Are You Ready to Return to In-Person Events?
After being cooped up for over a year the need to network at In-Person events is on the rise. I have attended numerous events this year and heard the roar of “About time”. And while masks were worn and social distancing adhered to, we all welcomed the personal interaction. Many of the experiences and connections made at In-Person events cannot be accomplished via on-line events, much to the chagrin of the Zoomer Generation.
My re-discovery of the in-person interactions has allowed me to consider all the benefits I missed out on during Covid-19, and the overwhelming success of networking with others in a live setting.
While virtual events are here to stay and provide some incredible benefits of their own, I believe in-person events provide unique qualities not experienced online. After my last event I sat down and made a list of the compelling differences from On-line or Zoom® events to gathering in a live setting. The following are the 7 benefits that only an In-Person event can provide.
7 Benefits to In-Person Events
Quality of Time
Being On-line with a group of people cannot compare to sitting next to someone in a live setting. In Zoom we spend very little time talking about personal things. It is usually, “Let’s get to work and get this over with”. When at an In-Person event, you are going to be there for a while, which leads to higher quality greetings, discussions and personal interaction.
These can happen anywhere anytime while in sessions, eating meals, and during evening events. They can happen at the check-in Kiosk, in the lunch line or at a dinner reception. You never know what you might learn from another person in a live setting. Listening to others at a round tables and engaging new acquaintances creates spontaneous conversation that can be enlightening and gaining new relationships that you may have never imagined. These chance meetings are rare in a virtual setting.
Improved Non-Verbal Cues
Our brains are capable of processing so much information at an extraordinary rate. When In-Person you can read body language and view all the surroundings including others in the room, materials, and reactions. Reading non-verbal cues is essential to better communication and clearly seeing body language and expressions communicates things you cannot always pickup online.
Quicker Vendor Qualification
When On-line, you are committed to hours of meetings and demonstrations that are reduced at an In-Person venue. Listening to others and your peers at vendor booths, asking questions, and making comments assists in the decision-making process of whether a product is appropriate. Sometimes this can be done in minutes, moving from booth to booth while rapidly gathering information. Qualifying a new Vendor. Exhibit halls are great for to qualify if the vendor can specifically help your organization. Another benefit to In-Person exchanges is seeing live presentations in an exhibit hall. Doing this in one place expedites the process, keeping it fresh in one’s memory for comparative purposes and revisiting booths after the initial exposure to gain more information.
Audio and Video quality can be exceptional at In-person events. Even concert-like quality. No more video dropouts and garbled audio during on-line events. Panel discussions are more engaging because they can talk as a group without bad audio and video interfering with the event. On-line we put up with a variety of technical issues not experienced in a live setting.
For many people nothing is more exhilarating than traveling to places we have never been. Seeing new environments, surroundings, and unique cities brings new perspective to our life and cultivates new creativity that otherwise might remain dormant. These new locales are a huge perk to work related travel and exposes us to areas we may never have frequented. I may come home tired, but I am usually full of new fresh ideas from my travels to new locales. Meeting new people from all over the world feeds that creativity too.
No More Isolation
The isolationism brought on by Covid-19 has taught us how much we need each other and how much we want to connect at In-Person events. This does not mean we value remote working any less, but we understand how important real contact is and the benefits we receive when we are not isolated. Covid-19’s biggest lie is that we can remain remote, alone and are better for it and On-line has become the new norm. This is no further from the truth that In-Person connection is a necessary aspect to business and life.
I had forgot how much live, in-person events provide unique value. Even though we wore masks, my recent in-person event revived me, inspired me, and reminded me how great people are. As humans we naturally yearn to connect with others and network with people again. It is how we are wired, and live events are one of the opportunities we have. So, explore connecting at your next event and reap the benefits of meeting In-Person.