Thursday, August 19, 2010

96 percent of organizations use virtual meetings

If there was ever a doubt that virtual meetings are here in full force, this new finding should dispel it. Some 96 percent of meeting and event planners report that their organizations use virtual meeting technologies -- either Web-based meetings, videoconferencing, or telepresence -- according to a Carlson Wagonlit Travel study.

This probably isn't surprising at first blush. But based on what we're seeing in the marketplace, I think it is. The report cites several factors driving the use of virtual meetings, including improved technology, increased cost pressures, interest in limiting their meetings' environmental impact, and interest in improving employees' productivity and work-life balance.

If these are the business objectives that companies want to achieve, they're turning to the wrong technology. In our customer interactions and discussions, we often hear complaints about the lack of engagement and boredom they experience with Web conferencing services.

What they're looking for is a virtual workplace that lets them increase engagement, collaboration, and productivity, while driving down travel costs and carbon emissions. Sure you can meet almost anytime, anywhere right now using 2-D, "flatland" conferencing services. But we can enable a highly productive, collaborative remote workforce with 3-D virtual workplaces.

What's the case for your organization? How are you using virtual meetings, and how do you think virtual meetings will evolve over the next few years? Feel free to share your stories in the comments.

And for more about the study findings, hit Sue Hatch's coverage in Corporate Meetings and Incentives. I also left my two cents on the findings in the comments. :)

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