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The Need for Face-to-Face Meetings in a Digital World

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In light of the global awareness campaign “Global Meetings Industry Day” celebrated on April 6, INCON’ s partners across the globe share their thoughts on the importance of organising face-to-face meetings. MCI Group’s President Robin Lokerman was asked to contribute to the article, a full version of which you can find here.

There’s no shortage of articles and guides on how to run live meetings or broadcast events via social media platforms like Facebook or YouTube. Furthermore, websites like Eventbrite or Livestream, provide you with tips on how to engage remote audiences and efficiently adapt to new digital technologies. Similarly, industry blogs produce and share relative content for keeping event professionals and their audiences ‘up to speed’ with the latest developments.

If you were to listen to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO,  you might easily get caught up in the rhetoric that the future of meetings is digital. Take a peek at his virtual future of events where Zuckerberg presented a new social Virtual Reality (VR) experience that “overlays VR avatars of friends who are elsewhere on top of your vision so you can hang out together.”  No doubt, live stream meetings or events are the best option if you want to save money and time. It involves less headaches and sleepless nights, as the logistics aren’t so painful. In addition, it brings together a larger number of people in different areas of the world, increasing the event’s reach.

Although this statement reads like this is the end of face-to-face meetings, statistics show that live streamed events are actually real proof that (virtual) attendees crave face-to-face interactions now more than ever!

In-person meetings will continue to exist and we, as event professionals, will continue to struggle with countless logistic and planning issues. However, taking into account this new digital layer and multiple live streaming tools with a continuous impact on the event industry, there’s a big question that we must ask ourselves: What exactly keeps face-to-face meetings and events successful?

As Robin Lokerman suggests, the more connected the world gets, the more we need face-to-face communication. He continues by emphasising that apart from flawless logistics and strong content, people expect engagement and involvement during the sessions. They don’t want to be passive participants anymore. They are interested in being part of the discussion. Moreover, the attendees want the organisers to create an efficient networking environment and provide apps that will allow them to connect with other participants. Therefore, face-to-face meetings offer the irreplaceable possibility of building meaningful connections and gaining relevant prospects.

At MCI, we are using technology in alignment with the key messaging that companies and organisations alike need to deliver high quality content, good networking opportunities and promote interactivity for engaging and activating their audiences. Contact us here to find out how we can help.

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