Is video conferencing poised to take over all types of face-to-face meetings and even audio conferencing? Will you have to finally turn your conferencing hall into a cafeteria? These are pertinent questions because the growing popularity of video conferencing might be forcing you to do away with your conferencing hall. However it is too early to jump the guns! Let us look at some of the possibilities and carry out a reality check on video conferencing as a revolutionary communication tool.
Majority of the modern businesses have customers, employees and associates spread across different states and countries. Now, to arrange a face-to-face meeting with everyone will be a complete waste of time and money. If you are struggling with a marketing budget, you will definitely hate the travel bills. Why not arrange a video conference instead? This will save a lot of money and time of your company. However, if you think that you can completely skip the one-to-one physical meetings then this will be a bit too much to ask for.
Even though video conferencing is a tool that is being used by several companies all over the world, it cannot completely make your conference hall obsolete. There are several things that you might not be able to communicate during a video conference which can be easily communicated at the time of a face-to-face meeting. Some problems that you will definitely face during a video conference are as follows:
Video quality Now not every person on the Internet enjoys great bandwidth, especially if you are communicating with someone from remote locations or underdeveloped countries. This will create a huge digital divide between both the participating companies and individuals. Blurry images will hamper the progress of the meeting and you might have to skip some important agendas. Thus, you will again have to agree for a face-to-face meeting, which implies that all the effort and time were in vain.
Audio quality As I said earlier, low bandwidth will result in poor video and audio quality so you can expect to mess up a meeting and miss on some of the important agendas just because you fail to hear the other participants. You will often hear people requesting you to speak a little louder or adjust your microphone as they are not able to hear you. This is nothing but a result of poor bandwidth or Internet connection that results in poor audio.
The video conferencing industry has reported huge growth last year and will repeat the same this year too. However, we still cannot expect to outshine the impact of travel and one-on-one meetings. Over the next decade, video conferencing will be as common as picking up a phone and making call, still one-to-one meetings will not lose their sheen. Time zones are again a huge problem that impacts video conferences. For instance, if three people on a video conference reside in three different time zones then it is bound to lead to chaos. You might find one person deprived of his sleep just because he had to attend a video conference that suits the time zone of another. One or the other will be a victim of this time zone problem, which leaves you only with the option of face-to-face meetings.
The verdict for the time being is that you should not yes convert your meeting halls into cafeterias. Nothing can really substitute the one-on-one meetings that close those big business deals. You will have to use both video conferencing as well as face-to-face meetings for now.