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Meetings & Workshops

Meetings involve verbal interaction between two or more people with the purpose of achieving a common goal or decision. They may occur face to face or virtually (e.g. Skype, video conferences).

A workshop is a meeting or educational seminar with an emphasis on exchange of information and brainstorming (i.e. generation of ideas) among a group of participants.

Matrix of communication forms

Face to face communication is personal and requires the same time and same language or language interpretation. In personal meetings ones voice adds much additional information to the spoken words. For example: emotions, pitch and volume. The matrix below shows that personal meetings are the most complex communication form. The phone call is second in row, it is also personal and requires the same time and a common language. All other communications forms require communication partners to use non vocal communication, and this means they need to translate the information into, written text, drawings, pictures or videos to enable information exchange appropriate for the information channel selected.

Advantages of Meetings & Workshops

  • Useful when new ideas are needed or need to be combined in new ways.
  • They can promote active discussion and are especially useful when engaging with key target audiences on sensitive issues where debate and informed decisions are required.
  • Workshops enable participants to learn from each other, practice their skills, and turn theory into practice.

Disadvantages of Meetings & Workshops

  • Logistics- It can be difficult to arrange meetings and workshops for different geographical locations and time zones.
  • Availability of participants- Meetings and workshops require a significant time commitment by the participants. Constraints of participants' schedules and workloads can create difficulties with scheduling.
  • Some participants may be intimidated from actively participating and voicing their own opinions because of the presence of other participants, especially if some participants have assertive personalities and tend to dominate the discussion.