In the past few years, the way business is done has changed globally. There has been the rise of AI, virtual reality, the internet of things and many new technologies. One of the most impactful technologies that has changed how business is done is the rise of virtual meetings. Since the pandemic, the use of virtual meetings has skyrocketed. And it's no wonder why - virtual meetings offer a host of advantages over in-person meetings, from increased flexibility to lower costs. In this post, we'll cover the best advantages of using virtual meetings and how companies can use these features to improve their organization's productivity.\
Types of virtual meetings
Many people often have one perception of virtual meetings, but there are several types of virtual meetings that businesses generally engage in. A virtual meeting includes any type of meeting that occurs in the same "virtual room." The types of virtual meetings include:
Teleconference: A teleconference is an audio-only virtual meeting. This type of virtual meeting is the most basic format and it allows anyone to call in to the meeting. Teleconferencing gives more features and capacity than a normal phone call. With teleconferencing, dozens of people can join a call and interact throughout the meeting.
Video conference: A video conference is a virtual meeting that includes both video and audio for participants. This is what most people think of when they think about a virtual meeting. Video conferencing typically allows for advanced features like screen sharing, virtual hand-raising, and private chats. Some of the most popular video conferencing tools include Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts. This is typically the most popular type for remote work.
Web conference: A web conference is very similar to a video conference, but its main priority is sharing content with the participants of a meeting. A web conference typically has one person presenting and they share content with the other meeting participants. A web conference can often be referred to as a webinar. There are a lot of features with web conferences that enable people to participate and share their content.
Benefits of virtual meetings
A primary benefit of using virtual meetings instead of physical meetings is giving your team location independence. Physical meetings require employees to come to the office or a physical location, which can be difficult if they live in a different city or country. With virtual meetings, all employees need is a computer and an internet connection. This allows team members who are traveling, team members in different time zones, etc. to easily meet at the same time. With the constraint of location removed from meetings, more people can attend meetings and be more engaged.
#2 Instant connectivity
It takes literally seconds for anyone in a business to start a virtual meeting. With just an internet connection and a laptop, anyone from within or outside the business can start a virtual meeting. This is a huge upgrade from coordinating physical meetings, where businesses had to schedule meeting times well in advance, book a physical location, and make sure everyone could attend. With virtual meetings, businesses can start a meeting at anytime in less than 30 seconds with just a quick invitation link. This can be sent through email and it can be opened up with a computer or smartphone.
One of the biggest disadvantages of physical meetings is the limitation on the number of people that can attend. Unless companies have a large in-office conference room, the size of the meeting will be limited. This can lead to many team members being left out of important meetings like all-hands company meetings. The only way companies can include everyone into their meetings is by either getting larger rooms or by cramming more people into rooms.
With virtual meetings, there is no limit to the number of attendees. Companies can easily include everyone in their team meetings by conducting them virtually. With just a few clicks, anyone in the company can join a meeting and be a part of the discussion. This makes it easy to include junior members on teams, team members located in different campuses, and more.
Virtual meetings are often much more cost-effective for businesses and employees than physical meetings. With physical meetings, businesses have to pay for things like conference room rental, travel and accommodation for employees, and other related costs. Virtual meetings eliminate these costs completely.
Most virtual meeting software is free for users and they are very affordable for businesses. Even if you've never used virtual meeting software, you can download Zoom or Microsoft Teams in less than a minute for free. This makes it very easy for anyone to set up a meeting for free. Larger enterprises can save thousands of dollars each month by switching to virtual meetings to cater to their meeting needs. Most companies spend a fortune on business travel and other associated costs, so virtual meetings can offer significant savings.
#5 Increased productivity
When people think of increasing team productivity, they usually think of marketing automation tools or something sophisticated. Reducing time spent in meetings is what really moves the needle. Meetings are one of the most infamous productivity killers for businesses. It takes time to prepare for a meeting, physically go to a meeting, do small talk after the meeting, etc. By the time the meeting is done, employees have spent hours in the preparation, commute, and post-meeting processes – without even taking the actual meeting into account.
Virtual meetings reduce the actual time spent in meetings in addition to saving time for everyone who would've commuted to the meeting. The time that would've been spent prepping and commuting can be used for productive work, and since people are already in front of their computers, virtual meetings tend to be shorter.
#6 Ability to record meetings
A great benefit of virtual meetings is that you can record them. This is not possible with physical meetings. Recording virtual meetings is a great way to create training materials, onboard new employees, or review what was discussed in a previous meeting. Prior to virtual meetings, the only viable option to record meetings was hand-held audio recorders. Participants can now record an entire virtual meeting and see everything discussed throughout the meeting.
#7 Virtual meeting software features
Virtual meetings offer many features that are not possible with physical meetings. With virtual meetings, you can easily share your screen, present PowerPoint slides, conduct polls and surveys, and more. This makes virtual meetings much more interactive and engaging than physical meetings. Doing this in real-time in a physical meeting would cause many interruptions and delays throughout the meeting. These features can be done instantly with virtual meetings and this can improve the productivity of any given meeting.
#8 Easy integration with existing tools
Videoconferencing tools are some of the most easily integrated tools. With a few clicks, you can add your link to your virtual meeting virtually anywhere. This includes your email, CRM, calendar, other digital marketing channels and more. You can download the desktop version or use the web version of your video conferencing tool to integrate with your existing tech stack. This makes virtual meetings more convenient than ever and easy to use for businesses of all sizes.
Virtual meetings remove the barrier of physical locations for both businesses and individuals. Instead of being confined to your city, state, or country, you can meet with anyone from around the world with virtual meetings. This is a great way to sell online to global customers and connect with international businesspeople. Prior to virtual meetings, businesses would spend thousands of dollars per month on travel, accommodation, and meetings. It only takes a meeting link now to connect with virtually anyone on the globe.
This helps businesses expand their employee pool from their local area to a global level. This means businesses can find the best talent for their business regardless of location. In addition, employees located all over the globe can work for one or many international businesses without ever having to leave their homes. This increased connection and ease of globalization is great for businesses and employees.
#10 Data storage
Many virtual meeting platforms and software allow you to store your meeting data and recordings. This is great for businesses as they can keep track of what was discussed in a meeting and review the data at any time. This is especially useful for businesses with remote employees or employees in different time zones. Reviewing meeting recordings and data can help improve the productivity of your teams.
Many enterprises can choose to tailor their virtual meeting software to their needs. This can include features, branding, and even the layout of the virtual meeting space. This is not possible with physical meetings as you are limited to the space you have and the resources available. You can use the customization of virtual meeting platforms to use it for your own specific needs such as sales calls, product demos, or even virtual trade shows. The multi-purpose nature of videoconferencing tools allows you to tailor your software to your needs.
These benefits are just some of the benefits of virtual meetings. As more businesses embrace hybrid and remote work, the use of virtual meetings will continue to grow. To learn how you can start using virtual meetings to scale your business, explore LiveWebinar here.