So often we hear from event-industry leaders and organizations how powerful and important face-to-face is.
More often than not, though, they are preaching to the choir.
While attending a family wedding in Detroit recently, I heard that message delivered loud and clear in a most unexpected setting—a Sunday morning church service.
Here's an excerpt from the sermon delivered by Rick Barry, Middle School Pastor, on August 7 to the congregation of Oak Pointe Church in Plymouth, Michigan:
"I want to pause and talk directly to my middle schoolers and millennials here this morning about my sixth and final point about communications and relationships.
"Put down your electronics! Face to face is the best way to communicate.
"In our technology-driven world, with texting, phones and emailing so prevalent, we need to make sure we are committing to communicating face to face.
"Hands down, face to face is by far the best and most effective way to communicate with anyone. Because in face-to-face communication, we see all of the non-verbals that are missed in digital communication: we see a person's eyes; see their smile and facial expressions; hear the tone of their voice; see different emotions that are being felt; and the body language that you never see, hear or feel when texting or emailing.
"If you find yourself hiding behind a text or email, fight that urge and try to go face to face with the person you want and need to communicate with."
After hearing this message from the pulpit it occurred to me that the event industry does not need a big-budget ad campaign to get our "power of face to face" message to mainstream America.
Rather, we should adopt a completely new guerilla marketing strategy.
All we need to do is rally the preachers of America to deliver the message about the power of face-to-face communication and relationship-building to the millennials in church every Sunday—allowing our message to take root and rise throughout the land, and into the halls of Congress and the board rooms of Corporate America.
Event-industry Brothers and Sisters, can I get an Amen?
POSTSCRIPT BY BOB JAMES: With a little push, Mike's idea is could catch fire. Clergy often turn to online sources for sermons. Were the event industry to submit a sermon like Rick Barry's to these websites, who knows how quickly the message might spread? Influencer marketing worked wonders for the gas industry. Why not the event industry? Now you're cooking with gas!
DISCLOSURE: I am a part owner of DARE.