Face-to-Face Meetings Remain Vital

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Along with you, I take full advantage of the technology that has become available during the last two decades. Regularly, I rely on my Web site, ezine, blogs, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Go to Meeting, and other wonderful technology advances. Also, I participate in Webinars, to benefit from what experts can teach me.

However, when I want to experience the most enjoyable and beneficial interaction, I arrange a face-to-face meeting.

You sense these advantages, too, I’m sure. So that’s why I know you will want to read this terrific editorial, written by Harvey Grotsky, Publisher, Corporate & Incentive Travel in the September 2009 issue, reprinted with his gracious permission.

BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER
Some experts are saying that, due to various economic indicators, the recession is over. It will be a slow and sometimes painful recovery. But if there is one thing many companies have learned during these unprecedented times is that face-to-face meetings have proven their worth.

As Mike Mason, the senior vice president of sales for Gaylord Hotels, reminded me during an engaging conversation we had at the ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo in Toronto, one good thing has come out of the last several months: Companies have learned that cancelling face-to-face meetings is not a viable solution. Bringing people together in a face-to-face meeting is the best way to meet the needs of organizations and corporations.

Moreover, two surveys crossed my desk this week. One, from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, suggests that technology cannot replace at least six elements of the conference experience: 1)socializing and networking spontaneously, 2) helping attendees best put names with faces, 3)allowing more free and open dialogue between attendees and vendors/presenters, 4)training effectively via live and personal interaction, 5)paying greater attention to others when face-to-face and 6)engaging in real-time conversation that is not interrupted by technical glitches.

The second survey, a Forbes Insights study, “Business Meetings:The Case for Face-to-Face,” revealed that 84 percent of business executives preferred in-person contact to virtual because face-to-face meetings enable them to build stronger relationships (85 percent) and provide greater opportunity to “read” another person (77 percent). The executives overwhelmingly agreed that face-to-face meetings are necessary for building deeper, more profitable bonds with clients and business partners, and for maintaining productive relationship with coworkers. Furthermore, 87 percent agreed that the tangible benefits of in-person meetings outweighed the cost savings of alternative, technology-based meeting methods such as teleconferencing or videoconferencing.

As Kevin Gentzel, president and group publisher of Forbes Media, said, “Face-to-face meetings. . .are critical to business success and important drivers in our economy, so while travel is often the first budget item to suffer cuts in a recession, it can’t be the last to be restored if the economy is to grow.”

THANKS AGAIN
Again, thanks to Harvey Grotsky for reconfirming the great value of face-to-face meetings. I applaud and endorse his remarks, and appreciate his permission to publish his editorial.

FOR YOUR NEXT MEETING
Oh, something I should mention. When you are planning your next meeting, I’ve got somebody to recommend, who will work with you closely to guarantee a successful meeting–whether you need a speaker, seminar director, breakout session leader, or master of ceremonies.

“Now wait, Bill,” you ask, “have you heard this guy speak?”

“Oh yes, many times.”

“How well do you know him?”

My answer: “Well, I shaved him this morning.”

Yep, let’s discuss how I can assist you when you want to “Finish in First Place! ” (My motto)

Now, don’t just keep this speaker I recommend to yourself. Please give your meeting planner
this link to my Web page that is designed specifically for Meeting Planners:
http://commlampton.com/meeting_planners.htm

MY CONTACT INFORMATION
Bill Lampton, Ph.D., President
Championship Communication
“Helping You Finish in First Place”
http://www.championshipcommunication.com
Video blog: http://thecompletecommunicator.com
678-316-4300

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