When you think about the world today, you will absolutely agree that technology is moving quickly. People are doing more, going faster, and having quicker deadlines than they ever have. With the idea of always being connected also comes the idea of never being able to shut down, and while that may bring efficiency, it can also mean difficulties when you try to gather an audience. The good news is that old fashioned town hall meetings are on their way out—and if you simply bring people together with video conferencing, you can reach a larger audience than you ever could in person.
People Don’t Like Difficult Obligations
Despite the messages of modern media, the younger generations of today are actually more than willing to “do” things. They will meet for lunch, they commit to social functions, and they have no problem with meetings in general. However, there is one small issue that is starting to rear its head into real-world societ: today’s people don’t like things to be difficult. Make something simple and low-stress, with as few steps as possible, and your audience will come out of the woodwork. Throw in stipulations and additional things they don’t think are necessary, and you can count on a no show.
A list from the Zen College Life highlights why people don’t vote, but the reasons are rooted in the same line of thinking. If someone is going to be dissuaded by a few annoyances from voting for political leaders, why would they suddenly overcome the same things for a business meeting or a lecture? In short, you can’t make them wait, go through a long process to register, or make it difficult for them to get there; either from a physical point of view or a scheduling conflict.
Avoiding the Social Aspect
Another important point that any host or event planner needs to remember before throwing a large meeting is that people have different personalities. Yes, there are a few social butterflies and a handful of individuals who like to mingle amongst the crowd. That being said, social anxiety has become more and more recognized as a valid mental health issue, and people who suffer from it usually dread social events. Popular advice site Lifehacker even has a piece entirely about giving tips to people who fear or despise socializing except on their own terms. The article itself goes into some of the most upsetting items, including small talk, seeing people you don’t want to see, and even just the hassle of getting ready and going out. By having your meeting in a physical setting, you could very well be setting yourself up for failure before you’ve started.
The best solution for many event planners has come to light in the form of video conferencing. Companies like Blue Jeans have made video streaming solutions more and more user friendly. Not only can the end users and participants be able to jump right in and participate or be actively engaged, but those who are a little more skittish can literally hide behind their computer screens.
Costs Can Add Up Quickly
When you start to account for the costs that are involved with a physical location, you would be surprised at how quickly your event can be a significant expense. Not only do estimates from How Much Is It suggest you could be paying big bucks for a room or meeting space, but when you account for the costs adding up hour by hour, you may even want to start rushing folks out the door instead of mingling and being involved. All of that comes into play before you have even thought of providing food and drink (or other refreshments). And, if you start to think about setup and cleanup costs, you could truly be paying a lot more than you bargained for.
The worst part is that those are just the costs to you. By having a physical meeting space, you also have to account for location. Put yourself on the wrong side of town and you might miss out on people who aren’t willing to travel as far. Parking can be an issue as well. And you haven’t even thought about the fact that you might get a bigger audience than anticipated, in which case you have too many participants who you have to turn away!
Rather than playing the games of being stuck in a simple physical space, more and more event planners and meeting organizers are looking to the online world for help. As long as the technology is available and ready to be used, the amount of people that can join your next event or meeting will be without limit. More businesses are cutting the restrictions of a physical location, and it is starting to pay off both in attendance and in dollars.