Why Face to Face meetings & incentives will continue?
Networking, live experiences and cultural immersions are just a few of the things I miss most about face to face meetings, but also the main reason why they will continue! It may not be as quickly as we all would like but you simply can’t get a true cultural immersion without being in a destination. In our last two SITE global conferences in Bangkok, Thailand and Vancouver, Canada, we were able to experience true local cultures by physically going out into the communities and learning firsthand from locals. You simply can’t do that virtually.
We have all experienced a lot of virtual meetings in the last several months and I know it has been so helpful during this crazy time we are now living in. There is absolutely a place for them now and going forward but they are not a substitute for face to face meetings. Having that live meeting, event or incentive builds emotional connections that last a lifetime and they simply must go on. I look back on the many experiences that I have had throughout the years and the incredible places that I have had the opportunity to visit: safaris in Africa, beautiful Kusadasi, Turkey, incredible cruises of all sizes, the terra cotta warriors in Xian, China and all throughout North America. The experience that I had and the group I was traveling with have created life-time memories and emotional connections you just can’t get over a computer! Trust me, you just can’t imagine the size of a terra cotta warrior until you are standing next to one!
Lastly, networking is an essential part of our industry and DNA. Whether it’s walking around a tradeshow floor or attending a meeting or incentive, networking is how we all grow both personally and professionally. I can’t wait until we can all be together again to enjoy those spontaneous meetings over coffee, lunch or in a bar. Until then, we’ll keep meeting for virtual coffees and happy hours, reminiscing about our past travels and dreaming of the time we can all travel together again.