Leveraging Video Meetings to Improve Business Relations
During a conference call, have you:
- Ever wondered why there was silence on the other end of the line?
- Ever asked, “Are you still there?”
- Ever wished you could gauge attendees’ reaction to what you’re saying?
If your business is still using audio-only conference calls, you’ve likely answered yes.
Over the last few decades, the conference call has been a business staple and cost-effective option to supplement or even replace face-to-face meetings. And for most, conference calls are still considered adequate for many situations.
Gartner predicts that over the next several years, the greatest source of competitive advantage for organizations will come from their ability to creatively leverage emerging technologies. This includes employing technology creatively to meet, collaborate, and learn.
The most obvious way to up your communication game is through video conferencing. This two-way, face-to-face platform provides a simple, yet effective way to create more engagement, establish rapport, and build relationships.
The Benefits of Video Conferencing
1. Video Meetings are More Engaging
When you can see and be seen, engagement increases. Because only a small portion of communication is verbal, the nonverbal communication unlocked through video meetings is invaluable and is proven to be 12.5 times more powerful.
- Virtual eye contact requires attention and drastically decreases the temptation of attending to distractions and multitasking.
- Facial expressions, hand gestures, and overall body posture are critical components of communication. When participants can interpret these non-verbal cues, interaction becomes more natural and productive.
- When you are able to gauge the reaction of others in a meeting, you can pivot your communication approach.
2. Video Meetings Help You Achieve Faster, More Positive Results
“I hear and I understand. I see and I remember. I do and I understand” —Confucious
According to a recent Forbes survey, 62% of executives say video conferencing improves the quality of communication. And, 50% of those executives believe video conferencing improves the degree of understanding.
A face-to-face video meeting fosters more engagement and connected communication than pure audio calls. Video also helps you build customer trust. Matching nonverbal behaviors create a sense that you are on the same page with people in the room and also allows you the ability to convey empathy and support. This helps you build stronger relationships, promotes faster decision making, and results in more positive outcomes.
3. Video Meetings are Efficient, Cost-Effective, and Convenient
According to an article in Globe Newswire, 47% of business professionals say they travel less because of video meetings. This in turn unlocks a multitude of cost savings and benefits to businesses:
- Travel and lodging expenses are eliminated
- Time away from the office is dramatically reduced
- The time and costs spent setting up meetings is reduced
- Productivity is enhanced, by waiting for attendees to arrive and chatting before and after an event
- Businesses can now include a wider, more dispersed audience, disseminating more information, faster
4. Video Meetings Make the World Smaller
Today’s economy is becoming increasingly global. It’s not uncommon for customers and employees to be located all over the world. Video conferencing allows companies who cross country borders to communicate with colleagues, clients, and partners more readily and easily.
Video conferencing also provides the ability to incorporate other technology platforms, such as virtual training labs, to create learning events, perform product demonstrations, and even create instances for your customers to experiment with your products and services—all without leaving their home office.
5. Video Meetings Give Businesses a Competitive Advantage
Consider these statistics from a recent survey of U.S. business professionals:
- 48% are using video meetings more often
- 51% see companies who use video conferencing as more innovative than those that don’t
- 31% perceive those companies to be more successful
- 41% believe the employees of those companies are more engaged
Video meetings are an essential component of the modern workplace.
When hiring, the best and brightest candidates will be likely seeking a flexible work arrangement. The millennial workforce grew up as digital natives and expect that businesses will provide the right technology to enable collaboration with remote team members.
Many clients and potential clients also expect the option to meet and collaborate face-to-face virtualy. Video meetings provide the ability to build rapport with your clients. Some platforms even allow you to create custom greetings right within the platform.
A hybrid meeting integrates virtual meetings elements with in-person participation, allowing participants to connect in the same virtual meeting room. With the right technology, hybrid meetings seamlessly sync content and engagement features to provide both groups with a nearly identical experience.
Many variations of hybrid events exist. In most cases, in-person and virtual attendees participate in the session at the same time.
Research has shown that the best learning occurs when hybrid instruction allows the participants to interact with virtual content and engage in virtual learning activities before, during, and after the face-to-face event. When participants explore concepts prior to a meeting, they come prepared for meaningful discussion.
Hybrid meetings provide many benefits:
- Effectiveness - A study by the U.S. Department of Education compiled research from more than a thousand studies measuring the effectiveness of online, hybrid, and in-person learning. Those surveyed found hybrid learning to be the most effectiveform of learning.
- Engagement – Businesses often assume that offering a virtual meeting option will decrease the effectiveness of a presentation. The reverse is actually true. When businesses offer a virtual alternative to onsite attendance, they are able to reach participants who would otherwise not have engaged.
- Convenience - Businesses that provide a combination of live and on-demand viewing options further increase the likelihood that meetings will be attended since participants can view when it’s convenient to do so. Business objectives behind the meetings are much more attainable as the material is more likely to be consumed.
- Promotion – Hybrid meetings can be used for promotional purposes. Sharing edited and re-purposed portions of the virtual meeting content on social media will generate additional interest.
When choosing the right solution for your business, it’s important to consider the simple things like ease of use and virtual meeting features, as well as the more complex considerations like infrastructure.
The options and features for video meetings have never been greater. Platforms for video meetings range from very basic models to sophisticated offerings. Technological advancements and lower price points enable businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the many benefits.