How to: Four Benefits of In-Person Meetings

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How to: Four Benefits of In-Person Meetings

We’ve all worked the last few years in a mostly remote work environment, conducting meetings on various virtual platforms. Although ASTM International’s technical committees haven’t missed a beat, we’ve noted some differences between virtual and in-person meetings. As live committee weeks return, it is important to highlight the many benefits of meeting in-person.

READ MORE: How To: Understand Committee Structure

1. Technical Networking: Many ASTM members enjoy the camaraderie that is such an important part of ASTM culture at in-person meetings. These meetings consistently attract a wide audience of industry stakeholders, giving attendees the opportunity to network with key government and regulatory officials, inspectors, certification body representatives, laboratory workers, and academics.

2. Cultivating Relationships: ASTM members and other meeting participants reap the benefits of building and maintaining relationships with key industry colleagues. For members who have made career changes or are new to their industry, being back in-person provides the opportunity for them to form these necessary relationships. Problem solving, understanding the nuances of testing or installing products, and learned experiences are just a part of the value of developing relationships at ASTM meetings. Additionally, service providers and product representatives use meetings as an opportunity to enjoy a meal with clients and catch up on all things business, as well as general life updates.

3. Side Meetings: The work of developing standards primarily takes place in the task group setting, but when meeting in-person, there is the added value of catching a negative voter or dissenting viewpoint outside of the formal meeting room. Members have reported making significant progress through one-on-one interactions that take place in the hallway, at the hotel restaurant, or through casual conversation. Committee and task group leadership also spend time outside of the formal meetings, preparing and coordinating business items that help the meetings run more efficiently.

5. Staff Engagement: ASTM staff also look forward to engaging with their members at in-person meetings. Helping committees and industries is at the core of what we do as an organization, and seeing our members in-person again, running meetings, grabbing a cup of coffee, or just spending time with members is the best part of our work. Members and new meeting participants can use in-person meetings to sit down with their staff manager and get process training, talk through strategies, or learn how to navigate a certain business item.


Task groups are an integral part of ASTM International committee weeks. Here is how task groups are described in The Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees (

“10.1.2 task group, n — an ad-hoc group operating in an unofficial capacity for the subcommittee for a specific activity.

Discussion If appropriate, a timetable for completion may be established. Society or Committee membership is not required, but the task group is encouraged to represent a balance of interests wherever possible and appropriate. Formal balloting is not required at the task group level. Discharge may occur with completion or cause to abandon the activity.

10.2 Task Groups

Task groups are established by the subcommittee chair or by majority approval of the official voting members of the subcommittee either at a meeting or by ballot.

Discharge requires concurrence of the task group chair and subcommittee chair or majority approval of the official voting members of the subcommittee either at a meeting or by ballot.” ■

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