Are Meetings Outdated?

With the rise of instant communication and informational lookups through social media and technology, are meetings becoming outdated?  It used to be that meeting with a group face-to-face was the way to stay connected and informed in a community.  Communication was verbal and you took notes on the paper agendas – if you weren’t there, you were likely to miss out on some relevant information.  Now it seems that fewer and fewer people are attending ‘traditional’ meetings.  Some still value the personal contact and interactions that traditional meetings can give, but many others find ways to access the information through technology, not wanting to sit through the agenda of a meeting.  Is there a way to blend technology into a meeting format to appeal to all those above?  A hybrid meeting that will allow for personal contact but keep people informed and engaged at their technology comfort level?  I’ve been thinking about some options:

  • Sending out an electronic agenda with meeting minutes/reports via email
  • Uploading those minutes/reports to an online platform for public record
  • Broadcast meeting via webcam AND use Twitter to allow back and forth comments from online watchers
  • Create discussion boards to followup on action items and collect feedback anytime.  The agenda can bring these comments/discussion to the next meeting

These are just a few things that I think would enhance the traditional meeting and allow for more interaction between those who want to become more involved and those who are core members.  I don’t think face-to-face meetings should ever be put to sleep but want to create an evolving environment that will retain interest and involvement.  I’m sure there are more paths to take – what do you think about this topic and how to create a hybrid meeting?

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