I am sure there will be a lot of different views and opinions on the pros and cons of virtual meetings.
Covid has pushed the world forward to go virtual and paperless.
If we look at a company like Zoom, the figures are staggering! Sales were up 40% this year alone, reaching more than $3.7 bn. Zoom believes that the future is here. Sales soar 326% to $2.6bn in 2020. Profits jumped from just $21.7 m in 2019 to $671.5m!
According to Entrepreneur, individuals have spend more than 5.5 billion minutes in virtual meetings during Covid-19.
With Covid and all it’s unpredictability, we can look forward to a hybrid solution. Some virtual and some face-to-face meetings…some office days, some working from home days. Shall we call it balance or the best of both worlds?
Let’s look at some of the pros of virtual meetings:
- Structure. Every person in the meeting should have an agenda with points up for discussion 2-3 days before the meeting.
- Time saving: It’s easier to get to the point. There is a lot less distraction and a lot more focus.
- Cost saving: travel and time. We all know what traffic looks like in big cities. Not to talk about parking issues and traffic jams! If somebody must cancel the meeting, it’s not a train smash. You can just reschedule without much disruption. As the saying goes……time is money.
- Flexibility: Husband and wife can be involved. Meetings can be after hours. People can be in different places.
- Follow up meetings are easy to manage.
Cons of virtual meetings:
- Fear of failure and fear of the unknown. Like anything new, there is a nervousness to engage in a virtual meeting. My advice is to relax, if there is a problem with a bad connection or equipment, the worst that can happen is to switch to a Watts App video call, normal telephone call or reschedule.
As an advisor with clients all over the world, it has become a lot easier and acceptable to engage with clients, fund managers and financial services providers virtually. I like to work with clients virtually, but I also like to at least once a year have a social coffee, breakfast or lunch date with my clients.
At Bovest, we have virtual client functions like wine tasting and fund managers talks for our clients. Our clients love it.
Let us know what your feelings, preferences or problems are with regards to virtual meetings. It will be interesting to see and hear what our clients think.