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New study shows modern meetings need to be face to face

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While some heralded conference calls as the answer to face-to-face meetings, nothing has ever truly replaced face time to close a deal. Blue Jeans Network yesterday, December 17 released information on its latest study, The State of the Modern Meeting, which found that the majority of survey respondents, at 94 percent, believe that face-to-face communications improve business relationships.

With Q1 2014 poised to be the busiest meeting season of next year, according to Blue Jeans Network, video collaboration may be the best alternative to pricey (and inconvenient, snow-delayed) travel. The study found that 71 percent of respondents believe they didn’t close a deal because there was no face-to-face communication – and six percent have even admitted to falling asleep during an audio-only meeting. Blue Jeans Network did not ask how many people were checking Facebook or playing Candy Crush during audio-only meetings.

However, many companies recognize that some meeting participants aren’t going to have video capabilities and are choosing tools that let audio-only participants dial in to the meetings. Thirty-nine percent of video meetings have had at least one audio-only participant, and 39 percent have also included screen and content sharing capabilities, including documents, presentations and video clips.

Finally, while respondents noted a 60 percent reduction in meetings before a holiday, that doesn’t mean they won’t be raring to go afterward, hence Q1 2014’s potential to be a huge meeting season. After holidays, meetings increase by 118 percent.

Blue Jeans Network also released a few statistics about meeting timing:

  • The average business meeting lasts 45 minutes and has almost 5 participants.
  • Almost half of meetings take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Forty-one percent of meetings take place on Tuesday and Wednesdays.
  • Weekend meetings have declined by more than a third in the past six months, from one in 10 to one in 15 meetings occurring on the weekend.
  • Professionals are taking back the lunch hour, with a 20 percent decline in meetings from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Snowstorms don’t stop meetings; in 2013, winter storms also brought in 20 percent more meetings in a typical day.


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