The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely made a huge impact on the professional landscape. It has changed the way workspaces and businesses operate by forcing people to stay indoors and avoid close contact. Most industries have adapted to these changes by shifting to a virtual approach.
One of the biggest examples of this shift is the rapid rise of video conferencing. Zoom alone saw an increase in its active user population, reaching 300 million users in 2020.
With employees stuck at home, corporate meetings and operations had to go virtual. And even now that it is possible to hold in-person meetings again, many companies have realized the benefits of virtual meetings and have decided to stick with them.
This has also given rise to even more advanced technologies such as virtual reality (VR) that are now being used by more and more companies. Video conferencing may be convenient, but it is a limited technology that can sometimes fail to provide certain business needs.
Businesses are moving towards the use of VR meeting technology, hoping to fill in the gaps in communication and cooperation. Could this really be the future of corporate and business meetings?
Will VR Meetings Replace Zoom, Skype and In Person Meetings?
Before we get into the future of meetings, let’s talk about what VR meetings are first. A virtual meeting is similar to a traditional meeting, except it doesn’t take place in the standard office setup. Instead, it is done remotely. It is different from the typical video conference because VR technology is used instead of the usual apps like Zoom and Skype.
VR headsets are used in order to “transport” an individual into a virtual office where the meeting is held. After setting up the VR meeting, the participants put on their VR headsets and meet in the virtual space. However, virtual meetings can be done in different ways.
Although at first it sounds like a novel idea, virtual meetings are considered the future of business meetings and corporate meetings alike. As the technology is being developed, VR meetings are going to be improved. VR in general used to be a type of technology that was only accessible to the rich. But each year, the technology becomes more and more accessible. In fact, the prices are slowly becoming comparable to web cameras. They have evolved to become cheaper than your regular computer.
Just like how smartphones are now extremely common, the same could happen to VR headsets in the near future. Because of this, VR meetings aren’t going anywhere. They could easily become the future of virtual meetings as video conferences become obsolete.
Instead of everyone being on the same screen in your phone or laptop, you can be together virtually in the same virtual office space. Virtual reality offices can be customized to fit your preferences. Members of your team can even have their own avatars.
While the pandemic is keeping workers from returning to the conference room, the development of VR technology is going on. Industries will adapt and technologies will improve. Virtual meetings will allow more participants to attend meetings compared to if they had to travel all the way to another city or country.
The Types of Virtual Reality Meetings
Online gatherings are generally more flexible than your standard in-person meeting. In fact, it is easier to set up these meetings because there is no commuting involved. Team members can just hop into the meeting at the scheduled time. The same goes for virtual reality meetings.
There are several types of VR meetings that organizations should know about. These are the different solutions and options that businesses can adopt: virtual business meetings, VR conferences, VR remote collaboration, virtual workspaces, and virtual meeting rooms.
The VR business meeting or VR video call is the virtual equivalent of a phone call. The participants of the call wear VR headsets and enter a video/audio stream.
A VR conference involves more people. Team members choose their VR avatar, which they can customize however they want. The host can set up the meeting. The avatars are there to represent the participants. It is very similar to a Zoom call, except it is a lot more interactive.
A remote collaboration via VR is very interesting. It is an office meeting in the cyberspace—much like a VR conference—but aside from discussing work, participants also complete their tasks actively. Groups may consist of only two people, but it could also involve more people. Because of the digital environment, there’s a lot of room for innovation and creativity.
A virtual workspace is similar to VR collaboration, but it is more focused on bigger groups or teams. Your employees can stay in a digital workspace and have everything they need to carry out their duties. This is ideal for remote teams or employees that are working from home. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to working from home is staying focused on your daily tasks. But in a digital environment, team members can easily tune out distractions even from the comfort of their own home.
Finally, a virtual meeting room is like an office space where employees can catch up, share ideas, make plans, etc. It’s a simple VR space that’s similar to a break room.
Setting Up a VR Meeting
The whole concept of VR may still sound futuristic and new, but it is actually a lot easier to set up VR meetings than you think. When you have the necessary tools, setting up VR meetings is a breeze.
First, you need to find a quiet spot with plenty of room for you to move in. You don’t want to knock things over while you’re wearing your VR headset. A bedroom or an office space would work well. You also need a comfortable chair.
The second step is to set up the VR meeting software. There are many different apps out there, so you need to find one that suits your organization’s particular needs. Familiarize yourself with the app and figure out how it works. It is also possible to get a custom-built solution that is tailored for your business needs. The final step is to put on the VR headset and start the meeting.
Which Virtual Reality Platform Should You Choose?
When it comes to VR, the Oculus Rift is one of the most popular brands. It was developed by Facebook in 2016, and is now the go-to headset for VR meetings. Thanks to its simple setup and advanced motion tracking, this VR headset allows for smoother virtual meetings. It works for entertainment purposes, but also for business functions.
Another well-known VR option is the HTC Vive. This headset boasts amazing graphics and incredible control. It was developed by HTC with Valve. The HTC Vive headset also offers a 110-degree field of view, making it easier for employees to collaborate. There is a downside though, and it’s the fact that this VR headset is heavier than the Oculus Rift. The setup is also more complicated.
If you want something lightweight then the Google Cardboard VR headset may be for you. It is simple, affordable, and it is made from cardboard. Despite being made out of cardboard, this VR headset boasts an impressively immersive VR experience. The product has been purchased 15 million times since its release. The Google Cardboard glasses require a smartphone and a dedicated app in order to use.
As you can see, there are plenty of options out there for businesses and organizations looking for VR headsets to get their virtual meetings going. There are also different apps to support these headsets, and they have varying features. Some may have avatar customization, while others may have employee collaboration, etc. It all depends on what you need and what could be useful for you.
Kennected Can Help You Book More Meetings in VR or IRL
Whether you are conducting your meetings virtually or in real life, Kennected can help you book more meetings with qualified leads. Kennected is committed to empowering business professionals with our trusted tools for lead generation. Right now we have three amazing products that can help you find and connect with your leads so you can convert more and increase your sales.
We have Cloud Kennect, which is our automation tool for LinkedIn. It can automate your outreach in a safe and effective way so you can focus on doing other tasks. Instead of manually reaching out, you can setup personalized messages and follow-ups and message all your targets on LinkedIn—without putting your account at risk. When someone responds, you can hop into the conversation and start building a real connection.
There’s also Kennected Video and Kennected Calendar, which are tools that can optimize the way you connect with and interact with your leads.
Kennected as a whole has helped over 15,000 clients with our products, and we can do the same for your business. Book a demo with Kennected today to learn more!