IACC External Meetings Demand Report 2022

When meeting in external venues, companies have found a way to continue building up their organisational culture, as this interviewee mentioned “So each and every year, we start off the meeting one day for our departments more as a get together and see how where we want to go to in our future in the future ” (Informant #6). Moments of communication and feedback are important to keep a strong company culture as highlighted by this interview fragment: Then after the first day with our full departments, we move on to the program for our experts who we invoke in our trainings to thank them and to come with nice topics for them to improve their skills (Informant #6). Contribution from everyone is a way to be inclusive and keep employees motivated, this illustrates the culture of the company and its willingness to keep the interest up, the importance of it was mentioned by one of the interviewees, stating, “they have got this really big, posted walls where you can post all of your memos and involve actually the whole group to contribute ” (Informant #6), from this quote it is also understandable that this can be facilitated by the venue. 4.2.4 Usage of External Venues All the interviewed employees mentioned that their company made use of external venues for certain types of meetings pre COVID-19. These external meetings include the following: trainings, assessments moments, high-performance team days, interventions, and plenary sessions. During the pandemic, these external venues were less likely to be booked due to the COVID-19 regulations, ordered by the government. Worldwide, the urgent governmental advice was to work from home, resulting in companies reducing their usage of external venues. Most interviewees indicated that post COVID-19, the company that they work for will continue using external venues for the same purposes pre COVID-19. “ There is still a need for external meeting venues. Not at the levels of pre COVID-19, maybe 50 to 60% something like that. ’’ (Informant #5). Another participant mentioned their future usage of external meeting venues , “ it will remain that we also continue to organise these kinds of events externally ” (Informant #2). 4.2.5 Face-to-face vs. virtual meetings “ I still believe that seeing each other in real life is bringing another value that you cannot have by only to virtual technology ” (Informant #3). Pre COVID-19, it was common to attend face-to-face meetings at the office on a regular basis. When the pandemic started, some of these in-person meetings were moved to virtual, whereas others could not be done virtually and had to be postponed. The interviewees indicated that both virtual and face-to-face meetings have their benefits. They mentioned that meeting virtually is an efficient way to quickly discuss the necessary topics, as it does not include the travel time, the coffee or casual talk beforehand. It was mentioned that it is precisely the interaction that they miss while working remotely. The following statement illustrates this: I think a lot of people still miss that interaction so actually being physically with someone, [..] if you go through face-to-face meeting, you may have a coffee or tea or something beforehand and you will chat about family, friends, what you have done at weekends, holidays etc... (Informant #1). After having virtual meetings for over two years, with less in-person interaction between colleagues, one of the interviewees stated: ‘’I think we really undermined the importance of that” (Informant #5), referring to the importance of in-person interaction. Besides missing interaction, interviewees stated that face-to-face meetings are more beneficial than virtual meetings. As mentioned in the following interview, the learning is done more effectively in-person “For our



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