At the beginning of 2020, the world was faced with one of the biggest challenges in history – COVID-19. Much of the world was given nationwide “stay at home” orders from Governments which changed business, globally. One of the biggest things we lost during the pandemic was in-person contact. We had to adapt to the changing landscape to continue business efforts virtually, and so the Zoom and Teams meetings began.
Most businesses would have had Zoom calls at some point during the pandemic, we had a lot of them to keep member engagement high, we all began to realise how important meeting people in person really was after several months on Zoom. We longed for the meetings we used to have and looked forward to a time when we could speak to people without a screen.
In this blog, we explore the key reasons why in-person networking and events are so important in a post-pandemic climate and why we shouldn’t solely rely on digital substitutes.
Business is personal – Networking provides businesses with the opportunity to make connections and possibly successful business deals with other businesses in their area of expertise. For smaller businesses, it can be crucial to build these connections as part of their growth plans. Our network, for example, is built upon the connections our members make, providing them with a global presence.
Although digital events have been very useful to allow networking and business opportunities to continue, business is personal, and the amount of business deal activity went down throughout the pandemic, therefore, businesses must look to the future where in-person networking still has a place.
Human nature – Bringing it back to basics, we’re human, and we are very social indeed. In fact, research has for long shown a link between a positive social life and good health and that being withdrawn from social situations can make us more likely to get unwell. The end of in-person events is not near. We thrive in social situations, and we need to learn from and discuss topics with like-minded people that we enjoy being around.
There’s a world out there – Zoom can connect you with anyone, anywhere around the world in just a click, but it doesn’t actually take you anywhere. Networking events, like ours, are hosted all over the world, allowing attendees to discover new cultures, food, and places they wouldn’t get to experience through digital networking.
The pandemic has made this even more important, being stuck at home for the best part of a year has made the majority of us eager to travel again and see and experience places outside of our usual scenery – we’ve been in the same place for too long and evidence suggests that we are looking forward to seeing more of the world again.
Let’s shake on it – It’s a famously old phrase but its messaging is still true now, making a deal has always been sealed with a handshake
Speaking to someone on the other side of the world, directly from your living room is magical, there is no denying that but the benefits of speaking to people in person when it comes to sealing business deals is also undeniable.
London Conference – Our Conference in London in October is the first face-to-face networking event we will host since the start of the pandemic, and we’re excited to get back to seeing our members again.
We have a fantastic line-up of activities and networking opportunities allowing our members to take full advantage of the ability to meet up in person and enjoy some of the things we have all missed over the past 12 months – sharing a drink, joining a walking tour and drinking a locally brewed cup of tea.
Find out more about our Annual Conference and book your tickets here.