Virtual vs. face-to-face meetings: What are the pros and cons?

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

By Steph King

Video conferencing was the saving grace of lockdown in 2020. Businesses could continue to host conferences, and families could spend time together over video chat. Over the last two years, video conferencing has grown considerably and holds a substantial place in the business industry.

Video call apps, like Zoom and Skype, reached a whopping 62 million downloads in one week during the early stages of lockdown. Zoom users could talk to up to 99 other people from all over the world through one app.

As more people use video conferencing apps, developers are keen to improve the quality of the calls. High-quality LED screens and artificial intelligence can be used to enhance the video calling software. For example, AI can join the meeting as a facilitator and minimise any background noise from the speakers.

However, face to face meetings are not dead. As business travel continues to re-emerge, the value of physical meetings is being realized once again. The question is, how will companies move forward when all options are on the table?

Here are the pros and cons of face-to-face and virtual meetings.


Some traditional businesses prefer face-to-face meetings. You can get a much better understanding of someone when you are in the same room as them and build stronger foundations for your business partnerships. Furthermore, the opportunity to travel the world and experience new cultures can be a motivational factor for employees. For example, staying in a serviced apartment in New York can inspire an employee to be more productive and achieve better results.

While face-to-face meetings undoubtedly have their benefits, there are also financial and environmental standpoints to consider. Vast amounts of business travel increase a company’s carbon footprint and run the risk of damaging the brand’s reputation. Many younger consumers look to invest and work for companies that consider the environment and eco-friendly practices.

Furthermore, face-to-face meetings also run more health and safety risks in the presence of the pandemic. It may be difficult to social distance in the meeting, and you risk needing to quarantine at either end of the journey. Fortunately, there are ways to diminish this risk. For example, and social distance as much as possible.


Virtual meetings require less business travel, less time out of work and much better for the environment. You can minimize your carbon footprint and spend more time with the family. You can hold a meeting with business partners in different countries, without having to leave your office. It’s quick, efficient, and safer in a pandemic.

However, there are numerous disadvantages to virtual meetings, and some businesses find them less effective. It’s much more challenging to start and build relationships over a video call. You may struggle to build trust with clients and rapport with potential investors. There is an increased risk of misreading people or being misunderstood.

Assess the pros and cons of both scenarios to determine how you want to hold your next meeting.


Steph King is a content writer from the UK with a passion for writing about business and marketing.

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