The power of face-to-face communication Expert Opinion

Masha Boh, Business Development Manager at The Brewery, says that nothing can match the authenticity of a face to face event.

 

Every few weeks there seems to be a new app, website or technology which promises to help bring us closer together and form meaningful bonds in ways we wouldn’t be able to in the real world. Whether it’s a new app which vows to end traditional dating or a networking platform which pledges to advance our career, these may appear to make life easier, but can often leave us feeling less connected than ever.

With some suggesting loneliness is on its way to becoming Britain’s most lethal condition, it seems that the power of face-to-face communication is more powerful and more necessary than ever before.

As we increasingly turn to tech to replace and streamline social interactions, it seems that more and more people are feeling disenfranchised with the fact that they are becoming less valuable than their data. As such, many are reverting back to the traditional method of communicating, especially when conveying something important. People are looking for meaningful connections and it seems that big businesses are finally waking up to the true power of events, the ability to draw people together and bring brands to life. 

With so many businesses competing for attention, the modern customer no longer passively consumes brand messaging and instead is more focused on collecting experiences. As the new form of currency, experiences are more valuable than a simple brand to customer interaction: they add personality, build trust and show that the organisation is a living breathing entity that you can interact with.

Through events, organisations are able to connect with guests in a way that is simply unachievable from behind a screen. When used strategically, live events can become the cornerstone of a business’s public face, offering the money-can’t-buy-experiences that people are searching for.

And it’s not just the connection that we’re seeking – often people are looking for a voice to trust. With the increasing use of human-to-machine interaction, many of us are losing faith in our position as a valued customer. If something’s worth saying, it’s worth saying in person and while it’s not practical to convey every message personally, the big ones are worth eye-contact.

As it is in most cases, technology should be used to complement human interaction rather than replace it. We’re noticing that successful organisations are increasingly using tech to streamline the day to day while pushing the more important messages during live events where they have a more captive and receptive audience.

While it’s clear we don’t want tech to replace everything, there is definitely a desire to minimise pointless interactions through tech and maximise real life interactions with the personalisation and quality of face-to-face relations. Effectively it comes down to the quality over quantity argument. At the end of the day, people still buy people and certain messages are simply better received when coming from a person. A strong leader, for example, will always appear more inspiring that an AI bot even when using exactly the same words.

All messages are only as good as the medium in which they are conveyed and as such, events should be considered a vital part of the marketing mix. They provide businesses with the rare opportunity to interface with their public and can often provide a much higher ROI than they are given credit for. The next time you have something important to say, consider utilising an event and taking things back to basics by facing up to your customers…literally!

 

Stuart Wood


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