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'State of the Modern Meeting' Report by BlueJeans

Monday, April 25, 2016 - 09:30
State of the Modern Meeting

Every year one of our partners, video conferencing specialist BlueJeans, publishes research into the “State of the Modern Meeting.” For this third edition of the study, BlueJeans analyzed more than five million video meetings conducted on its network from 177 countries spanning all seven continents.

“Modern meetings are more frequent, change with the seasons and weekend meetings are on the rise,” researchers summarized in an infographic.

"With an increasingly global and mobile workforce, the demand for engaging, visual collaboration has never been stronger,” Stu Aaron, a BlueJeans executive, said in a company news release. “Face-to-face meetings are on the rise coast to coast and around the world as people can connect visually, no matter where they are, or what devices they use."

Of course, we agree with Aaron’s take on the trend toward integrating video into business communications. So, we wanted to share other insights from the BlueJeans research that can help you run more efficient, effective meetings of all kinds and boost the level of productivity for you and your colleagues. Here’s a digest of trends discovered and confirmed by the study:

Weekend Meetings on the Rise

An average of 49% more meetings occurred on Saturdays and 84% more meetings on Sundays this year than in prior years studied. And while folks out west may have a reputation for being laid back, data show workers on the West Coast participate in more weekend meetings than East Coasters.

Regional Superlatives

The West Coast: Most Active Meeting Scenes

The West Coast also holds more meetings overall than any other U.S. region, with 1.5 times more video meetings than the East Coast. Silicon Valley is the global region that meets most, trailed by New York, Los Angeles and London.

New York/Los Angeles: Coastal Considerations

The New York to Los Angeles corridor is the most traveled business route physically and virtually.

The Midewest: Courtesy

Meetings in the Midwest are more likely to start on time, while East Coasters are 4x more likely to be late than people on the West Coast.

Timing Matters

  • Tuesday is Tops – According to the study, this year Tuesday became the most popular day of the week for meetings, taking this position from Wednesdays.
  • 3 O’clock High – Despite being considered an energetic low-point of the day by many, mid-afternoon is the most popular time of day for meetings.
  • Winter Surge – The winter season has double the amount of meeting activity than the rest of the year.
  • Spring Break – The least number of meetings occur between April and June.

Weather Matters

No surprise here - when extreme weather strikes, the number of online meetings spikes. Video meeting activity increased by 35% during the 2015 Boston blizzard and rose 26% in Texas during May flooding. (Our own researchers studied this same trend from a slightly different angle earlier this year.)

Mobility Matters

25% of meetings have at least one mobile video participant on the call, i.e., via tablets and/or smartphones. (West explored this tendency last year in our own InterCall-sponsored research.)

Togetherness Matters

While people join meetings from a wide range of conference room systems, desktops and mobile devices, people in the same location prefer gathering in a room. More than a third (35%) of meetings included at least one conference room system. (For more insight into this phenomenon, see our recent post “The Case for Ear-to-Ear & Face-to-Face.”)

BlueJeans researchers estimate that this year alone video conferencing on their network saved $3.3 billion in travel expenses by avoiding 7.5 billion travel miles. What’s more, averting travel miles generated a corresponding reduction of 2.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide released into the earth’s atmosphere, which equates to planting 322,644 trees.

These last facts suggest that going virtual is not only good for improving business productivity, but for preserving our environment, too.  What do these insights suggest to you regarding trends in meetings?  Share your thoughts with us.

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