With improving technology, the drive for cost efficiency and speed – the question rises what's best, traditional face to face training/meetings where we see the whites of each other's eyes or virtual meetings?
The simple answer should be no surprise. According to the research published in 'Event Management' this month; it depends on the level of difficulty of the content.
If your event needs to build trust, rapport and loyalty - quickly, you need face to face, enabling participants to use more of their senses. Building trust and rapport virtually takes longer due to the availability of limited sensory information.
The Event Management researchers analysed three meeting platforms in each study: face to face, online, and online with a moderator (facilitator). The researchers found, the more complex the content, the more real the training/meeting should be. Conversely, where the content is simpler, virtual events are more cost-effective and enable participants to attend and return to their other priorities quicker. The other question is . . .
What does this mean for all our virtual Social Media friends and communities?
Social media group and communities are brilliant at connecting like-minded people together around the world, but when building resilient communities and organisations, there is still the need to meet face to face. This is how and where strong relationships and communities are made.
The findings suggest that meetings with more difficult content should utilize in-person or online with moderator sessions to increase attendee satisfaction, loyalty, and content retention. For meetings with less difficult content, the findings suggest that it is not cost effective to pay for a moderator in the online session.