I couldn’t find the study myself and no link was provided, so I’m taking everything that BtoB reports on it as my only source and at face value.
According to the the study out of 760 business executives surveyed in June:
- 84% prefer in-person contact to virtual;
- 85% said it helps them build stronger relationships;
- 77% said it provides a greater opportunity to read another person;
- Still, 58% said they travel less for business now than in January 2008.
All of which strikes me as obvious.
Face-to-face contact will always be the highest form of human interaction, and nothing replaces it.
The question is NEVER whether it would be better to have a face-to-face meeting. The question is always whether the circumstances justify the cost/inconvenience.
At any given time, a video chat or Webex presentation might accomplish the immediate goal, but don’t ever confuse that with being just as good as a personal meeting.