Why Events Will Never Go Out of Style

Author: Heather Martin

Photo by Matt Caputo

Photo by Matt Caputo

What is the true benefit to all of these work events?

When I first started in the corporate event world, my operations/practical side wondered what the hoopla was all about. Shouldn’t we be moving toward all remote work weeks and video conferencing? Some of us would prefer to write an email than pick up the phone. If you have a free block in your calendar, it means you aren’t working hard enough, not that you should take 3 days “off” to go to an event.

What about the amount of waste from buffets, confetti and the miles and miles everyone flew, drove, and Ubered to get to this event? Is it all worth it?

My first instinct was: No way.

However, after joining the team of gatherers at Ember, I have absolutely seen the spark. I have done my share of client meetings over video and in person, and guess what? The in-person meetings are almost always more effective, and everyone is better understood, inspired and in higher spirits.

And what about the events?

I now understand that there is no replacement for the power of a gathering.

The energy, the relationships, the mood – you can’t create these things over video. You can’t pick up on these as easily over a phone call. There is magic that happens when people come together. There is no millennial app that can come close to the real thing – to the raw feelings evoked from a truly moving keynote speaker or that opening video that gives you the chills.

That is why I believe the event industry will always be here. I think the world will realize that if you remove the personal connection, you remove the magic. The world isn’t as close, people get colder, you don’t trust your neighbors or your teammates. If you remove the personal connection from business, then what is the point? What does your daily or weekly schedule look like? What motivates you to work hard? You might be more efficient, but you will eventually lose the fire that inspired you in the beginning.

In this technology-driven world, it’s easy to view work events as a waste of time and resources, but at the end of the day, we all need them. They are the lifeline that provides connection and value to our day jobs. Sitting around a table and getting to actually meet your suppliers, customers, vendors, bosses, or competitors. Getting to know them for who they are and how they work best, what their interests are, what lights them up. This is how you motivate and create. Think of how much better that phone call will be next week now that you have a common memory together. Think about how successful that next product will be now that you’ve come together to focus and work from real-time feedback. Think about the next email you read from a vendor, how you will understand their tone and language better, and maybe you will forgive that spelling error next time since you know they are working from home with a new baby. Events help us to see the human behind the email and the passion behind the brand.

Once you gather in person you automatically foster relationships, whether you realize it or not. This is the power of human connection. This is the power of events. This is why we love what we do.

Mindy Wright