Today there are so many opportunities to communicate digitally. We have the power of a computer in our pocket, and we can text, phone and even video chat almost instantaneously. Although these tools are very powerful, face-to-face connections enable communication that is simply not possible from a distance. This fact is one of the precise reasons we created InPerson. As I write this, I'm borrowing thoughts from Lucinda Honeycutt's article in Entrepreneur from earlier this year.
Power of conferences: A personal perspective.
Among the most effective ways to meet face-to-face with members of your online network is to attend periodic conferences and professional gatherings. The conferences you choose to attend may be annual conferences or monthly chapter meetings. In either case you have opportunities to galvanize existing relationships and forge new ones. The one conference I make sure not to miss is Type-A Parent. It has grown from an annual conference located near me to multiple conferences throughout the year, all over the country, and a series of small mastermind summits.
There are professional events in every imaginable topic. I say professional events, because the spectrum of opportunity exists well beyond just conferences. Trade shows, trade association meetings, professional association meetings, local MeetUp groups and many other events are available to find and connect with existing and new relationships. The Convention Industry Council published a report with Price Waterhouse Cooper in 2014 indicating there were about 2 Million different conferences and events annually. More recently, EventBrite has indicated its services are engaged for about the same number of events. I suspect there is some overlap between those numbers, but that still represents a very large pie to enjoy!
For anyone who wants to increase their personal and business networks or wants to help launch their career to the next level, face-to-face meetings are a must. By attending conferences and other professional events, you will meet thousands of people and broaden your reach beyond what you would be able to accomplish online.