In this digital era, you’d be forgiven for assuming that face-to-face communication isn’t relevant anymore. Given our comfort with email and video-calls, it definitely seems plausible. Some business meetings are even being conducted through VR! That being said, several studies have concluded that in-person meetings aren’t going anywhere, claiming that face-to-face meetings are critical to building and maintaining meaningful business relationships.
Networking is, for many, the backbone of all business; recent studies have revealed that 85% of positions are filled through networking. However, networking online doesn’t compare to doing it in person. So many factors, like appearance, voice, handshake, and nonverbal cues, don’t properly come through in an email thread or online chat, which is probably why 68% of professionals value in-person networking more.
That’s one of the major reasons why companies still send employees on business trips; on average, every dollar spent on corporate travel yields $12.50 back. Face-to-face interaction is so relevant that the average business would lose 17% of their profit if they stopped spending on corporate travel.
Here’s the thing: technological advancement and face-to-face interaction are not mutually exclusive concepts! Events like tradeshows and corporate conferences stand to gain enormously by integrating technological innovations. C2 Montreal, a conference all about finding the intersection between creativity and commerce, have a keen understanding of how tech can elevate in-person communication. For example, they distribute special badges, which can be swiped to exchange contact information, as an alternative to business cards. If used the right way, technology can improve face-to-face interaction, rather than replace it!
Even if it feels like technology is dominating the world, don’t forget that in-person networking is just as important as ever. Get out to a tradeshow! You’re guaranteed to meet some interesting people!