The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the way we work and interact with one another.
One of the most significant changes has been the rise of virtual meetings, which have become a mainstay in the business world, and with our local Santa Barbara real estate brokerages and our Santa Barbara Association committees and board of directors.
As the world begins to reopen, many businesses are considering hybrid meetings combining in-person and virtual attendees. Check out some of the pros and cons of hybrid meetings.
Pros of Hybrid Meetings
Hybrid meetings offer greater flexibility than in-person meetings. Attendees can choose to participate in person or remotely, depending on their location, schedule and preference.
This flexibility can make it easier to schedule and coordinate meetings, especially for businesses with remote or distributed teams, making everyone very efficient.
- Cost savings
Hybrid meetings can also be more cost-effective than in-person meetings. Businesses can save on travel expenses and meeting room rentals by allowing some attendees to participate remotely.
- Increased accessibility
Hybrid meetings can increase accessibility for individuals with disabilities or other limitations. Remote attendees can participate from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier for individuals who may have difficulty traveling or attending in-person meetings.
Cons of Hybrid Meetings
- Technical difficulties
One of the main drawbacks of hybrid meetings is the potential for technical difficulties. Remote attendees may experience connectivity issues, or difficulty hearing or seeing the meeting. This can lead to delays, confusion and frustration for in-person and remote attendees.
- Decreased engagement
Hybrid meetings can also lead to decreased engagement among attendees. Remote attendees may feel disconnected or disengaged from the meeting, decreasing participation and contribution. Additionally, in-person attendees may become distracted or disengaged very easily.
- Difficulty building relationships
Hybrid meetings can make it more difficult to build relationships among attendees. In-person meetings allow attendees to connect and interact on a more personal level, which can help build trust and rapport.
Remote attendees may feel isolated or excluded from these interactions, leading to difficulty building relationships with in-person attendees.
Pros of In-Person Meetings
- Personal interaction
One of the main benefits of in-person meetings is the opportunity for personal interaction. In-person meetings allow attendees to connect on a more personal level, build relationships, and develop trust.
- Higher engagement
In-person meetings can also lead to higher levels of engagement among attendees. Attendees are more likely to participate and contribute when physically present, leading to more productive and effective meetings.
- Better communication
In-person meetings can also facilitate better communication among attendees. Nonverbal cues and body language are easier to interpret in-person, which can help avoid misunderstandings and improve communication.
Cons of In-Person Meetings
- Cost and logistics
In-person meetings can be costly and time-consuming to organize. Businesses may need to rent meeting spaces, provide travel and accommodations for attendees, and coordinate schedules.
Additionally, in-person meetings may be less flexible than hybrid meetings, making them hard to coordinate.
- Limited accessibility
In-person meetings may also be less accessible for individuals with disabilities or other limitations. Attendees may need to travel to a specific location, which can be difficult for individuals with mobility issues or other disabilities. Additionally, in-person meetings may be less accessible for remote or distributed teams.
- Environmental impact
In-person meetings can have a significant environmental impact, particularly if attendees need to travel long distances.
While I feel that we should not just forget about amazing technology, which allows virtual meetings from anywhere in the world and is super efficient, I do think in-person meetings — at least once a month — should still happen if possible, as the energy, connection, and collaboration are so much more powerful in person.
Realtors are using virtual technology to better assist their clients with virtual walk-throughs, video tours, and FaceTime videos through properties.
These uses of video are a fantastic way to assist buyer clients, even more so to those who are not local, and help these buyers to connect to seller’s properties in an efficient and impactful manner.
Embrace new technology, but always remember, a human in-person connection is very impactful.