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Réunions en personne ou virtuelles : Choisir la meilleure solution pour votre prochain événement

réunions en personne
Réunion virtuelle
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Personnel de Remo

Hoyin Cheung

5 min

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Mise à jour :

March 14, 2024

Table des matières

Are you trying to decide between an in-person or virtual meeting for your next event? With the rise of remote work and digital events, this decision has become more complex than ever before.

That's why we created our free AI chat tool — to help you weigh the pros and cons of both options. Just answer a few quick questions, and it will provide personalized advice on whether an in-person or virtual format best suits your needs! Try the Remo Event Planner now.

Now, let's dive deeper into the factors you should consider when deciding between in-person and virtual meetings:

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Benefits of In-Person Meetings

In-person meetings have been the go-to option for organizational gatherings for decades, and for good reason. 

When done right, assembling people together physically can lead to deeper relationships, spark creativity, and drive higher engagement compared to virtual events.

Richer Communication and Collaboration

Nothing matches the depth of communication, relationship building, and creativity from assembling in person. Subtle body language, side conversations, and organic interactions lead to stronger connections.

According to an Oxford study, in-person meetings drive more breakthrough thinking and innovations than virtual meetings. The energy of a live audience sparks creativity and innovation.

In-person meetings allow you to pick up on nonverbal cues like facial expressions, furthering understanding. Conversations feel more natural and free-flowing when people fluidly interact, read body language, and react in real-time.

The informal networking before, during, and after in-person meetings also builds valuable relationships for you. Conversations over coffee, between sessions, or at evening receptions strengthen professional connections.

For complex discussions, the nuanced real-time communication of in-person meetings gives teams an advantage. Collaborating on challenging projects or detailed plans is often easier when people can read subtle cues and react instantly.

Higher Engagement

In a live setting, you are less likely to become distracted or multitask. Being physically present naturally boosts your focus and participation. Without digital temptations, you can devote full attention to the speaker and materials.

For hands-on workshops, interactive demos, or immersive audience engagement, an in-person format heightens the experience. You can fully immerse yourself in activities and energy. Presenters receive immediate feedback from the crowd's reactions.

Even for presentation-based meetings, presenters feed off the vibrancy of a live audience. The crowd's laughs, gasps, and applause provides engagement that motivates speakers. Presentations can be adapted in real time based on reactions.

Ideal for Sensitive Topics

Certain high-stakes conversations and sensitive topics are often better handled through in-person communication. 

Nuanced discussions around negotiations, conflict resolution, personnel issues, or confidential matters require picking up on unspoken cues through body language and tone.

Having difficult conversations about compensation or performance problems, for example, can be handled with more care, empathy, and cultural awareness when people meet face-to-face. 

Reading facial expressions and interpreting reactions in real time leads to greater understanding.

For highly strategic meetings, the depth of in-person engagement and problem-solving can drive superior outcomes. Executives convening to chart their company's future growth path could benefit greatly from the creativity and synergy of a live meeting.

Drawbacks of In-Person Meetings

However, organizing in-person events comes with some distinct challenges:

Logistical Effort and Costs

Planning an in-person event requires extensive logistical coordination well in advance. The organizer must source a venue, arrange food and beverages, secure A/V equipment, handle event staffing, and coordinate on-site operations.

For multi-day conferences, considerations around hotel rooms, transportation, and evening events add complexity. Mistakes or last-minute changes become difficult to fix when dealing with physical venues and services.

Managing logistics demands substantial investment in time and staffing. Either internal employees need dedicated time away from their normal roles, or external event management agencies must be hired. 

Without expertise, it's easy to overlook critical details.

Venue costs alone can be daunting, like $10,000+ per day in major cities like New York or San Francisco.

Geographic Limitations

In-person meetings impose geographic restrictions around where attendees can realistically convene. Unless traveling to a central gathering point, participants must align their schedules and budgets for the physical venue location.

If your attendees are spread nationally or globally, expecting everyone to converge on one location creates a major barrier. Some attendees inevitably get excluded due to travel limitations.

Even within the same metropolitan area, fighting traffic to commute to an event venue can deter participation. This is especially true in congested cities where driving just a few miles could take over an hour during peak times.

Significant Costs

The collective costs of travel, accommodation, venue rental, catering, A/V production, and event staffing add up quickly. In-person events get disproportionately more expensive as the number of attendees increases.

As an example, a 200-person national sales conference requiring air travel, hotel stays, and a fully-produced conference space could easily cost over $100,000.

