Virtual meetings here to stay 'but don't do them half-heartedly', says events expert

Wed 8 Apr 2020
Posted by: Ana Pintor
Trade News

The temporary move to virtual working habits could have positive long-term impacts, a leading communications and events expert has said.

With the COVID-19 lockdown forcing companies and staff to adjust quickly to remote working and virtual meetings, a return to business as usual seems unlikely.

Dale Parmenter, CEO of communications and events agency DRPG, told the Daily Update the switch to virtual working habits has positive elements.

“The move to doing more virtually was going to come anyway but the need for greater sustainability and avoiding unnecessary international travel means it needs to come to the fore quicker,” he says.

However, the “new normal” of virtual working will only stick if people embrace the virtual tools on offer, rather than using them “half-heartedly as a way of making do” while in lockdown, Parmenter adds.

The comments come head of an IOE&IT webinar with DRPG’s experts about virtual working on Thursday, 9 April at 10:10 am.

A “saturated” virtual landscape

Though many people have been using videoconferencing tools and webinar platforms for years, maintaining the same level of engagement as you would have with face-to-face meetings can be a challenge.

Parmenter argues people are overloaded with visual entertainment from TV, YouTube, Netflix, so it is a challenge for businesses to maintain people’s interests when moving meetings online.

It is a challenge that can be overcome through proper planning, scripting, engaging visuals and interactive tools, he says.

Free webinar

To help the trade community understand how they can improve engagement online, the IOE&IT is hosting a free webinar with DRPG’s experts tomorrow (Thursday, 9 April) at 10:10 am.

The webinar will showcase how to host effective online meetings, skills and tools for engaging presentations and how to use technology to support online sessions.

Practical tips will be given on maintaining connectivity speed, measuring performance and examples of some of the most innovative tools already available, from virtual conferences to team building breakout sessions.

You can sign up for the webinar here.