Even before COVID put a nix on shaking hands to seal the deal or attending events and conferences that drew in the masses, the traditional ways of networking and sharing experiences had begun to change. We were already migrating toward virtual events and digital streaming of workshops, meetings and summits.
Today, a LinkedIn DM followed by a 30-minute Zoom is more commonplace than an introductory coffee meeting at Starbucks. Digital and virtual address our need for immediate interconnectivity and offer global reach for business connections and opportunities.
However, the reverse effect of digital connectivity has begun to flourish again. People are once again prioritizing interactions that technology and social media can never replace in order to advance opportunities more quickly—or for growth and knowledge sharing. Virtual events and Zoom are here to stay—and they absolutely have a valuable place in our highly interconnected world—but authentic experiences can never be entirely replicated in the digital realm.
For brands and businesses, the new challenge is how to create value for clients, customers and partners through in-person experiences in a format in which they genuinely are excited to attend. This means offering businesses must offer a unique motivator for individuals to take on the logistics of an in-person experience, whether that be a commute, long-distance travel or giving up time with family outside standard business hours.