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Face-to-face still counts

It’s ironic that, working in the communications industry and with the plethora of tools now available to us, we still have many, many meetings. There ought to be a better, more efficient way of doing things. And, there is. But you still can’t beat a face-to-face meeting to help really understand what people want and what they are offering.

Certainly, video communications and online collaboration tools can eliminate wasteful travel and create significant efficiencies – after all, hanging around airports, stations or being stuck on a motorway hardly constitute an effective use of time – but in the end, people like to meet people with whom they want to form a business relationship.

This point was well made at a recent briefing on VC funding that we attended in London. Both of the speakers made the point that, no matter how detailed the proposal from a company requiring investment, a fair proportion of the ultimate decision came down to the impression made by the aspiring entrepreneurs when they met the people with the money. Evidently, some VCs will know in five minutes if they want to invest in someone, showing how important the human capital part of an idea is to the resulting success of failure of the enterprise. Despite all the maths and projections, human interaction remains critical.

That was remarkably candid and extremely revealing. So much comes down to that face-to-face meeting – no wonder they are so valuable. It reminds us why both we and our customers are so keen to make the most of MWC. With so many people in one place, it’s the outstanding opportunity of the year to meet actual and prospective clients, but it also reminds us how much of the hard work has to be completed beforehand. You can’t just turn up at an event like MWC without having undertaken as much preparatory work as you can and pre-arranged as many meetings as possible. Everyone attends with his or her own agenda and catching their attention is difficult.

But it must be done, otherwise ROI from such an event – from both delegates and exhibitors – is likely to be less than stellar. That’s why we have helped our clients create meetings, with a range of marketing programmes, campaigns and out-reach programmes. If you want help making MWC 2013 or other events a success, get in touch to see how we can help.