We can change the thermostat in our homes from our smart phones, monitor our babies’ movements in their cribs at night and conduct virtual meetings with colleagues from anywhere in the world.
Yet how is it that when technology has us more “connected” than ever, there’s an impossible feeling of distance and disconnection in today’s business world?
Companies invest in training workshops for sales teams to increase revenue, and executive leaders invest in corporate memberships for networking and access to market research. Even no-budget startups can access countless business resources with a quick Google search.
But there’s nothing quite like shaking hands, looking someone in the eye and sitting down over a cup of coffee.
It’s authentic. It’s real. And it’s genuine.
- Emotional connection Marketers spend countless hours brainstorming with creative teams on how to create content that elicits an emotional response to convert prospective buyers. Happiness, fear, surprise, satisfaction and relief are all emotions that cause us to act a certain way and can be challenging to evoke with an email or phone call.
- Undivided attention When you’re face-to-face, the multi-tasking distractions – email, conference calls, webinars and virtual meetings, staff – that regularly interrupt daily business fall away for a moment.
- Business value According to a report from Meeting Professionals International (MPI), 40 percent of prospects converted to new customers via face-to-face meetings, and 28 percent of current business would be lost without face-to-face meetings. According to the Wall Street Journal, a study from global research firm Oxford Economics provides clear evidence that business travel directly leads to an increase in both corporate revenue and profits. The study found that every dollar invested in business travel results in $12.50 in added revenues and $3.80 in new profits.
- Build relationships It’s easy to dismiss a provider or altogether replace a vendor you’ve never met, but people think twice before firing a colleague or friend they respect on a personal level. Get to know your prospective clients, their kids’ names, their favorite sports teams…the more engaged you are with peers and vendors, the greater the level of trust.
- Memorable experience Face-to-face events provide live access to thought leadership from both industry analysts and peers who share similar challenges. Live networking experiences bring together a mixed generational group who all share similar job functions but come from different stages in their careers.
- Efficiency You’ve got mile-long project lists, a calendar full of meetings and monthly goals to meet. It simply doesn’t seem feasible to take any time away from the office. Three days away from the office alongside innovative technologies and executive leaders can clear the air to focus on growing new business opportunities.