87% of Executives Agree Face-to-Face Meetings are Best

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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

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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. 🙂

  • StevenDuque
    April 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    A relevant blog post by a recent Harvard grad on why even techies (e.g., Steve Jobs & Eric Scmidt) prefer to meet face-to-face:
    http://tinyurl.com/LIFsocialinteraction
    An excerpt:
    To end, I’ll provide this brief excerpt from Atul Gawande’s beautifully written article in The New Yorker:
    “Human beings are social creatures. We are social not just in the trivial sense that we like company, and not just in the obvious sense that we each depend on others. We are social in a more elemental way: simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people.”

  • StevenDuque
    April 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    A relevant blog post by a recent Harvard grad on why even techies (e.g., Steve Jobs & Eric Scmidt) prefer to meet face-to-face:
    http://tinyurl.com/LIFsocialinteraction
    An excerpt:
    To end, I’ll provide this brief excerpt from Atul Gawande’s beautifully written article in The New Yorker:
    “Human beings are social creatures. We are social not just in the trivial sense that we like company, and not just in the obvious sense that we each depend on others. We are social in a more elemental way: simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people.”

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