In 1939, the Philadelphia Eagles fell to Brooklyn’s Dodgers 23-14. Over 13,000 fans went to the game to watch it in person. 500 New Yorkers watched in the comfort of their homes. Those 500 fans changed everything.
It was the first televised football game in history.
At the time, the NFL thought broadcasting their games on TV was a terrible idea. Why would people go to the game if they could watch it at home? They would lose all their revenue.
Some brave people saw it differently. They recognized that the two experiences were different and targeted different groups of people. For those who liked the in-game intensity they would still pay top dollar to watch in person.
For the casual fan who preferred comfort and convenience they would enjoy the televised experience. The broadcast offered close-up video, replays, and commentary.
The NFL exploded with its growing audience thanks to the distribution power of television.
Now we come to Zoom meetings. People, understandably, have become Zoom zombies. Zoom meetings are terrible because we often treat them like in-person meetings. Only it’s much worse. You can’t read body language. There’s little personal interaction. It’s easier to hide and multi task.
However, the convenience and comfort of connecting people around the world are powerful. Effectively using breakout rooms, taking advantage of multiple side chats, and leveraging the fact that people can read faster than we can talk changes everything. In addition, because it’s so easy to connect, we can have shorter 10-minute micro-meetings.
In-person meetings are expensive and worth it if it inspires everyone to move in the same direction. On the other hand, zoom meetings are inexpensive and worth it if we use them for what they're good for.
How might you tweak your next meeting?
Thanks for caring!