1. The Future of Meetings is Omnichannel
First, one of the things experts tend to highlight is the anticipated growth of omnichannel meetings, where rather than having one agreed method, such as in-person or video conferencing, meetings in the future will combine several approaches. This could mean some people being physically present in a meeting, some using video conferencing technology to attend meetings remotely, and others participating via telephone or even instant messaging. Going forward, you may even start to see a clearer role for virtual reality within business meetings.
Essentially, the meetings of the future will be about breaking down barriers and meeting people where they are, in the ways they want. Technology has already allowed for hybrid meetings, where both in-person attendance and remote attendance can function alongside one another, and omnichannel meetings will be a further evolution of this. For businesses, the main challenge here is ensuring that the in-person and virtual experiences intersect in such a way that meetings deliver what attendees need and want, regardless of their method of attendance. Making intelligent use of the most advanced telecommuting equipment is one significant part of this equation.
2. Greater Ability to Scale Up and Down
One of the greatest advantages that businesses have discovered through the rise of virtual meetings is a much greater ability to scale meetings up and down at will, without costs spiraling out of control. This means more people can attend the meetings that are relevant to them, reducing the overall number of meetings that need to be held.
Beyond this, the ability to meet remotely has also allowed meetings to scale in terms of geography too. Attendees can attend a virtual meeting without having to physically travel to the location, which opens meetings up to multiple branches of a business or people in other parts of the country, and events can even happen on an international scale. However, smaller meetings are better for active participation from all attendees. Fortunately, technology is going to provide solutions to that too – for example, software solutions like ViewSonic’s myViewBoard already offer breakout rooms, allowing for smaller meetings or ‘sub-rooms’ to be formed away from the main virtual meeting space.
3. In-Person Meetings Will Remain Relevant
With the growth of working from home and the benefits of video conferencing, it is easy to get carried away with the idea that the future of work will be people operating and interacting remotely. Yet, predictions that suggest physical meetings will die out entirely tend to ignore the clear value they still provide, as well as the social benefits. Meeting with people in-person can help to encourage spontaneous conversations that spark some of the best ideas that businesses have. Beyond this, some workers simply do not like working from home, and they may value the idea of interacting with people up close and dislike the effects that social isolation can have.
In some cases, such as in businesses that do not have physical office spaces, meetings may be the only time people working in the same company are actually present in the same space, and this will make the in-person experience more important rather than less important. Physical meetings are here to stay, but the line between physical and remote meetings will become more blurred, allowing more people to interact in the way that best suits them.