Web business meetings - are they good or bad?

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by Kay, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Kay

    Kay
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    I was thinking about ways businesses might consider to cut costs. One that struck me which would save money and time is having online meetings if you have staff scattered all over the place.

    I've worked for companies where managers had to come from one end of the country to attend a meeting at the other, hundreds and hundreds of miles away. They would arrive the night before and then have another overnight stay in a hotel before having to drive back. All for what amounted to perhaps three hours maximum actual meeting time.

    Do you think it would be a more effective use of resources to hold online meetings? It would reduce travel expenses at the very least and is obviously a far better use of their time when it removes all those hours on the road. But are the meetings themselves as effective when you use this medium, I wonder.

    The one thing I think you'd miss out on is what's going unsaid. I'm really interested in reading body language. Often what the tongue says isn't what the body language is telling me. Without actually being physically in the same room, I don't think you'd be able to pick up on nuances like that.

    That said, I've never taken part in one and would be interested to hear any experiences with this or thoughts on it. Hypothetically speaking, would you be willing to do so if you were asked to participate in one instead of attend a far away meeting place or would you rather be there in the flesh?
     
  2. Nazreen

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    I would have to agree that businesses wanting to cut costs can look into web meetings. This will be a big cost cutting measure especially for those businesses that require some of their staff to go to and fro from the main branch to it's international branches for meetings and to give business reports.

    As to the "missing out on is what's going unsaid" part, most web meetings already have visuals so you can basically see who's at the other end. A better alternative would be the Telepresence: Forum & Cisco Hitting the Market which was discussed in another thread.
     
  3. scifi

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    Sorry for getting off the thread but I think videoconference concept is more viable solution for this kind of situation. This is the concept slowly getting popular in India too. Here is the definition of videoconference...
    A videoconference (also known as a videoteleconference) is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. It has also been called visual collaboration and is a type of groupware. It differs from videophone in that it is designed to serve a conference rather than individuals.

    You can read more about it in my blog http://ashishknowledge.blogspot.com/
     
  4. Fergal

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    I've heard a BT ad that focused on selling their call conference services as being much cheaper than travelling / flying to meetings. I do like the benefits of face to face meetings, but the cost element in terms of time and money is impossible to ignore.

    When you make a habit of it, you may be surprised at how many meetings can be avoided, by making a phone call. There are often things that we would be more comfortable discussing face to face, but if you make the effort and pick up the phone you can save a lot of time, for all parties.

    Face to face meetings are still important. But is important that they are managed well and have a clear agenda. And, the number of face to face meetings can be reduced by using telecoms, whether it is the telephone or web / video conferencing.
     
  5. Kay

    Kay
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    Yes, I knew they had visuals but I don't know if that could compare to being physically in the room. I was thinking along the lines of videoconferencing that scifi mentioned. Thanks for the Telepresence link! I watched the video and Telepresence looks fantastic. Now meetings like that would override what I'm meaning about the lack of non verbal communication. :)

    All very good points, Fergal. I don't know how many hours I've spent in pointless meetings over the years where nothing of substance was discussed nor resolutions to real problems reached. Many times a call would have sufficed.

    Let's face it, some people just like to call meetings because they can. :rolleyes: It's happened within different companies to me and seems to be a common experience. I read once about some CEO that insisted all the meetings were held with everyone standing up so they didn't get too comfy. I like that idea!
     
  6. Fergal

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    Stand up meetings are a good idea for keeping them short and improving efficiency. I enjoy meetings myself, they are more fun than working. Therein lies the danger. They are very beneficial, but they need to be strictly controlled and kept on topic.

    There shouldn't be any meetings without an agenda and it is also important that only the necessary people are there. All too often there are people at meetings who don't need to be there. They could be better utilising their time elsewhere.
     
  7. Nazreen

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    I think that we might as well include Skype for Business. Watch the video here.

    With Skype, all calls, video calls and global conference are free. A lot of businesses have already taken advantage of Skype's free offerings.
     
  8. Fergal

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    That's an excellent video Nazreen, thanks for sharing that with us. The video is exceptionally well made and gives a very compelling presentation that makes you want to use Skype. Their range of services is fantastic, even better they are free. Traditional telecoms companies must be extremely worried about this new competition.
     
  9. steveglenn01

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    There are some very interesting and useful thoughts in your post about Web business meetings.
    Thanks for information
     
  10. Sagewing

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    My experience with conducting meetings on the web is that they can be very successful, inexpensive, and convenient. However, it takes practice to lead online meetings and you need extra effort to keep people on track sometimes, since everyone is browsing the web in another window :)

    For a team meeting, I'd never do it. For a 15 minute training session with a client, fantastic.
     
  11. johndale

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    Web business meetings can also save time. Convenience is the most effective here.
     
  12. gladzrn

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    Web business meeting is good as it is inexpensive and convenient. Amazing what can be done purely web-based nowadays. Found a site called 321meet that actually lets you conduct meetings (which basically means screen sharing) without any download. The most ridiculous thing is that you can actually take control of your attendees’ screens without them installing anything (although they do need to accept). Wonder if they will start taking money for it later but so far seems all features are free.
     
  13. snowhite143

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    YEAH i agree with you guys web meeting are in demand thee days since it cost cut travelling fees AND STUFFS, i tried this 321meet and it actually works for me and my clients:) it has all the features i need with the convenience at home... web conferencing is trully the best way to save travelling time for our hectic schedule:)
     
  14. Clint Cora

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    They have their place now especially with the cost of travel these days. This has become reality for many companies out there. I think right now, when there is a reason to have face to face meetings, companies will still spend the money on them. But for things that can be effectively discusses over the web, I think most companies will opt for the less expensive option.
     

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