Sunday, January 20, 2019

Massive Mini Meetings

I had a "meetings and events" epiphany today.

This month was a busy month for the NYDLA. First was CES in Vegas (55,000+) and then NRF2019 at Jacob Javits (37,000+). Later this month will be Inman 2019 at the Marriott Marquis (4,000+).

And we had a smattering of smaller events and meetings throughout the month. From events with 75 people to 55,000 people, we really covered the spectrum of "meetings and events" so far in early 2019. 

Yesterday my son and I attended "a two man team building meeting" - at a New Jersey Devils hockey game at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Parking was easy. Getting into the area via eTickets on our smartphones was easy. Watching the game live on the ice - and on the big screen - AND on our smartphones was....easy. I also noticed that since we had eTickets on our smartphones, we had coupons and spiffs and specials sent to us throughout the game. We did not do it but we could have made purchases for food and souvenirs from our seats, and then just picked them up at our convenience. Or, had things shipped directly to our home, or to anywhere in the world. 

Last week, we had a meeting in SoHo (that's an acronym for South of Houston Street, NYC) with around 75+ in the room live. Presenters flew in from out of town, to present to NYDLA members - live. People traveled, paying for gas, tolls and parking from out of town, to meet up in the same room. The training "could" have been done virtually, via Zoom or other tools. But the decision was made to spend the money for travel and food to have people gather in the same room. 

The National Conference Center is a Platinum Sponsor of the NYDLA. Located on the old Xerox Sales Campus in Leesburg, Virginia, their entire facility is based on one thing - meetings. Quality meetings. Training meetings, corporate events, government meetings, team building - meetings. Their entire ethos is about gathering people together in the same room (5 to 5,000) at their state-of-the-art facility when the "knowledge transfer" is critical. Yeah, you can have meetings and events at hotels and resorts and such, but when it's time to get "serious" you should have your IMPORTANT meetings and events at THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTER. 

So here is my epiphany. Virtual meetings are here to stay. I love, love, LOVE hosting meetings on Zoom. It's my weapon of choice. But there is something about shaking hands with a person for the first time. There is something about "breaking bread" and there is something about looking a person in the eye when handing them your business card. Once you meet someone "live" you can always do virtual. Your brain is wired to remember the live in-person meetings, and that is what you remember when you are on a conference call. When I shake someone's hand, I will remember that person in a very different way, even if the next twenty meetings we host are on Zoom.

So with that being said, let's all meet very soon - preferably over an adult beverage - in the VIP suite - at the Prudential Center. 

Unless we need to be "serious" and then of course, we will see you at THE NATIONAL.....

The Two Toms

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