Monday, April 5, 2010

Virtual Technology - GET REAL

virtual meetings
“It’s the end of the world as we know it…..”

OK. We get it. Everyone’s going virtual. See Report: 39% of firms to increase virtual events spending

In the brave new world of virtual meetings, the trend is going up. Soon we’ll all be happily sitting in front of our computers -- or better yet with our “virtual 3-D glasses” -- attending meetings, conferences, and trade shows. Or, maybe we’ll just send our avatar instead.

Or not.

I use all the technology I can get my hands on. I’ve swapped newspapers and magazines for the internet. I’m getting ready to bid farewell to printed books. I use internet conferencing every day to work within our globally distributed company.

But there’s more to it. A face to face meeting can give you more in five minutes than you can get in hour or six of internet interaction. Relationships can be started or expanded easier in person. Body language, eye contact, and all the subtle clues we give and receive in person are difficult – at present – to replicate using remote technology.

I also believe we humans still like a shared experience. Hollywood box office numbers continue to grow each year. This in the face of Netflix, cable, and service such as Hulu –all of which encourage remote (single?) viewing.

Recently at MeetingMatrix we had our annual staff meeting where everyone comes together for three days of business and social activities. In those three days people who work around the globe meet, share meals, and work together. It is irreplaceable in terms of company unity and cohesiveness—it could not be replicated by interactive technology.

No doubt there’s high value in virtual technologies. At MeetingMatrix we build systems that make it easy for people to get a feel for a venue’s meeting spaces over the web.

Someday – maybe with holography – we’ll be able to reproduce face to face interaction. Until then as the song says, “I just want someone to talk to, and a little of that human touch.”

Don Basler
Sr. Marketing Manager

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