Herman Trend Alert: Global Meeting Trends


Although no one would dispute the increasing use of online meetings, 81 percent of business men and women believe that face-to-face meetings are better for building long-term trust and ensuring strong client relationships. Most of us have experienced the value of being there in person---especially for closing sales and building relationships.

Importantly, the converse is also true: Nearly half (47 percent) of business-men and -women surveyed believe they had lost an important contract or client simply because they didn't have enough face-to-face meetings. This lack of personal contact resulted in the estimated yearly revenue loss of 24 percent---certainly a significant cost for any business.

Our CEO Joyce Gioia [joy-yah] talks about the value of in-person presentation of the Employer of ChoiceR Award for building team spirit and acknowledging the roles played by individuals in earning the designation. Clearly, this presentation benefits from the physical hand-off of the trophy to the key leaders in the organization.

Released by Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, this global research report, titled "Business Meetings in a Modern World" revealed that 74 percent of respondents believe that eye contact is the top non-verbal indicator of a positive outcome. You simply do not have that feedback online.  

Most interesting, Tuesday morning is identified as the optimum time for a successful face-to-face meeting in the United Kingdom and the United States, while Monday mornings are the best time of the week for productive meetings in China, India, and United Arab Emirates.

Small talk is recognized as an important tool to begin a business meeting, with the average meeting starting with about 7.5 minutes of light conversation.  The UK and the US spend the first few minutes of a meeting discussing the weather, whereas in China, India, and the UAE discussions start with news and current affairs, as the main topic of conversation, 64 percent, 59 percent, and 49 percent, respectively.

Face-to-face meetings are not going to go away, until the day that we can figure out how to make our video presence, as effective as our in-person presence, and that day is not coming soon.  That said, we believe that for information sharing, online meetings will continue to grow and develop and that new technologies will become available to enhance their effectiveness. The positive implications for the travel industry are obvious. 


Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia, a Strategic Business Futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker.



Joyce Gioia is a Strategic Business Futurist concentrating on workforce and workplace trends. Joyce is President and CEO of The Herman Group, a firm serving a wide range corporate, trade association and governmental clients on an international basis.

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