October 06, 2015
Successful face-to-face meetings have at least one thing in common, a new study finds: group interaction.

Titled "Does the Future Have Room for Face-to-Face Communication," the study was conducted by Imago, a consortium of conference and event venues at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, which surveyed more than 750 event organizers, attendees, and students and found that 88 percent ranked group interaction and discussion as the top benefit of face-to-face meetings. That was followed by knowledge sharing (67 percent) and fewer communication barriers (60 percent).

"In a modern world where we rely heavily on technology to conduct day-to-day business, our research highlights the importance of taking time away from the office to meet with our peers face to face," said Emma Boynton, Imago's head of sales and marketing. "In particular, group interaction is key in making business meeting successful -- participants can retain knowledge for longer and they can read body language and facial expressions so there are no barriers to communication."

According to Boynton, students were included in the study for a reason.

"We felt it was important to include students … in the research because they are the future of the meetings industry. They provide us with insight into the minds of future leaders, event delegates, and organizers," she continued. "The data gathered will allow us to create an environment in which successful outcomes from meetings can be achieved, providing organizers and delegates with a greater return on investment."