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July 25, 2023

Is ‘In-Person’ Still Relevant?

As I write this, I’m 35,000 feet over Pennsylvania, on my way home from the Quirks New York event… two days of networking, learning, selling and bonding for 1,500+ MR professionals. Well done, Team Quirks! And it’s because of that event that I’m writing this article. So, to answer the question in the headline – Is ‘In-Person’ Still Relevant? – consider this:

#1) This was the best-attended Quirks event EVER… and they’ve been putting them on since 2015 (even before the pandemic)! And it wasn’t just the conference itself, it was all of the related events… the MRxPros dinner, the WIRE event, the MR Jam – where large MR crowds turned out!

#2) Some of you may have seen my LinkedIn profile where I shared several posts from a recent ‘road trip.’ I took it to visit some clients I hadn’t met before (and to do a little fishing!).

At the Quirks event, no less than 15 people came up to me and asked, “How was the road trip?” Clearly, the idea of a road trip struck a nerve… that physically getting ‘out there’ to meet with people in-person was a unique and really great thing to do when it comes to enhancing client relationships. By the way, the trip was terrific!

#3) As I talked with other MR pros at Quirks about the value of in-person connections – on road trip or at a conference – my comments were met with enthusiastic agreement! To be fair, this may have been a biased group – after all, they were at an in-person event – but that does not diminish the value of in-person meetings.

#4) And finally, if you don’t believe me, believe the PhD. One of the Quirks speakers – Clint Jenkins, PhD, from Vanguard – spoke on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, he talked about the value & benefits of connecting in-person. Then he spoke again on Thursday about the value & benefits of using video (e.g., Zoom™, Teams™, etc.). I sat in on the second day.

Near the end of the session, someone in the audience asked (and I’m paraphrasing), “If you had to pick the best way to connect, which is it… on video or in-person?” For Dr. Jenkins, it was a clear choice: in-person! And for one key reason. Successful relationships – with co-workers and with clients and sales prospects – are built on trust. And while you can build trust-based relationships online, it is easier, faster, and they can be much deeper when done in-person.

And that’s good enough for me!

Bottom Line

So, as you start planning out the second half of 2023 – and start looking ahead to next year – I would strongly encourage you to build some ‘in-person engagement’ into your sales and marketing plan.

And whether that’s a couple of road trips, attending more conferences and workshops, or just taking clients and prospects who live in your city out for coffee… I promise, you’ll get more out of your efforts than what you put into them.

And while you’re out there… If you see a guy in a white Mustang convertible with the top down singing along to some oldies, give me a wave! 😉

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