For companies large and small, business meetings are a necessary occurrence for sharing information, building employee unity and accomplishing key goals and objectives. Unfortunately, these types of traditional meetings often involve considerable time and expense. Through the resourceful use of available internet technologies, many of these costs can be reduced dramatically, if not completely eliminated, through the use of online meetings or webinars—without compromising productivity or professionalism. With that goal in mind, here are 6 ways web meetings can save your business both time and money.
1. Say goodbye to travel costs: Yeah, this one is obvious, especially to your accountant. Online web meetings eliminate major business expenses, such as air fares, hotel accommodations, taxis and rental cars, meals and meeting space fees. But the not so obvious benefit is that web meetings eliminate travel time, allowing all concerned to use that time more effectively. Time wasted during travel is often more costly than all of those obvious black and white expenses combined.
2. Bypass brick and mortar: Although some face-to-face meetings may be unavoidable, such as sit-down meetings held at the behest of clients and investors, web meetings make it possible to forestall or even forgo the need for a costly brick and mortar presence for your business. Web meetings allow you to meet with virtually anyone, anywhere, and at any time. And when traditional sit-down meetings are a must, you can now rent suitable office space by the hour, day, week or month. Another real benefit of conducting business virtually is that businesses stand a better chance of attracting top talent, without asking individuals to disrupt their lives by pulling up roots and relocating—all at company expense.
3. Reduce meeting preparation costs: Most sit-down meetings involving more than just a few people take time to prepare and plan for, especially when travel arrangements are involved. Finding a suitable meeting facility can also be expensive and time consuming. And don’t forget about the costs incurred in preparing and providing copies of printed supplemental materials to attendees. Web meetings save a lot of planning time and expense, as they can be arranged and coordinated online. In addition, all supplemental materials can be forward to attendees before the meeting as digital files, plus the web meeting itself can support an array of rich media content, which is much more engaging than printed materials. Also, unlike sit-down meetings, many web meetings can be planned and pulled off with very little advance notice, which means that crucial issues and decisions involving multiple people can be dealt with sooner than later.
4. Reduce sick time and maximize productivity: If you’ve ever traveled to and from a meeting, only to be sidelined by sudden sickness upon your return, that’s because business traveling taxes the immune system, in a variety of ways. First off, flying on airplanes in close proximity to others exposes you to airborne pathogens, such as cold and flu viruses. Add to that the other factors that lower the immune system’s natural ability to fight off diseases, such as the stresses associated with traveling, the loss of quality sleep, and poor eating habits, and it’s easy to see why business travel often results in lost time and productivity. Web meetings, on the other hand, are immune system friendly, in that they eliminate all the negative health risks associated with business travel.
5. Hold effective post-meeting evaluations: As many business owners will tell you, the real strengths and weaknesses of any business meeting can only be fully realized by conducting a post-meeting evaluation. Regardless of whether the main meeting was virtual or physical, web meeting follow-ups can play a major role in making the post-meeting evaluation as effective as possible. Through web meeting technologies, various attendees can be included in the evaluation process and any new goals or strategies adopted as a result of the post-meeting feedback can be communicated quickly and effectively to any and all parties concerned.
6. Increase meeting flexibility: One of the real benefits of web meeting technology is the ability to tailor business meetings to fit your specific needs and objectives, and to do so quickly. With all the logistical challenges associated with holding meetings where multiple people are required to gather in a physical facility at an appointed hour, it can be very tempting to postpone important meetings. An equally bad scenario is one in which you try to make the meetings you do hold accomplish too many objectives, which only serves to blur their true focus and water down their effectiveness. On the other hand, web meetings give you total flexibility. From meetings with a handful of key players to hundreds or even several thousand attendees, web meeting technologies allow you to scale your meetings to meet your exact needs and objectives, with the added benefit of saving your business both time and money.
Will Reynolds is a freelance writer for Adobe Connect.