“What are the pros and cons of live meetings via digital screens versus live presentations? Does the cost benefit exceed the personal benefit?”
I have always felt that one of the key benefits of live presentations is as much about what surrounds the audience as the presentation itself. By that, I mean that the opportunity to chat with the presenter afterward, discussing the presentation with people sitting nearby, or raising your hand in a room full of people to ask a question.
If it’s a small group in two locations for a couple of hours, that’s doable via live video conferencing and can represent substantial cost savings when travel and meeting facility expenses are eliminated. However, if it’s the entire North American sales team of 300 people in 100 locations being addressed by the VP of Sales, you might as well record the presentation and send out a YouTube link, because two-way communication will be difficult at best.
It’s also important to consider the goal of the presentation. If the VP of Sales wants to get the sales force fired up to meet challenging goals, the impact is likely to be far greater in person than on live video because there is infectious energy in a large group. On the other hand, if it’s the HR manager conducting short, mandatory training on EEO complaint processing, that is doable on live video, especially if there’s a “raise your hand (electronically) to ask a question” option in the live meeting software.
Just because the technology exists, it isn’t always the best choice to accomplish business goals. That’s why, just like deciding whether to install a digital signage network for employees or customers, the key question is always, “Is this just something cool that I want to have, or is it a strategy/tactic to help my organization achieve its goals?”