Virtual Meetings: a curse or a boon?
Virtual Meetings: a curse or a boon?

Easy breezy read by a copy intern at India’s leading creative agency

Every agency professional ever especially the ones who interact with the clients are inundated with virtual meetings in their calendars. This is another aftermath of COVID 19. As I reach the CREATIVE INC Delhi office daily, I see literally everyone – starting from our Creative Director to the Sr Brand Manager going back-to-back on calls.

Once I overheard their conversation, which followed as below:

CD: Aastha you and I need to complete that pending discussion from last week
Aastha: Sure, but I am booked Monday thru Thursday. May be we can squeeze in extra time at 1:20-1:35 on Friday
CD: ya…. Hang on hang on …. No no no… I have the CEO of xyz calling me at 1 pm and he has a habit of giving me full gyan on everyone’s health including his pet’s before going on point… so too risqué
Aastha: Let’s do it while I am in the metro… post 7:30…
CD: have you lost it???

This is typical of the ‘consequential’ team members at a decent (read busy) marketing agency like CREATIVE INC. Us ‘inconsequential’ ones don’t really matter. But are we gaining or losing our marbles with this shit doing the rounds?

Advantage 1: The Flexibility

You’ve probably recognised one of the major benefits of online meetings: the absolute flexibility. You can drop in and out of the meeting at will, without making a big show as you would in a traditional face-to-face meeting. And better so, turn the camera off and snooze. So, if something urgent comes up… just agree I agree…

Disadvantage 1: No Personal Interaction

Humans are social creatures, and face-to-face meetings allow a more nuanced discussion in any business meeting – it helps build relationships. It’s not always easy to grasp the magnitude, or understand a joke, when conversing online. Things have become so ‘what do you have to say’?

Advantage 2: Cuts travel time

Yeah! This one is my favourite. Especially if your office is in South Delhi and you are called for a meeting to Gurgaon. God knows that if that meeting extends beyond 6 pm, there is NO way back home. Hey, and like Charu Nathan says, “carry extra food man, you don’t know when you might need it”!

Disadvantage 2: Respiratory duress

OMG! If you work at a marketing agency or a creative agency… have you ever tried giving brand pitch presentations online? Imagine speaking non-stop without a break, sans humour at break neck speed coz there is a pre-defined window and without the chai/coffee and nibbles. Phew!!!!
My lungs stop functioning.

Advantage 3: Anywhere in the World

The best thing about online meetings is that it doesn’t matter where anyone’s based – whether it’s Tokyo or Toronto; Melbourne or Manilla; or even sitting at home – everyone can join the meetings they need to be part of, without having to shift around diary dates and schedules.

Disadvantage 3: Finding Time to Plan the Meeting

For all its benefits, any meeting you have online will still have to be planned, invitations sent out and responded to even if people are more willing or available because its online. Task… ain’t it!!!