seeing how the people you are talking to react to what you’re saying can really help you make sure you’re explaining enough to ensure the information is retainable by those individuals.”
Time and money are always an issue with trying to meet a client face-to-face. However, the more in-person communication you can have the better. You’ll have their attention 100%, and your message is guaranteed to be heard.
More team participation
Getting your entire team in one room can be a hassle, but it’s worth it. People are more engaged and more collaborative in face-to-face settings. “It’s easier to brainstorm when you and your team are in one place all together,” says Lynch-Karras. “That means more ideas and more long-term innovation. And you cannot put a price on that kind of value.”
A client or colleague who never sees your face isn’t likely to feel the same connection to you as someone whose hand you shake on a regular basis. It’s the personal touch, face-to-face interaction and socialization that lead to a sense of community and camaraderie, which leads to stronger working relationship in the long-term.
Builds trust and transparency
When employees have a personal connection, there is a greater motivation to work together because there is accountability and mutual respect.
At Catalyst Ranch, Chicago’s most creative meeting venue located in the West Loop, we certainly believe in the value of face-to-face meetings. Our meeting space is, of course, designed to bring people together and foster communication and innovation. We practice what we preach! “All of the objects, furniture and artwork at Catalyst Ranch are great conversation starters – there is plenty to talk about. The team is immediately in awe as the creative thinking caps are slowly being lowered onto their heads,” says Lynch-Karras. “Catalyst Ranch has something for everyone, so each member of your group is curious or inspired by different things. That guarantees that each attendee will love the meeting. People come to Catalyst Ranch because it’s fun, inviting, and the meeting is guaranteed to be a success!”
It’s becoming easier every day to not have face-to-face meetings, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. In-person meetings simply have more to offer in the way of forging relationships and picking up on information that isn’t on the meeting agenda. In-person networking shouldn’t be excluded simply because of the emergence of digital technology. Even if you aim to meet one client face-to-face every month or fortnight, you will soon be rewarded with greater appreciation and stronger relationships with your clients. Face-to-face meetings tend to be more stressful than virtual ones because there are more logistics to cover. But they pay enormous dividends. Your presentations will be more convincing and most importantly, your relationships will be stronger.
Amanda Pink is the Marketing Manager at Catalyst Ranch
(312) 207-1710 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Catalyst Ranch is a unique meeting and events space located in Chicago’s West Loop, supported by a professional staff dedicated to providing a stimulating and electric environment that ignites the imagination.