A recent Forbes survey shows business executives prefer face-to-face meetings over those of the virtual type. As expected 58% of respondents said they were travelling for business less today than they were at the beginning of the recession in January 2008, with more than a third (34%) indicating they were travelling much less frequently.
What seems obvious (to me anyway) is that executives still expressed an overwhelming preference for face-to-face meetings, with more than eight out of ten (84%) saying they prefer in-person contact to virtual.
Even more interesting, those that prefer face-to-face meetings believe they facilitate the following: Building stronger, more meaningful relationships (85%), the ability to "read" another person (77%), and Greater social interaction (75%).
Other tidbits worth sharing, 64% of those who prefer technology-enabled business meetings like them because they allow them to multitask and 87% agree that there are tangible business benefits to in-person, face-to-face meetings that outweigh the cost savings of alternative, technology-based meeting methods such as web conferencing or videoconferencing.
I find this survey refreshing as it confirms what we may all know - that
face-to-face meetings are much better than meeting in any other way.
The timing of these survey results are interesting as I am headed to TMC's ITEXPO (Sept. 1-3, 2009 in Los Angeles) -- (This photo was taken at the last ITEXPO this past winter in Miami) to engage in a live event which focuses on virtual meeting technology based on IP communications. As it happens, the attendance to the exhibit hall portion of ITEXPO is ahead of last year and I am thrilled to welcome the global crowd to the exhibit hall and conference areas.
I take this as a sign that although IP communications technology is gaining more traction by the day, sometimes, face-to-face gatherings are the best way to learn more about how to meet virtually, save money on communications and boost productivity. :)