By Francesca Limoncelli, Digital Marketing and Communications Manager
Finally, after two years of virtual exhibits and Zoom, Teams and Google meetings, the time has come to reinstate in-person events and meetings.
At Stanton, we are keen to get back to in-person interaction with our employees, our clients, new relationships and media. We recently joined our clients MD7 and Vertical Bridge at the highly attended WIA Connect (X) show in Denver, with over 3,000 attendees and 50 panels on the present and future of the wireless infrastructure business. After a week of attending the conference, it was clear to us the value-add of attending a physical conference from media relations, peer-to-peer networking, and business development perspectives.
Building and Strengthening Media Relationships: While attendance is still not back to pre-pandemic levels, media outlets are once again sending reporters to major industry conferences. Attending an in-person conference is a great opportunity for communications professionals to set up in-person introductions with clients, as well as to strengthen relationships with individual reporters with face-to-face conversation—especially if your only prior interaction was via a webcam.
Building Visibility: One of the biggest value-adds of attending an in-person conference is brand visibility. While a Zoom conference can suffice in a pinch, viewers can easily tune out and have a panel discussion playing in the background while they are answering email. At a physical event, the audience is naturally more invested in what the speakers have to say and there is increased opportunity for interaction and questions during the panel.
Peer-to-Peer Networking: Participating in live conferences provides companies with the opportunity to connect with other audience members and build new relationships. In-person conversations tend to flow more naturally and result in deeper conversations on richer topics . On video, you also miss pout on the side- and post-panel conversations between peers, where audience members can drill down into the topics discussed on the panel and develop new insights into industry trends and potential thought leadership opportunities.
Improving Presentation Skills: During the two years of virtual conferences and meetings, it is fair to say that some executives may have lost their edge when it comes to speaking in public. On video, it’s easy to ignore our own body language and how we use it to enhance messages. Attending a physical conference is a great opportunity for clients to work on presentation and public speaking skills.
The pandemic has set the precedent that virtual communication is here to stay, however the value of attending in-person events reigns supreme. We at Stanton look forward to more in-person events in the future, pending the health and safety risks of the time.