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What You Miss in Virtual Conferences

A man in a blue button-up.
Marc Healy, executive director of retail and marketing
2 min read
Two men meeting in a room under construction.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

the Value of “in-person”


Some things will never go out of style, and “in-person” meetings are one of them. Aaron Vallely of Hawaii State Federal Credit Union (HSFCU) points out two beneficial aspects of in-person: “Collective brainpower” and the “side conversations.”

HSFCU flies all the way from Hawaii to Portsmouth, NH (where The Element Group is headquartered) because they truly believe in the value of in-person meetings.

Virtual conferences do not allow for the same brainstorming power nor the useful “side conversations.”


Where ideas are generated

Nate Baldasaro, co-founder of The Element Group, points out the benefit of having everyone together in conversation. Ideas are generated, discussed, and sometimes implemented from all corners of the room.

It is over these conversations where the main idea often comes. Virtual conferences unfortunately do not allow for side conversations, which removes this crucial aspect of communication.

Where creativity comes alive

In the hours after the workday has ended, and both parties are enjoying each other’s company is often where creativity really comes alive. Out of great evenings including dinner, baseball, or golf come many creative solutions and ideas.

This too is something unachievable through virtual meetings/conferences. When it’s all work and no fun, creativity does not seem to be as present.

Months of work in just a few days

Brainstorming, discussing, designing, building, redesigning, rebuilding, virtual reality, playing hard, and working even harder.

Over the course of the three-day visit the HSFCU guests and Nate Baldasaro discuss the efficiency, effectiveness, and fun of this client visit. All things that are impossible via virtual conference calls.

One of the key limitations of virtual conferences is the capacity for work that can be completed. In-person meetings are naturally more efficient and effective, and much more can be accomplished. It’s like compressing three months into three days!

To learn more about their visit, here’s a summary of Day 1 and Days 2 & 3.

The business philosophy of Kaizen

Ish shares a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc. A key point of Kaizen is improving and challenging the relationship of both parties.

Every bit matters

The Element Group lives out the Kaizen business philosophy through our own motto: every bit matters! Virtual meetings are a tool, and The Element Group uses it.

However, to truly deliver the best experience and product for our clients it is crucial that we communicate well and understand their needs perfectly. This is best accomplished through in-person meetings and conversations.

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union Salt Lake Branch

If you’re interested in seeing more about the Salt Lake branch, here’s a video that a local TV station compiled after their grand opening:



And here’s a quick video we put together highlighting the buildout:



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Written by Alex Kalpakgian for The Element Group. 


What does an Element project look like?

Download our 2023 Look Book here.

A man in a blue button-up.
Marc Healy
executive director of retail and marketing

Often greeted by the team as “Mr. HEALY!,” with all suitable pomp, Marc is known to be a positive force of nature in the office. After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Business and a concentration in Finance, Marc proceeded to leap right into leadership positions. His career now spans over 35 years, with experience in marketing, sales, and finance.


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