Much working time is spent in meetings and, as a consequence, meetings have become the subject of multidisciplinary research. Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMRs) are 3D virtual replicas of meeting rooms, where various modalities such as speech, gaze, distance, gestures and facial expressions can be controlled. This allows VMRs to be used to improve remote meeting participation, to visualize multimedia data and as an instrument for research into social interaction in meetings. This paper describes how these three uses can be realized in a VMR. We describe the process from observation through annotation to simulation and a model that describes the relations between the annotated features of verbal and non-verbal conversational behavior. As an example of social perception research in the VMR, we describe an experiment to assess human observers’ accuracy for head orientation.