Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting as a means of building rapport and strengthening relationships in the workplace. Simple human interaction is more valuable than a dozen emails.
Yet while an overwhelming majority of exhibitors believe face-to-face connections are the best way to interact with people, technology and digitisation are killing human interaction in the event industry.
Take a walk round any trade show and see how many exhibitors are more interested in their mobile device than the people walking past their stands. The operative phrase being “walking past”.
Technology is undoubtedly having an increasing impact on the way we live, work and play. However, while technology means we can communicate with one another more efficiently, such as across continents and time zones, the effectiveness of such communications needs to be questioned.
It would be more time efficient to conference call a client than travel to their office for a face-to-face meeting. And although it’s quicker to email than stop for a conversation are these interactions as effective as they could be?
A study found that 89% of workers believe that face-to-face meetings are the best wat to interact with people. Yet, 46% consider their interactions with people are less frequently face-to-face due to technology with the sentiment being that society is becoming less compassionate due to the growing use of technology.
By their very nature, trade shows are a social society.
Exhibitors need to find the right balance between the “tech and touch” balance at trade shows. Event organisers need to adopt technologies which will allow exhibitors to become more efficient, deliver a better product or service faster or with a lower return on investment and not to let those technologies come at the expense of real life, in person, face-to-face interactions.