I’ve been collecting my arguments for and against face-to-face and live online communication, in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency. I’m making no distinction between meetings, webinars and training sessions. Here goes:
- discussions can be more freeform and spontaneous;
- on the rare occasions when a lengthy meeting really is needed, this is likely to be more comfortably achieved face-to-face;
- you can engage in activities that require participants to be in the same physical space.
- meetings can be held as soon as the need arises, without waiting for participants to travel to a central location;
- it will be easier to attract the participation of experts who are geographically dispersed;
- a greater degree of anonymity makes it easier for more retiring participants to contribute;
- the text chat ‘back channel’ enables networking and collaboration to take place even during other activities (especially presentations);
- the ability to record sessions makes it possible for those who miss the live event to still gain some benefit.
- it does not depend on the availability of technology – connectivity, devices, etc.;
- the skills in facilitating face-to-face meetings are more widely available.
- it is cheaper in terms of travel, subsistence, etc.;
- it takes less time in terms of travel, etc.;
- it is more environmentally friendly;
- it encourages shorter meetings;
- if some element of a meeting is not relevant, you can easily do something else.
I’m bound to have missed something important here, so comments please.