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The benefits of face to face meetings

Date posted:18 Oct 2021      |      Author: Cecilia B

It’s almost been 5 months now since we finally reopened. And we’ve been busy! Small meetings, graduations, training days, it’s nice to see people meeting again. However, we understand that for some face to face meetings can still feel a little bit daunting. We want to reassure you that we tick all the COVID-19 safety boxes. All our guidelines and practices are compiled in our COVID-19 resource centre.

If you’re still hesitating about meeting face to face, we give you a few more reasons to come back to us. Here are some of the benefits of face to face meetings. Spoiler: there are many!

Reality vs virtuality

With the pandemic, many of us, including our company, had to adapt to new ways of meeting. Zoom or Skype meetings became the new normal. Sure, they were very convenient and useful but we all missed human interactions. It is not the same to see your colleagues on your laptop screen rather than being able to talk to them face to face, without any interruptions. We have all experienced the failing Wi-Fi connexions, the mute-unmute issues, or worse, the never-ending echoes. What is really missing is the warmth and the joy of seeing each other IRL – in real life. This is why organising face to face meetings is so important. After such a long time, people are looking forward to seeing each other, get that warmth again, and be in the same room. We give you the option to book a social distanced meeting if you wish to.

Breaking the monotony

What we thought was a temporary arrangement turned into a very long period of home working. Many people enjoy working from home but for some, it can sometimes feel really lonely and monotonous. Adapting to new ways of working is challenging. So, how do we break the monotony? Asking people to leave their house for a safe face to face meeting once in a while seems like a good option. We, the team at Friends House, always found it easier and more engaging to catch up face to face in-between lockdowns. The conversation was flowing and we felt energised for another week of work. And we’re very happy to work on-site together again!

Engaging with your audience

When it comes to engagement, face to face meetings are the best. It is much easier to interact with a lecturer or trainer when everybody is in the same room. Moreover, they can in turn see the reaction of the audience or interpret better their questions, body language, or tone of voice. This is crucial to good communications. Who has never misinterpreted the tone of voice in a text message or an email before? Another issue virtual meetings raise is the tiredness they create. The media have even coined a term for it: “Zoom fatigue”. It is much more tiring to look at a screen for hours and know that you are being watched by multiple pairs of eyes. That does not happen in the normal setting of a meeting. That point is raised by Marissa Shuffler, an associate professor at Clemson University, in a BBC article: “When you’re on a video conference, you know everybody’s looking at you; you are on stage, so there comes the social pressure and feeling like you need to perform. Being performative is nerve-wracking and more stressful.”

Face to face meetings do not mean everybody needs to be in the same room

For larger events, delegates could sit in several break out rooms for example. They will still be physically attending the same meeting but the event will be streamed in different rooms. That is what we call hybrid events. And the good news is, they also allow for people who cannot or do not want to travel, to attend the meeting too. Hybrid events are available at Friends House, contact our Events team to find out more: 020 7663 1100 or events@quaker.org.uk. This is the perfect compromise for a gradual return to events, as we have always known them.

Did we convince you? Get in touch today or enquire now.

We are looking forward to seeing you again in our venue.

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Events team on 020 7663 1100 or events@quaker.org.uk