For a lot of associations, offsite meetings could soon be a thing of the past. Now more than ever, technology can provide easier and more productive ways of communicating for board members and employees, no matter the location. According to Market Research Media, the virtual event market is expected to grow from $14 billion to $18 billion by the year 2023. All attendees need is a computer, an internet connection, and virtual meeting software. Here are several important benefits of switching over to virtual meetings and conferences.
Eliminating travel to and from in-person conferences also eliminates a large margin of cost. Airfare, vehicle rental, and hotel accommodations can quickly add up and take a large cut from your association’s budget. Opting in for more virtual meetings will allow you to save funds and time for other travel events, such as national-scale conventions, trainings, or meetings with larger clients or business partners where being face-to-face might be more beneficial.
When everyone can use their own computers and attend a meeting from their desk, there’s no need to worry about reserving a conference room or finding a suitable location for all attendees. Whether you’re unable to make it to your home-base office for whatever reason, or you are hosting a conference and need to connect with a client or partner across the country, attending a virtual meeting is hands-down easier than missing out or having to make complicated travel plans. Urgent conferences can be arranged in a timely manner, and there are greater opportunities for multiple meetings or check-ins in quicker succession.
The time needed for travel to and from in-person off-site meetings is a waste when it comes to productivity. Eliminating those few days of preparation and commuting allows you to put more time and energy into other workplace tasks, and get back to your day-to-day routine more quickly.
Virtual meetings can also cover trainings, onboarding sessions, and other events that require an excess of information sharing. Recording conferences is simple so that you can easily show the meeting to anyone who is unable to make it, or reuse it for future training sessions. With virtual meeting software, sharing audio and visual information is simple, and you can also use desktop sharing software to allow attendees to review documents or go through training materials. Instant chat options allow for nondisruptive question-and-answer interaction in real-time.
One underrated advantage of switching to virtual events is how environment-friendly they are. 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. Your association will be doing its part in “going green” by doing away with pamphlets and other paper tools that usually end up in the wastebasket after a meeting, as well as by eliminating carbon pollution associated with travel.
Finally, virtual meetings are a great way to connect to employees that are based off-site. As much as 65 percent of remote employees report that they have never had a team-building session. If you’re using virtual meetings for staff check-ins, be sure to set aside time for everyone to introduce themselves and get to know each other through ice breakers or other fun and lighthearted virtual team-building activities.