No matter how advanced conferencing technology becomes, there’s no substitute for meeting someone face-to-face. Shaking hands, sharing conversation over a nice meal, sitting together to brainstorm new strategies for online retail success – none of these experiences is replicated through meetings using Skype, WebEx or GoToMeeting.
The Wall Street Journal article “The New Face of Face-to-Face meetings” cites an Oxford Economics study showing that every dollar invested in business travel results in $12.50 in added revenue and $3.80 in new profits. Face-to-face meetings are necessary, and even profitable, for reasons both obvious and research-based:
- A handshake tells a lot about a person, and you can’t shake hands with a monitor
- Facial expressions and other body language can communicate more than the words we use
- Non-verbal cues help us predict a person’s trustworthiness (Science Daily)
- In-person meetings are usually more casual and more likely to be considered “off the record,” so it’s possible to get more done in less time
- Sharing a common experience is a building block of a long-term relationship
- In-person meetings are simply more memorable than digital conversations
Connecting with Customers
Knowing the importance of connecting in-person, we hold SLI Connect events each year in North America, Asia Pacific and the UK. It’s a unique opportunity to mingle with our customers, other retailers and industry leaders to discuss current e-commerce topics, explore future possibilities and learn from each other’s experiences.
Our SLI Connect event is Thursday, September 24, at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and there’s still a couple days to register. Our agenda, speaker list, venue details and sign up form are available at www.sli-connect.com.
If you’re already scheduled to attend, you can follow real-time updates on Twitter using the hashtag #sliconnect. We can’t wait to share some non-verbal cues and build some common experiences (i.e. shake hands and have some fun together).