Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Staying Power of Real Events

Virtual events may be sexy, but they're no match for their face-to-face cousins, says Margit Weisgal, executive director of the Trade Show Exhibitors Association, in the latest edition of BtoB.

"Webinars, virtual events, Twitter and Facebook status updates all have their value," she writes.  "But getting in front of someone, face-to-face, in-person, creates an immediacy of interaction, a responsiveness of active dialogue that cannot be replaced with technological tools."

Not only is the immediacy of face-to-face irreplacable, Weisgal argues, but so is another crucial aspect of real-world encounters: serendipity.  

Unlike live events, "virtual events don't allow you to connect with others in spontaneous ways," she writes, because they "demand that you purposefully 'sign in,' search out and interact with 'avatars' through the use of a keyboard."

Weisgal cites adman Spencer Jarrett, who made her case succinctly when he told Business Week, “Asking if virtual meetings will replace live meetings is like asking if singles chat rooms will replace real dating.”

Disclaimer: Trade Show Exhibitors Association is a client of mine.
Powered by Blogger.