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The COVID-19 pandemic took face-to-face meetings from the norm to almost extinct. With employees slowly getting back into the office and traveling for work, in-person meetings are returning once again–and for good reason.

According to the 2009 Forbes Insights survey, eight out of ten surveyed expressed a preference for in-person meetings rather than using some sort of technology. Fast forward over a decade–and pandemic–later and the business world still is benefiting from in-person meetings.

Face-to-Face Meeting Benefits

The benefits of in-person meetings–such as the points below–are being recognized as businesses transition back to some form of normalcy after the pandemic.

Easier to Read Body Language

When you’re meeting with your business partners via video conferencing technology, it can be incredibly hard to read the gestures and expressions of those on the other end. Even certain voice dynamics–such as sarcasm and humor–can be tricky to decipher through video chat. Even though technology has improved drastically over the last couple of years, corporate meetings through video chat can’t compare to in-person meetings.

When you conduct an in-person meeting, it’s often easier to read the body language of those around you. Micro-behaviors and eye contact become more noticeable when a business team is together in the same physical space. Meeting leaders can also pick up nonverbal cues with less stress from a video conferencing screen.

Fewer Distractions from Technology

When less technology is involved in a meeting, productivity and focus seem to improve. A major benefit of in-person meetings is the ability to focus on human interaction rather than a screen. Conversations often become more involved when people are together in the same physical space.

When a laptop or tablet screen is involved at a meeting, multitasking is more likely during a call. If many tabs are open, it only takes a quick swipe to check emails, work on other business needs, or check the latest news. When technology is put away and attention is given, productivity improves–and feeling accomplished at the end of the day is a wonderful feeling!

Increase in Purposeful Engagement

When a business meeting has fewer technological distractions and meeting-goers can read the body language of others, purposeful discussion takes place. Creative sparks fly and new ideas form when deep discussions happen. Genuine ideas aren’t always easy to come by when discussed through video conferencing tools. When different personalities come together and begin sharing thoughts, that’s when real business magic happens!

The key to having purposeful engagement during a corporate meeting or conference is to make sure everyone there is fully engaged. The above two details are great starting points when it comes to leading a successful in-person meeting. The next step is to discuss points that tap into the interest of everyone involved. Of course, not all business meetings will be exciting. However, if everyone is physically and mentally present, anything is possible.

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