Just about everyone these days has attending a web conference. They are highly popular means of disseminating information, and used widely not just by companies for internal meetings, but to run huge online seminars as well. Because of its cost effectiveness and ease of use, it has in many ways supplanted traditional meetings.

gotomeeting web conferencing softwareBut web conferences, like everything else, has its shares of pros and cons. In this article, I will outline what I see as some of the benefits as well as disadvantages of using web conferencing technologies like GotoMeeting. Hopefully, this will help you decide when it’s best to use a web conferencing solution, and when a face-to-face meeting may be preferable instead.

Let’s start with the pros:

  1. Web conferencing is cheap.
    Compared to the cost of setting up a traditional meeting, which would include travel costs, food and beverages, and other expenses, web conferencing is just a fraction of the cost.
  2. It’s convenient.
    Since people have no need to leave their homes, web conferencing is undoubtedly convenient.
  3. It can be recorded easily.
    While it’s possible to record a traditional meeting as well, for most web conferencing tools like GotoMeeting, recording the meeting just involved a click of a button.

There are, of course, disadvantages to web conferencing as well:

  1. It is highly impersonal.
    Say what you will, but you do not connect to people very well in a web conference. If developing close, personal relationships with a client is important, then I would not recommend using web conferencing tools, at least not at first.
  2. It is difficult to get a feel for the audience’s level of involvement.
    In a web conference, you can’t get visual cues from the audience such as interest or boredom.

There is definitely a time and place for web meeting tools, however, I believe some businesses rely too heavily on them. There is still something to be said for personal interaction, and unfortunately, the Internet seems to be making such interactions more and more rare.