3 Scenarios When You Need to Actually Meet In Person vs Virtually

For most small business owners, meetings are an integral part of daily operations. Virtual meetings have become standard practice due to remote working, convenience and cost. This has made many people wonder if meeting in person is necessary and if it is, when do we actually need to meet in person vs virtually? 

When you need to actually meet in person

The pros of virtual meetings are obvious: reduced travel costs, impromptu global gatherings, and flexible collaborations.

However, there are still instances where meeting face-to-face has a higher return on investment. In these cases, companies may benefit from renting virtual offices rather than committing long-term to commercial or retail space. Here are three scenarios to consider.

Business negotiations

Negotiations can certainly be done virtually, but meeting in person will always be a stronger approach. Being together allows all parties to build rapport and trust. This is often accomplished through casual conversation and non-verbal cues like body language, which aren't always clear on a video call. 

Sometimes adding a personal touch can make all the difference, and this is much easier to accomplish in person. The effort spent creating a welcoming and comfortable environment will ultimately pay off in many areas including camaraderie, inspiration and creative problem solving.

When booking a meeting room consider what tools and amenities are required, how large a space is needed, and where it is located. There are many options so it's worth taking extra time to find something that meets all of your needs.

Client and team meetings

Many meetings can be handled virtually, but sometimes a client, prospect or project requires an elevated approach, such as meeting in person. Let's say a client project is not going well and tensions are high. The contract may even be at risk. Making time to meet in person and review the project could vastly improve the outcome. Being together reminds us of one another's humanness and allows for understanding and compassion to grow.

If there has been a misunderstanding or miscommunication, this is also an ideal opportunity to clear the air and get back on the same page. Even if the relationship is solid and the project is going well, meeting in person periodically can allow for continued relationship building and the chance to nip potential issues in the bud.

The type of meeting you're having will change the meeting space you require. For example, if you are planning a presentation, it will be important to choose a room equipped with a projector and screen. However, if you're hosting a team meeting including both in-person and virtual attendees, then ensuring there is high-speed, reliable WiFi, audio-visual equipment and an inclusive space will be paramount.

Networking events

Networking is vital for any small business owner, as it creates opportunities to expand your customer base, establish partnerships and gain valuable industry insights. There are many options for virtual networking, but the entire process speeds up when it's possible to meet in person.

Here are a few advantages of in-person networking:

● It allows for more spontaneous interactions between sessions

● It creates a more immersive experience, as you're able to be fully present

● You're able to meet people you may not have the chance to speak with (or even see) at a virtual event

If you're attending an in-person conference, it may also be worth considering renting a nearby space to host private meetings. This will provide a convenient, professional space to meet without the conference distractions. 

Despite the popularity and flexibility of virtual meetings, sometimes in-person interactions will get you further faster. This could add significant value to your meetings so be sure to take time to weigh all options before deciding.


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