Perhaps the virtue of virtual meetings is best realized in a state of emergency or crisis as the one the world is experiencing now. One of the major technological advancements, virtual meetings have already proven to be a cost-effective and efficient way to host conferences and meetings when the participants are located in different geographical and time zones. A virtual meeting is a set up where people around the world irrespective of their location, use video or audio to connect with others online. In the present scenario, where most businesses are shut down and maintaining social distance due to COVID-19, virtual meetings have become very useful in connecting business team members enabling leaders to make important decisions and ensure continuity of business functions to the maximum extent possible. Physical or virtual, meetings can be recorded and transcribed with the support of a reliable business transcription service.
In virtual meetings, voice and eye tracking technology gives a sense of eye contact and facial expression and virtual reality adds an interpersonal connection that video or phone cannot do. There are several virtual meeting applications like Zoom, Webex, Skype, Slack, Zoho meeting, GoToMeeting and so on. It is true that many business enterprises are shifting to environmental culture and creating connection and team culture. Although a virtual environment could lead to lost opportunity for such informal interactions, the significant advantage is that you can still keep in touch and make valuable business decisions even during the period of disruption.
Virtual meetings have been useful for businesses to stay in touch with employees and to work and collaborate remotely, but the question now is whether virtual conference will continue as a trend even after the COVID pandemic is over. It is estimated that the global events industry will experience huge losses on account of the economic shutdown. Data from Data Connectors developed by NowSourcing shows that currently the global industry stands at $1.5 trillion. However, the COVID-19 crisis has led to the cancellation or rescheduling of the vast majority of planned events, and many other events are being conducted virtually. Individual vendors and attendees faced huge losses.
Virtual Meeting Advantages
The outbreak of COVID 19 has forced businesses to consider other ways of conducting meetings and most organizations are adapting to holding virtual and even holographic conferences. By 2021, video conferencing and web conferencing will capture about 80 percent of internet traffic. According to Market Research Media, the virtual event market is expected to grow from $14 billion to $18 billion by the year 2023. The advantages of virtual meetings are:
- Less expensive: As there is no need for travelling and staying in hotels, businesses can save a good amount of cost related to their meeting budget.
- Better accessibility: When people have access to their own computers, there is no need for conference rooms. Urgent conferences can be arranged in a timely manner, and there are greater opportunities for multiple meetings or check-ins in quicker succession.
- Share information: Virtual meetings can cover trainings, on-boarding sessions, and other events that require an excess of information sharing. Recording conferences makes it easier to show the meeting to anyone who was unable to attend; or reuse it for future training sessions.
- Improved productivity: Since there are not travelling required, employees can prepare well and focus on improving productivity.
- Be environment friendly: One out of ten millennials say that working for a sustainable company is one of their top priorities, compared to 77 percent of the baby-boomer generation. So, with virtual meetings, business can go green and avoid the use of pamphlets or papers.
Many companies are investing in virtual meetings and it is in an experimental stage. Technological advancements are transforming the conventional ways of conducting meetings to virtual meetings. Virtual meetings could be the norm even after the current health emergency passes because many businesses have realized the advantages provided by this model. To make any meeting more efficient, recording it and getting it transcribed by a business transcription service are necessary steps to take.