With large groups, securing sufficient venue capacity alone becomes an enormous expense, especially in urban areas. Add travel costs across a dispersed team, and budgets rapidly multiply.

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Benefits of Virtual Meetings

With the rise of remote work and virtual events, online meetings have become a convenient, affordable, and engaging option for many organizations. 

A woman typing on her laptop

Virtual event platforms like Remo are designed to power real connections, deepen engagement, and delight attendees.

Remo facilitates a 91% camera/mic participation rate and 3.2x more engagement than platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. 

You can also track more data points, such as engagement and learning analytics. 

With spatial audio, interactive tools, and robust moderation capabilities, Remo brings life to virtual meetings, making them feel as real as in-person gatherings.

Increased Accessibility

Virtual meetings through Remo allow you to participate remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. This removes geographical barriers and provides greater accessibility.

Virtual events are more inclusive if you cannot join in person due to health conditions, disabilities, or budget restrictions. A remote format accommodates people who would struggle to navigate a physical venue.

Virtual meetings also allow for your global participation. You can more easily align schedules to join online sessions from different countries and continents. Organizations with international customers or offices benefit from engaging people across time zones.

Lower Costs

Hosting meetings virtually translates to enormous cost savings compared to in-person events by eliminating expenses like venue, catering, and travel.

According to a Verizon Business whitepaper, virtual events cost around 7 times less on average than their in-person counterparts. For example, if an in-person meeting with five people costs $7,000 (including travel expenses, hotels, meals, etc.), a virtual event would cost $1,000, saving the company $9,000. 

Not to mention that the $1,000 is allocated to event software fees, which businesses can use many times throughout the year. Even modest corporate training workshops can save thousands by going virtual.

View Remo’s affordable event management platform pricing here.  

Plus, without the need to travel, it saves valuable time for employees and lets them spend more time with their families. 

Some level of investment is still ideal for an online events platform, compelling content and engagement strategies. But overall, virtual events provide substantial cost reductions.

Flexibilité et commodité

A major advantage of virtual meetings is flexibility around scheduling and access for you. Online meetings can occur anytime across different time zones since no travel is required.

Multi-day conferences can adapt schedules across regions, with Asia sessions in the mornings and American sessions in the afternoons, for example. Short 60 or 90-minute blocks spread out over days provide added convenience.

Without venue capacity limits, virtual events can easily scale to very large audiences. Tens of thousands can participate simultaneously with the right online platform and production.

Remote access also means minimal productivity loss for you as a participant. You avoid the downtime and exhaustion following business travel.

High Engagement

Remo's spatial audio, networking lounges, interactive tools, and audience reactions recreate the energy and engagement of in-person events in a virtual setting.

Drawbacks of Virtual Meetings

However, some limitations exist with meeting virtually:

Potential for Distraction

Without the focused environment of an in-person event space, you may be tempted to multitask or get distracted.

From home offices, you may instinctively check emails and notifications even when intended to be present. It takes extra effort from moderators and presenters to keep remote participants fully engaged. 

Without the focused environment of an in-person event space, you may be tempted to multitask or get distracted. However, Remo's engaging formats and active moderators help counter this tendency.

Reduced Organic Interactions

One intangible drawback of virtual meetings is the lack of organic interactions that unfold at in-person events. The laughs, gasps, and side chatter of a live audience are hard to replicate virtually.

Informal networking connections that happen spontaneously between sessions or over meals do not translate as naturally to virtual events. 

However, social features like breakout rooms and spatial audio chats that Remo offers help facilitate these serendipitous moments.

Lower Attendance 

Some virtual events suffer from lower live attendance because people prefer to watch recordings later. However, Remo counters this issue by incorporating robust networking features. 

Our integrated lounges and spatial audio chats incentivize attendees to join live so they can actively network and connect with other participants.

Technical Difficulties

Despite major advancements in online meeting platforms, technical glitches continue to plague some virtual events. Brief video or audio cut-outs, platform crashes, connectivity issues — these minor disruptions hamper the participant's experience.

Presenters also cannot adapt as easily if they encounter tech problems virtually. At a live event, a presenter can improvise while a technical problem is addressed. But when broadcasting to a virtual audience, the show must go on flawlessly.

Certain highly interactive sessions like live product demos, performances, or audience participation remain challenging to orchestrate virtually with current technologies. Hybrid approaches help bridge these gaps for engagement-heavy events.

And Remo's robust platform and support team help ensure seamless execution compared to other common video conferencing tools.

