How Tech Issues, Distractions and Other Problems Make for Bad Meetings

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How Tech Issues, Distractions and Other Problems Make for Bad Meetings

Whether it’s a faulty conference call connection or a failed video feed, tech problems have emerged as quite common during business meetings, according to a recent survey from Barco. The resulting report, titled “Science of Success: Factors Impacting Meeting Engagement,” indicates that reliable tech performance proves essential—especially since multimedia presentations increase meeting participants’ interest levels. It’s not all about tech either, as late arrivals, interruptions and unfavorable seating positions—and even the presence of food—can cause attendees to lose interest and “check out.” An estimated 500 U.S. senior business professionals took part in the research. This slide show presents key findings from the survey, with charts provided courtesy of Barco.

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Tech Problems Contribute to Meeting Woes

Just over two-thirds of survey respondents said they are most likely to experience tech issues at meetings. Nearly one-half feel that these tech issues impact their engagement with meetings.

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Multimedia Tools Enhance Engagement

More than three-quarters of respondents said they are more engaged when multimedia is used within a presentation. This means presenters should take greater advantage of these tools—content such as graphics and videos can command an audience’s attention—while avoiding text-heavy presentations.

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High Meeting Volume Causes Participants to 'Check Out'

Fifty-five percent of respondents to the Barco survey said their engagement level is impacted by the number of meetings they attend in a day. In other words, it’s not always about the quality of the presentation—organizers must consider “meeting burnout” too.

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Counterproductive Interruptions Are Common

Nearly seven of 10 respondents said that meeting interruptions are “likely.” This creates additional issues, as 54 percent said their engagement level is impacted by these interruptions.

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Late Arrivals Serve as Source of Irritation

Four of five respondents said they get irritated by late arrivals to meetings. In addition, 86 percent get offended when a participant uses a phone or computer during a meeting.

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'Positioned' for Meeting Success?

Three of five respondents even said their seating position impacts their engagement during a meeting. What’s more, 64 percent said the presenter’s position in the room affects their engagement.

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Total Focus Remains Elusive

Just over one-third of respondents said they get distracted by “things happening” outside the meeting room. Such distractions include people passing by, or even the view.

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'Menu Options' Make a Difference

On a lighter note, 39 percent of respondents admit that they attend meetings “just for food.” That said, one-quarter said they get distracted by food served during a meeting.

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