By Tom Wozniak, Head of Marketing – published on Business2Community on 6/11/21
After a long solitary year of Zoom calls, no business travel, working remotely, and generally staying close to home, we are finally seeing a return to some of the business practices that we took for granted. The resurgence of in-person industry events is one of the best signs that we are getting back to ‘normal’ when it comes to business, even if certain restrictions and safety practices are still in place. In the digital marketing industry, more and more conferences, trade shows, and other in-person events are being scheduled in 2021, with several already being held in the U.S. and around the world.
Having an entire year without any real in-person events to attend, I gained more appreciation for the value companies and attendees gain by getting together with their industry peers. After already traveling to multiple events in 2021 and with a large number on the horizon for the second half of the year, here is a list of 5 significant benefits that in-person events provide. It’s not that virtual events or other marketing and sales outreach initiatives can’t deliver any of these benefits, but there are elements of the face-to-face interaction dynamic that simply aren’t the same when conducted remotely.
Meeting New Prospects
Anyone who has attended an industry conference or trade show knows that a big part of the experience is simply meeting new people. This happens when an attendee walks up to your exhibit booth, you strike up a conversation with someone at a networking reception, you chat with the person sitting next to you in a conference session, or any of the myriad of ways that people interact with each other in-person. If your goal at an industry event is to meet new prospective clients and partners, there is really no substitute for the in-person experience. Virtual events have done their best to replicate this dynamic, but I have yet to see one come anywhere close to delivering the same experience.
Reconnecting with Clients and Partners
While reconnecting and building on existing relationships with current clients, partners, and industry peers can be done through video chats, emails, phone calls, and other virtual channels, there is still nothing quite like meeting in person when it comes to creating a connection with people. If your business is built on long-lasting relationships, then seeing people face-to-face is essential. Have you ever experienced the situation where working through a challenge over email, conference calls, or other distance communication channels seems to take a lot of back and forth, with no resolution in sight? How many times has an in-person meeting tended to resolve things very quickly, once you sit down with each other and figure out a solution fairly easily? Personally, I’ve experienced this many times over my career. One of the biggest benefits of large industry events is that you may have the opportunity to meet with numerous clients and partners all in one place over a few days. It isn’t uncommon to get more accomplished during those meetings than in multiple calls and emails.
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Tom Wozniak heads up Marketing and Communications for OPTIZMO Technologies.