Contrary to popular belief, the advent of new remote meeting technologies will far from inhibit travel but instead, (when combined with Millennials’ preference for face-to-face networking), lead to an increased demand for real-life business interaction.
More and more professionals are tuning in to technology to give them the flexibility they desire to work remotely. The telecommuting trend, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com., has increased by 6.5% in the U.S. recently, with 3.7 million employees (2.5% of the workforce) currently working from home at least half the time.
At meetings and conventions, incorporating these new teleconferencing technologies has been viewed as kind of a two-edged sword by event planners, because they offer new ways of connecting with attendees, but also provide a possible less-expensive alternative to physically being at the show. More than 62% of business meeting participants when polled said they believe virtual meetings are encroaching, or somewhat encroaching, on face-to-face meetings.
But this is far from the truth.
As telecommuting capabilities have increased, there’s also been a resurgence in interest for face-to-face business meetings. The value of teleconferencing, according to new data, is only adding to an increased need for connecting in person.
According to research from the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE), and The Experience Institute, when business professionals were asked if they would attend meetings and events more often, 79% of Gen Y/Millennials said yes, with Gen Xers at 71%, Boomers at 63%, and Pre Boomers at 46%.
The Millennial generation values face-to-face business interactions more, and the use of virtual meeting technology can be a great way to get new attendees to feel more comfortable about coming to industry conventions. It can be intimidating for some professionals early on to approach more experienced industry figures, and the initial contact through technology can help ease anxieties in the beginning.
By getting a good look at what a business meeting, convention, or conference has to offer through various forms online, from social media posts to pay-walled virtual webinars, new attendees will only be more apt to make an in-person appearance the next time around.
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