Archive for June, 2010

Do We Need More than One Way to Connect?

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Two articles crossed my desk recently. One was entitled “Meetings Deliver”, a white paper on the ways that face-to-face meetings of all kinds have a positive impact to drive sales and profitability. The other was an article on how virtual presentations saved one company “serious time and money”. Which one is correct? To be fair, they both are. Xerox uses online presentations for both training and lead generation. Due to tight travel budgets, employees and channel partners attend training classes online. Marketing presentations include product demonstrations and customer testimonials. Xerox controls the information required by viewer log-ins to maximize lead generation. This way they know which customers were interested in which topics. All well and good. However, Xerox still attends dozens of live events every year.

This boasting of the holy grail of virtual creates the impression that face-to-face is a big waste of time and money. It’s just not that easy. We’re part of the human race, and most of us need more interaction than via our computer screens. What’s important is to recognize the opportunity to mix and match to create a strategic solution. According to the MPI white paper, some of the business benefits of face-to-face include the opportunity to “seal the deal” and form long-term relationships, the ability to build trust, and improved productivity. In the local economy, meetings deliver direct and indirect employment for millions of people. One figure quoted states that a 10% increase in business travel would raise GDP by 1.5% – 2.9%. (more…)