Since the start of COVID-19, feelings of isolation have increased. The same social distancing that protected us has left us a little lonelier, less connected, and missing the in-person connection humans crave.
It’s been nearly two years since the pandemic began, and we’ve made significant improvements in science and event safety. As a result, we can now gather together safely, and attendees want to! In fact, in a recent survey by PCMA, 72% of attendees stated attending an in-person event was worth all the safety protocols and personal protective equipment. One respondent event wrote, “Done with virtual events. Bring back live events.” And we think many can relate to this statement.
Attendees and planners alike can agree there is nothing quite like face-to-face connection and the magic of attending a live event. After all, in-person connection leads to so much more. So in celebration of live events coming back and the 2022 Northwest Event Show right around the corner, we’re sharing some fascinating reasons why in-person connections are so powerful.
1. It’s Human Nature
As humans, we’re wired to connect. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, love and belonging are the most critical needs outside of physiological and safety needs. The need for love and belonging includes friendship, trust, and acceptance. All of these connections are easier to find when connecting in person. Our overall health and quality of life improve when we meet this need.
2. In-Person Leads to Better Communication
Did you know 55% of communication is in the form of body language, 38% is your tone of voice, and only 7% is in the form of written word? With those statistics in mind, it’s not surprising, so many emails and text messages get misinterpreted. Subtle cues you would immediately pick up on in-person go unnoticed.
For example, if you’re talking to someone through email, you’ll miss their tone of voice. Even on a video call, it’s easy to miss body language cues. In-person connections allow for better communication because you can better read body language and tone of voice face-to-face.
Better communication helps create strong relationships, partnerships, and more.
3. Face-To-Face Connection is Better For Well-Being
The mitigation we put in place to combat COVID-19 may have adversely impacted people’s well-being. It’s harder to connect online. The isolation increased feelings of loneliness and other negative side effects. A recent study with 435 U.S. adults in March 2020 found that those who distanced reported increased stress, depression, and anxiety. As we mentioned above, socialization is a basic human need, and social distancing can interfere with that, ultimately affecting our mental health. While virtual events tried to bridge the gap and create a safe place for digital connection, many attendees reported it was harder to connect and engage with one another online.
4. Fewer Distractions Make For Engaging Experiences
Let’s be honest, when was the last time you fully paid attention to a virtual event? If you can’t think of a time, you’re far from alone.
When you are tuning in from home or work, you have a myriad of competing distractions. Often, you’ll find yourself multi-tasking through the event, checking emails, or grabbing your kids some lunch. Unfortunately, these distractions make it much harder to absorb the valuable learnings from sessions and might prevent you from connecting with other attendees.
It’s less likely for you to be distracted by outside sources when you’re onsite at an event. When you are in person, you focus on what is there in front of you. As a result, you’re more likely to stay in the moment, allowing you to soak in everything around you, reconnect with colleagues and even spark new connections.
5. People Agree More to In-Person Requests
If you’ve been in business during the pandemic, you know it can be hard to close a deal or start a partnership online. In-person connections make it easier to get a deal closed. In fact, face-to-face requests were 34 times more effective than emailed ones. It makes sense in person, you have fewer distractions, plus the ability to pick up on body language and tone of voice will help you understand the perfect time to ask for requests like asking for a meeting or closing a business deal.
6. More Opportunities for Building Real Relationships
68.8% of event organizers believe it’s more challenging to provide networking opportunities at virtual events. While digital networking is difficult, the opportunities to build authentic relationships are abundant in person. At an in-person event, you may find yourself serendipitously bumping into someone in line or sparking up a conversation waiting for a session to start. That conversation might be the start of a long friendship or business relationship. Plus, there are opportunities to connect organically at events like welcome receptions and after-parties.
Conclusion: In-Person Connection Leads to So Much More
As you can see, in-person connection holds great power and can positively impact our overall health and well-being. We are wired to connect, and belonging is a basic need. We are social creatures. It’s in our DNA. Face-to-face connections allow us to better communicate with one another, more effectively build relationships, and even close business deals. And with that, it’s no wonder why in-person connection leads to so much more!
Are you ready to re-connect, re-invest, and re-ignite? Join us on March 1st, 2022, at the Northwest Eventshow. Get your tickets here!