It is about time we stop pretending as if video conferencing is here to replace face-to-face meetings. Or that it gives a "life-like" experience, which will surely make airline companies redundant. As Rich Tehrani reports from a recent Forbes survey:
... 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...
... face-to-face meetings are much better than meeting in any other way.
The thing that people mostly miss when they dismiss video conferencing as a means for better communications is that it isn't here to replace face-to-face meetings - it is here to improve communications when you can't meet face-to-face.
If the choice was flying twice a month to the other side of the globe for a 2-days synchronization meetings or conducting an hourly video conferencing call each day of the month - which one would you prefer?
For me it would be the video conferencing alternative, for sure. And I say it as someone who flies quite often.
I don't like flying. I don't like the wasted time that it involves. I don't like being away from home for too long. I don't like missing the smile of my baby girl every morning.
I prefer meeting face-to-face. Always. But without the traveling part that it requires.
So video conferencing is not a matter of what kind of communication type do you prefer. It's a matter of what other alternatives you really have.