Why Meeting In Person Out Performs Online Meetings
People are accustomed to meetings on Zoom. Granted, it’s easier. However, it’s time for more purposeful connections in person.
The amount of Americans working from home has increased in recent years. Millions of people make their living in solitude. According to Forbes, “As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work a hybrid model.” That number is expected to rise as a staggering 32 million people are estimated to work from home by 2025.
Recently, I met with five New York City area business influencers. We all follow each other online. Over the years, I have received their email newsletters, and they’ve commented on my LinkedIn posts. However, meeting in person was a game-changer. It brought us together and strengthened our relationships in ways meeting online cannot. Since the pandemic lockdowns, many people have been conditioned to meet on Zoom. Granted, it’s easier: no hair, makeup, or getting dressed. However, it’s time to change how we network and commit to more purposeful in-person connections.
The Human Experience
Meeting in person is one of the most powerful human experiences we can participate in as professionals. A handshake, hug, or even smile can be conveyed when meeting in person; these gestures are essential for facilitating deeper connections.
The Power of Touch
When shaking hands, give a firm grip and look into the eyes of the person you are greeting. This type of handshake conveys a deep meaning, especially in the Americas. Maybe in Korea or Japan, it’s a bow.
It shows the person you’re speaking with that you care, that you’re listening to them, and that their presence is important. Through a virtual meeting, this “touch” is non-existent. We try to do it through emojis and rapid-fire texts in the chat boxes of our virtual meeting apps, but it pales in comparison to physical human touch.
Investing in Trust
There might be opportunities that can only be realized through in-person meetings. It’s an investment in building trust and can often lead to lucrative business opportunities in the long term. The money and time invested might not seem worth it initially, but it helps to establish long-term relationships.
Be Intentional About What You Want and Can Give
Since meeting in person takes time and is an investment, prioritize who you meet and how much time you spend with them. Know what you want to achieve in a meeting before attending. Do your research, identify which meetings match your goals and abilities, and prepare to meet new people and share ideas.
Clear intentions and preparation can lead to a more productive and meaningful meeting.
What are some types of in-person meetings you can consider?
One-to-one catch-up meetings
These are great for meeting with people you know already. In meetings like this, you can simply catch up.
One-to-one “get to know you” meetings
“Get to know you” meetings are held in person to really get to know someone better and understand their goals and for them to understand your goals and needs.
Professional mastermind meetings
These small groups of professionals are centered around the one person leading the group or a group of business friends who lead it together.
Large events are a great time to learn from the main stage. But equally important is the time to get to know attendees. There can be random connections in the hallway, at the hotel checkout desk, or walking to the bathroom. These connections and the purposeful ones, as well, are powerful.
When you attend a large event, get to know as much as you can about the attendees, speakers, and sponsors. Set up meetings with various people ahead of time. Use LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to follow them and see how you can connect online before you connect in person.
Virtual meetings are here and are useful. We can do more in less time and make faster connections. However, don’t sacrifice meeting in person. The best connections and strongest trust can often be made by meeting in person.
Author information – who is Ramon Ray
Ramon Ray is the publisher of www.ZoneofGenius.com, an online publication helping small business news live life fulfilled. He’s also the author of Celebrity CEO, a guide to how small business owners and entrepreneurs can build their personal brands. Ramon’s a serial entrepreneur who’s started five companies and sold three of them. He’s an in-demand motivational speaker and event host.
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