The pandemic has changed the way many of us work, connect with one another, and organize our time. To keep up with our clients’ preferences, we conducted a survey1 to explore views about virtual and in-person investment meetings. We asked clients: Do you want to continue to do virtual meetings? And if so, what makes them valuable?

The results were clear – the vast majority of respondents like what virtual meetings bring to the table. In fact, we were surprised by the consistently positive feedback – and by some of the reasons clients highlighted.

Some, But Not All

Key findings from this survey include:

  • 95% of our clients want to keep virtual meetings as part of their regular meeting cycle
  • 84% want to hold at least half of their meetings virtually from now on
  • In-person meetings continue to have real benefits for building a successful long-term relationship; while in-person meetings may be less frequent in future, clients want to maximize the relationship-building aspects of these meetings
  • 97% of clients now prefer digital materials over printed materials

Our client base is obviously comfortable with the virtual setting. However, it was equally clear that clients want to retain at least some in-person meetings. Many prefer a “hybrid” model, with about half of meetings held virtually. There is also a lot of interest in in-person connections outside of the regular meeting schedule.

Unexpected Benefits

While the shift to remote work was abrupt, clients noted many benefits of virtual meetings. Virtual meetings ….

  • were a more efficient use of time and easier to schedule.
  • could include more team members who might not have been able to attend otherwise.
  • had better overall attendance.

The Future of Client Meetings

Most clients want to continue holding virtual meetings, and we will be responsive to those needs. The balance of virtual and in-person will vary based on each client’s preferences. However, we’ll want to create ongoing opportunities to meet face-to-face, given the positive impact and unique benefits of in-person meetings. We encourage you to discuss with your NEPC consultant what “meeting” will mean for you going forward.

1The survey included a representative sample of clients from the following Practice Teams: Corporate Defined Benefit, Corporate Defined Contribution, Endowments & Foundations, Healthcare, Insurance, and Private Wealth.

NEPC Clients Weigh In: The Future of Meetings

An infographic with data from the client survey, showing that the majority of clients prefer virtual meetings as part of their routine schedule, and sharing benefits of virtual meetings.
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