We rely on an amazing amount of technology to stay connected: phone, email, text messaging, social networking sites, video conferencing. However, whenever possible, we prefer to meet in person.
According to a Forbes Insight survey of more than 750 businesses, 58% percent say they travel for business less than they did at the start of the recession in 2008. And eight of ten executives say they prefer face-to-face to virtual meetings. Those surveyed who prefer face-to-face meetings cite social interaction, the ability to more easily persuade, greater accountability, and a better environment for decision-making as primary reasons for their preference.
So...What About Virtual Meetings?
We take advantage of virtual meetings, a lot—without virtual technology, keeping in touch with international and opposite-coast clients could be complicated. We even use virtual meetings when there's a significant time-crunch or when we're traveling.
A few years back, we had the opportunity to work with our client in Germany and Denmark. After an in-person project kickoff meeting in Portland with the stakeholders, we spent several months meeting and collaborating virtually. When we finally did meet the rest of the team face-to-face, we found that the relationships we had forged virtually were solid.
By the way, we're still waiting for someone to invent the "morning mask" for early-morning video calls.