What are the Benefits of Virtual meetings over in-person? Increased inclusion and participation

As Zoom meetings are our “new normal”, some people can’t wait til we get back to in-person meetings, while others are finding some value in virtual meetings.  Did you ever consider that there might actually be benefits to meeting virtually over in-person?

Example #1: In in-person meetings, you have to wait your turn to speak; it’s a linear process. You get in the queue; sometimes by the time you get to speak, the conversation has already moved on. On the other hand, in a virtual meeting, everybody can contribute at the same time – in the chat window, on a whiteboard, on a Googledoc. No waiting in line. This can actually increase engagement and inclusion, so no-one feels left out. So, be sure to include periodic activities for everyone to participate.

Example #2: Breakout room discussions can actually build connection between people, which can lead to increased trust. When you work in a small group, more people can participate more often; everyone feels included. I’ve been working with a board of 18 people; they’ve never had breakout groups in person. At a recent virtual retreat, they experienced a new sense of intimacy and connection – and they want to do that even when they return to in-person.
So there might be hidden gifts in virtual meetings. Let me know if you’ve experienced that!
#virtual #engagement #meetingdesign

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