The other day, Seth Godin wrote about the new standard for meetings and conferences. I loved the article (but couldn’t comment that I did), and have been thinking about it ever since. I talked about it twice with two different people over the last few days, and part of the sentiment Seth put out there found its way into my jumping over a mountain post.
Because Seth came by and commented reminded me to show that I am reading and paying attention to him. A side lesson to this: comment where you’re reading. It makes a difference.
Part of the way information flow is enhanced by Web 2.0 tools can be seen here. Someone comments on a post that was initiated by someone else’s thoughts. Each of us in the chain adds our own viewpoint, helping to not only transmit the information to a greater audience but also adding our own context.
Seth wrote about the effects on conferences when the cost to travel to them gets very high. If we spend thousands simply traveling to a conference that cost thousands to register for, we may want more for our money that just some talking head presentations.
He extends this to meetings of any sort. If we are going to take the time and expense to meet face-to-face rather than use social media to accomplish our goals, then we had better take advantage of the benefits those sorts of encounters provide than simply information transfer. Like using our hands to talk.
Seth says this:
If you’re a knowledge worker, your boss shouldn’t make you come to the (expensive) office every day unless there’s something there that makes it worth your trip. She needs to provide you with resources or interactions or energy you can’t find at home or at Starbucks. And if she does invite you in, don’t bother showing up if you’re just going to sit quietly.
What are some of the benefits of face-to-face encounters that can not be accomplished with Web 2.0 tools? I think engagement of real time thoughts and processes is one. Taking advantage of the simultaneous juxtaposition of time and place that can not happen online. Snacks and drinks are another.
And the presentation had better be more than just someone standing there reading off slides that could just as easily be seen online. Use the human element for realtime, face-to-face encounters. Add emotion, inflection, drama.
Any other ideas?