As our world transitions to economies based in innovation and experience, the importance of meetings in business has never been greater. This is why we’re proud to be active participants in the second annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on April 6, 2017. Organizations, associations, companies, and individual supporters are gathering around the world to support this important initiative.

 

GMID aims to bring more bring more awareness to meetings and celebrate their impact on local businesses, the powerful communities they belong to, and the global economies that they are interconnected with.

 

Simply put – meetings make magic happen. Whether your team lands on that “big idea” after a day-long brainstorm session or you attend an inspiring panel at a conference, great things are created when great people come together.

 

While today’s digital-centric world has made it extremely easy to stay in touch with people over social media and email, it is actually the face-to-face meetings that lead to longer-term trust and connections. Meetings truly do mean business, and here are four reasons why:

 

For Marketing: Events and meetings help cut through advertising and content overload.

Through meetings and events, products and services become more tangible and help yield real ROI.  Whether it’s handing out product samples at a trade show or hosting a conference to educate the end user, physical contact with a product or service creates the highest likelihood that consumrs will purchase it or use it in the future.

 

For Sales:  Networking is spontaneous and serendipitous.

Networking gives people the opportunity to casually participate within a community of like-minded individuals, allowing for the perfect environment to build lasting connections. This may be one of the reasons more than 173,000 people stayed around a little longer than usual at one of Convene’s 4,500+ different events in 2016.

 

For Learning and Development: In-person trainings have never been more important.

According to the Meetings Mean Business campaign, 89 percent of federal employees say in-person trainings provide a better learning environment because they foster teamwork, networking, and better general engagement when compared to a virtual training. It also helps to create higher employee satisfaction! At Convene, we offer 66 hours of training (mostly in-person) per employee per year, which has contributed to an 83 percent satisfaction score in 2016). 

 

For Innovation: Brainstorming big ideas is still most effective in-person.

Despite our best efforts, humans still encounter roadblocks when we try to perform two different tasks at once. In a virtual meeting, that often means that we also go through emails or work on another project. Well facilitated face-to-face meetings are still the best way to get a group to properly focus and brainstorm. Or if your collective group is more of the quiet type, an in-person brainswarming session might be better instead. 

 

Meetings Mean Top-Line Growth

The reason that we host face-to-face meetings and events for more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Boston while achieving 140 percent revenue growth year-over-year is because business leaders prefer to offer new experiences and try new geographies to stimulate better decision making and stronger relationships.

Want to learn more about the importance of face-to-face meetings and the growing global meetings industry? Be sure to join PCMA’s in-person programming in locations throughout North America, or come hear me present at the Marriott in Brooklyn, New York tomorrow.  You can also follow us with the #GMID17 hashtag on social media. Happy Global Meetings Industry Day to all of our fellow meeting industry professionals!

 

– Chris Kelly, President and Co-Founder, Convene