Part 1: The Value of Face-to-Face / by Kim Miyade

Upon our recent return from a whole lineup of trade shows and conventions (NSC-National Safety Council, ERA-Electronic Resellers Association, VEW-Vision Expo West, Cops West, IMEX-International Meetings and Incentive Travel Exhibition, and WISPApalooza), with one more on the way (IACP-International Association of Chiefs of Police), we’ve been reminded of the importance of face-to-face meetings.

I know we’ve emphasized this point on our landing page—and with good reason. In a world that increasingly relies on digital communications, it’s easy to forget the value of face-to-face communication. If we can easily “meet” a business by checking out its website and communicate with a few keystrokes and clicks through email, why go through the hassle of coordinating, planning and physically getting to an in-person meeting? Well, here are 4 reasons why you should:

1.     PERSONALITY— Sure, you can get a vague sense of someone’s overall demeanor and temperament via email, text, website copy, etc…but by no means do you get the full picture. I can’t even begin to tell you the countless number of contacts we have that come across one way through email, and the complete opposite in-person. If you rely solely on digital interactions, you run the risk of concealing your true personality…which may end up hurting you—and your business—in the long run.

2.     TRUSTING RELATIONSHIPS— Relationships can easily be started online, but they will never reach their “full potential” until they are actualized in person. Trust also goes hand-in-hand with establishing a relationship; rarely do [wise] people rest their complete faith in someone they’ve only met through email or SMS exchanges. A face-to-face meeting serves as the foundation for any authentic and trustworthy relationship we build in both business and personal affairs.

3.     NONVERBAL CUES— We often think of communication as verbal or written exchanges of words, but experts agree that a substantial portion of communication is nonverbal (posture, facial expressions, tonality, gestures, etc). These are important cues to person’s internal thoughts, emotions and feelings. These cues are nonexistent in digital interaction; if you really need to get a “gauge” on someone, you’re going to have to do it in person!

4.     BONDING— You can’t expect to truly bond with someone via digital communications! It takes face time in order to begin to genuinely like someone, feel comfortable with him or her and judge whether or not you actually like that person, let alone work with them.

Face-to-face communication is integral to our professional and personal lives. The obvious reason we avoid them is because they are harder to coordinate and take more time compared to other digital forms of communication. Stay tuned for our next post, which will discuss places and opportunities that take some of the hassle out of coordinating face-to-face meetings.