Last Christmas, I bought my daughter an iPad so we could FaceTime when I travelled. She’s 11, but still likes Mom to give her a final squeeze and to tuck her in at night. I love the iPad. To be honest, I love anything “Apple”… from the commercials and sleek packaging, to the technology and the stores and environment they are sold in. And if my local Apple Store had a coffee bar alongside its Genius Bar, I might never leave. You may have an iPad yourself – maybe for personal use storing your latest family vacation photos, or as many of our clients are now experiencing to use as a work tool.
Technology, like the iPad, has really changed the landscape of live meetings and events, and the way we interact with customers face to face.
Using technology to enhance a selling program with an interactive detail aid can really set you apart from your competition. The messages are more focused, they are adaptable and interactive, and they allow the user to customize their presentation to their audience – instantly. Gone are the days of paper detail aids and leave behinds.
We’ve been using technology to enhance the live event experience for as long as I can remember. Things like audience response systems or key pads to gauge attendee feedback or test knowledge, and now live Twitter feeds for a more dynamic and fluid Q&A. These tools are very cool, and can make a presenter feel more connected with what the audience is feeling and thinking.
But as of late, with budgets shrinking or dollars being reallocated to other company efforts, the use of technology and “virtual” meetings has started to replace live events. I get it. It can be costly to fly everyone in to the meeting location, feed them, put them up in a great hotel, build presentations and an event agenda that sees your people together for only a short time. But it can be even more costly if you don’t.
Bringing your team or customers together into one room, to hear the same message and share the same experience is critical if you expect to shift a mindset, instill pride, and have your audience take action. It’s an investment in your team, your company and your future.
While technology can certainly enhance a sales message and make your job more efficient … it can’t make a connection, shake a hand or better yet, know what your audience is thinking at that very moment. Are they interested? Have they tuned out? Are they balancing their cheque book? A rousing speech from the president, a motivational guest speaker, a thrilling launch video, yup, and even a training seminar – are more captivating and moving when can share them with the people sitting around you. Don’t underestimate the value and power of being there live.
As my wise 11-yearold told me upon my return from a recent business trip, “FaceTiming was fun, but I’d rather have you here live any day of the week. Now where’s my kiss?”