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The Howes GroupJust recently I came across an article in The Wall Street Journal about ‘The Power of Conferences in a Social Media Age.’  It gave me pause. It talked about how to use your social media skills to make the best use of your conference experience. Interesting.

Some time ago, people talked about how travelling to a face-to-face conference would be soon going the way of the Dodo bird. Technology would make meeting people in person obsolete.

About 10 years ago, a prominent hotel in Canada invested more than $1M in what we call their Star Trek boardroom. It was truly awe-inspiring. Everything could happen from there and be broadcasted to anywhere in the world. But for a lot of folks something was missing. To this day, the room and its capability are still not used to their maximum potential.

It seems people still want to shake hands, establish relationships and share experiences. Yes, social media has its place, but it is still somewhat transactional in nature. And, while technology races forward with new apps appearing daily, in my opinion it still has a lot of growing up to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as active on all my social media channels as the next person, while integrating both worlds still seems a work in progress.

While hybrid conferences are advantageous for delivering information, having a true creative exchange of ideas tends to lose momentum when folks are only engaging with a screen. Real human emotion, empathy and eye contact have been proven to hasten both trust and the relationship.

Science will always progress and I love the journey. Soon, very soon, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will come fully online and again transform our perceptions regarding personal experiences. More on this in future newsletters.

Conferences will always be about shared experiences. Technology bolsters those experiences, but after being able to host virtual meetings for more than a decade, it is good to see that the handshake IRL: in real life, continues to be valued. Soon we will be introducing our personal robots to each other, while we have lunch together, in person, being creative and visionary.

Timely yours,

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