Key Differences Between In-Person and Virtual

What You Should Consider When Choosing Format

When evaluating in-person or virtual for your next meeting or event, consider the following, or use our AI chat tool now to help you decide.

Your Goals and Desired Outcomes

What do you aim to achieve? If relationship building, culture creation, and creativity are priorities, lean toward in-person. For global reach and convenience, virtual may be better.

For routine approvals, a virtual format could suffice. But for kickstarting a strategic plan, in-person meetings may drive better outcomes.

Participant Locations

Consider where your attendees, speakers, and stakeholders are located. Is it a concentrated local team or global participants across time zones?

The more dispersed your locations, the stronger the case for virtual. It may not make sense to pay thousands in travel costs to convey information shared effectively online.

Event Format and Engagement Dynamics

Evaluate how your desired agenda and content mesh with virtual or in-person delivery. More tactical updates often thrive virtually. But highly experiential agendas are better in person.

Also, consider desired audience interaction and participation levels. Audiences become more passive listeners virtually. Incorporating interactive elements counteracts that effect.

How Tech-Savvy Participants Are

Consider the technical proficiency of your audience. If hosting attendees unfamiliar with virtual events and digital tools, an in-person or hybrid format may work better. With a tech-savvy audience, a fully virtual experience is more feasible.

Choose a robust virtual platform like Remo to minimize the learning curve regardless of tech comfort levels. Remo's intuitive interface ensures a positive experience even for the less tech-fluent.

Type of Participant Experience

Evaluate the experience you want participants to have. For heavy networking and lead generation, in-person events allow for more organic interactions.

For a training course with limited workshops, virtual may work well. Active learning formats with audience engagement thrive in platforms like Remo.

If your goal is a simple webinar, virtual provides convenience. Shape your format based on the experience that will best meet your goals.

Budget Limitations

In-person events get disproportionately more expensive with larger groups. Crunching the numbers for forecasted attendance and costs determines if staying virtual is the only affordable path forward.

Seek creative ways to deliver core content within budget constraints. For example, scale back catering and A/V before forcing dispersed teams to pay for travel.

Analyze these factors in totality – there is rarely one definitive right choice. Many organizations successfully blend virtual and in-person across their meeting portfolios.

The Bottom Line

Virtual events provide budget-friendly convenience and accessibility. But for high-impact meetings focused on engagement and interaction, virtual platforms like Remo recreate the energy of in-person events.

Rather than pitting these formats against each other, most organizations balance virtual and in-person strategically. With Remo, you can host virtual events where every interaction feels real.

Remo is an event management platform designed to drive real connections, deepen engagement, and delight attendees. Key features include:

  • 91% microphone and camera participation
  • 3.2x more engagement than Zoom or Microsoft Teams
  • Robust moderation and audience interaction capabilities
  • Integrated networking lounges with spatial audio
  • Support for workshops, conferences, tradeshows, and more

With Remo, take your virtual events to the next level and never hear "just another boring video meeting" again. Book a demo to learn more.

And for any meeting format, Remo provides robust tools to power engagement, networking, and interactivity. Learn more about Remo's event platform.

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FAQs About In-Person and Virtual Meetings

Are in-person meetings always better than virtual events?

There is no definitive "better" choice. Each format has distinct tradeoffs to weigh against your specific goals, budget, and audience makeup.

What are the biggest benefits of in-person vs. virtual meetings?

In-person facilitates deeper relationships, engagement, creativity, and complex strategy. Virtual provides broader reach, lower costs, flexibility, and convenience.

What types of meetings tend to work better virtually?

Informational meetings with straightforward agendas often thrive virtually. More creative, strategic, and relationship-focused gatherings are tougher without live interaction.

How can you boost engagement at a virtual event?

Use interactive tools like polls, quizzes, chats, and breakout networking. Create short, focused sessions. Have moderators engage the audience. And use compelling video, visuals, and speakers.

What capabilities should you look for in an online events platform?

Choose a platform with robust engagement features, easy networking and breakouts, polished presentation options, an intuitive interface, strong video/audio quality, and seamless technical performance. Remo excels in all dimensions.

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Hoyin Cheung

Hoyin Cheung is the Founder & CEO of Remo, where he focuses on enhancing the authenticity of connections at virtual events. With a wealth of experience in event planning, he translates his insights into compelling content aimed at improving virtual interactions. His mission is to empower event professionals with practical tips to foster genuine connections in every virtual gathering.

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