As companies, businesses and corporations continue to grow in size and spread in different locations, the need to hold meetings and conferences regularly has become a growing challenge. This is not just due to lack of time available for such events, but also due to huge geographical distances between participants as well as the cost of bringing the parties together (Jude, 2000). This essay will explore the possible future of large face-to-face meetings in view of existing virtue meeting technologies with the cost factor as the main item.
Virtue meetings are events that successfully bring participants together without having to be in the same room. Virtue meetings can take many forms, like voice conferencing (call conferences), video conferencing, internet chat rooms (where participants all have access to internet connected computers and sufficient keyboard skills) (Turban, 2008). Software developers have progressively increased applications usable for virtual events, a famous example being the Skype. Others like the Second life, WebEx, and GoToMeeting.com enables low end users to access virtual services. As the costs of physical meetings continue to increase, companies across the globe have found it easier and convenient in adapting to virtue meetings. According to a study done in 2010 by the AEBT (American Express Business Travel), about 76 percent of the organisations now prefer virtual meetings than the physical ones (Jude, 2000). However, virtual meetings are not without their shortcomings, like content may not be delivered as intended in a virtual interface,, or can be misinterpreted. There is also an evident pensiveness due to lack of control factors, which would be there in a closed location event. In goal oriented, performance driven meetings however, it can be deduced that parties are unlikely to become pensive to avoid reduced productivity.
As one compares the pros and cons of virtual technology, it seems safe to expect that large face-to-face meetings will progressively be phased out by virtual ones, more notably in the technology endowed markets and large corporations with broadband options than in the low end technology challenged regions (Turban, 2008). Generally, Information Technology will continue to get better, thus making virtual meetings more prevalent as compared to other forms of meetings, such as face-to-face among others.