In-Person Internal Meetings, Face-to-Face Touchpoints “Essential” in Flexible Work Environments

Business leaders opt for “more impactful” and “less frequent” internal meetings, noting they’re a driver for company culture, employee engagement, and productivity according to new Cvent survey

Employee preferences for virtual, in-person meetings vary by age demographic, company size


Tysons, Va. – May 29, 2024 – A recent survey conducted by Cvent in partnership with The Harris Poll found that over three in four (78%) business leaders say that in-person or face-to-face meetings are ‘absolutely necessary’ or ‘very important’ within their companies. As companies continue to navigate return-to-office and hybrid work policies, nearly nine in 10 (89%) agree internal meetings are an important part of the future workplace. 

Cvent is an industry-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider used by 22,000 companies, associations, higher education institutions and other organizations to plan and host in-person, hybrid, and virtual meetings, including webinars. To independently identify the prevalence and importance of internal meetings, the Company collaborated with The Harris Poll to survey senior business leaders with decision-making responsibilities for return-to-office policies. The research – Cvent’s 2024 U.S. Internal Meetings Impact Report” – explores how C-Suite-level decision-makers view in-person, internal meetings alongside other top workplace concerns such as flexible working arrangements, meeting practices, company culture, employee engagement, and productivity. 

“We’ve witnessed in-person meetings and events make a strong comeback over the last few years and wanted to understand what is driving the increasing investment in internal face-to-face experiences,” said Patrick Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cvent. “These results show that with more dispersed workforces and the reduction of daily organic in-office connections, companies are increasingly bringing their people together through a combination of curated in-person and virtual experiences to build a more engaging, collaborative environment.” 

“The results of this report further highlight that leaders and employees alike want to make these interactions as impactful as possible to deliver positive outcomes and a clear return on investment for all parties.” 


Internal Meetings Need Purpose, Value to Engage Employees

According to the research, more than nine in 10 business leaders (95%) say impactful internal meetings drive employee culture, engagement, and productivity. 

Other key findings include: 

  • Efforts to convene employees will continue to grow: More than four in five business leaders (85%) say their company is increasingly trying to bring employees together in-person for impactful internal meetings. 
  • In-person experiences are utilized for specific meeting types: All-hands or town halls (65%), one-on-ones (63%), onboarding of new employees (63%), team building (62%), and professional development (60%) meetings are typically held in-person. 


Baby Boomers, Gen Z Have Opposing Viewpoints on In-Person vs. Virtual Internal Meetings

The survey also explored perceived generational differences when it comes to meeting preferences, with older generations gravitating toward in-person meetings more so than their younger counterparts: the majority of business leaders feel Boomers and older workers (ages 59+) (61%) and Gen X workers (ages 43-58) (61%) prefer in-person meetings.

On the other hand, more than half of business leaders (56%) believe Gen Z workers (ages 18-26) – often dubbed as “digital natives” – prefer virtual meetings. This cohort tends to be more comfortable with digital communication tools and more familiar with technology in general. 

Other key findings include: 

  • Questions remain for Millennial preferences: While 44% of business leaders felt this group prefers in-person meetings, 35% believe Millennials would prefer virtual meetings.
  • Preferences vary depending on company size: Small/medium-sized companies are more likely than their larger counterparts to believe these groups prefer in-person meetings (Gen X (63% vs. 40%) and Boomer and older (63% vs. 42%)). Conversely, large companies are more likely than small/medium-sized companies to report that older generations prefer virtual meetings (Boomers and older (36% vs. 23%) and Gen X (31% vs. 18%)).


Leaders Look to Increase Use of Event Technology, Meeting Management Tools Moving Forward

The research emphasized how technology can drive positive business results when it comes to managing and delivering more effective meetings. The majority (86%) of business leaders surveyed report that their company is rethinking the event management technologies it needs to be successful. 

Other key findings include: 

  • Increased usage of online meeting management tools: Most business leaders (84%) report that their companies have increased their use of online meeting management tools over the past three years. 
  • Leaders seeing increased meeting success when leveraging event technology: The top benefits of using online event/meeting management tools include increased employee engagement during the meeting (50%), looking more organized and professional (48%), improved attendee experience (48%), and higher attendance rate (47%). 
  • Event programs managed with technology drive greater ROI: Business leaders cited easier event management (45%), saving money/costing less (42%), and fewer technical difficulties experienced during the meeting (35%) as advantages of using meeting technology.


For additional information on this report, click here.

Survey Methodology

The research was conducted online in the United States from February 12 to 26, 2024 by The Harris Poll on behalf of Cvent among 250 US residents, ages 25+, employed full-time at a company with more than 50 employees and at least one physical location, has a title of C-Suite, President/CEO, or Owner/Founder, and has decision-making responsibilities at their organization with regards to return to office policies. Data are weighted where necessary by the number of employees in the business to bring them in line with their actual proportion in the population. 

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval.  For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 7.9 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest. 

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to other multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including, but not limited to coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.

About Cvent

Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with 4,800+ employees and ~22,000 customers worldwide as of December 31, 2023. Founded in 1999, the company delivers a comprehensive event marketing and management platform and offers a global marketplace where event professionals collaborate with venues to create engaging, impactful experiences. Cvent is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., and has additional offices around the world to support its growing global customer base. The comprehensive Cvent event marketing and management platform offers software solutions to event organizers and marketers for online event registration, venue selection, event marketing and management, virtual and onsite solutions, and attendee engagement. Cvent’s suite of products automate and simplify the event management lifecycle and maximize the impact of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Hotels and venues use Cvent’s supplier and venue solutions to win more group and corporate travel business through Cvent’s sourcing platforms. Cvent solutions optimize the event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage millions of meetings and events. For more information, please visit