Let’s get face to face again.

If you’ve ever tried to justify why you should spend money to exhibit in a tradeshow, consumer show, job fair or event, to your boss, the company owner or yourself, consider this:
One of the things I love about the show floor is that it is a level playing field. What that means is whether you are a small home-based business or an emerging company you can look just as powerful, professional and successful at your exhibit as the established storefront or thriving corporation, if you spend the time to design an impressive display, engaging graphics and prepare your staff.  Perception is everything at the show.  The value for your time is also terrific if you consider that your salesperson can maybe have 8 sales calls in one day, but reach 1500 people at the show.  The other thing I love about this type of marketing is that you get to personally meet your prospects and personally engage your customers face to face. They get to meet YOU.  A real representative of the business. That is key because a personal touch, in this age of technology dominated by impersonal voice mail, email, blackberries, volp etc will stand out in someones mind.  Face to face marketing keeps you in control of the contact.  Get their information and you can be pro-active.  If they liked you and remember the encounter at the booth you will have an edge over your competitor who only sends the email without ever meeting your prospect.  My good friend, speaker, business owner and cookie queen, Susan Brooks has a terrific perspective on this exact topic.
With her permission I have included a recent article she wrote that really resonated with me. Enjoy it below and let me know your feelings on the subject.

Got a minute, Susan?

You’re busy. Your plate is full. You’re plugged in to your BlackBerry, Treo and Smartphone. You text, email and voicemail at every communication. You accept that your world’s frantically busy, frenetic pace is simply a fact of normal modern life. Sure, you are more productive, but the time and energy it takes to keep up, drains your time and energy from the ‘real world,’ the world with face-to-face potential in it.

 

I see our ‘disconnect’ at airports with brief reunions, quickly replaced with texting others who aren’t there; I see young children with thumbs in a blur, their minds ‘out there’ instead of in the present moment; I see people at their desks, eating lunch in huge bites while on their cell phones, clicking away on their laptops, focus split. According to Dr. Edward Hallowell, ADD expert/psychologist and author of CrazyBusy, “The Internet and TV may create the illusion that you are connected with millions of people, but opportunities for live social interactions are dropping. Studies say isolation is as dangerous as smoking and high blood pressure.”

 

Texting is not the same as a lunch date. Email is not the same as a thank you note. Missing out on the human connection is, well, missing out. Whether you telecommute or email your co-workers down the hall, Internet use is replacing personal interaction. The workplace is, after all, one of the richest social environments we have, no? Let’s not compromise, or, worse, undervalue, the benefits of body language, voice tone, and eye contact. Sharing the same air with co-workers and customers speaks volumes.

 

And what about your personal life? Solutions Research Group did a study showing that 25 million Americans use Smartphones, BlackBerrys and Treos … and, get this, 63 percent use these devices in the bedroom! 68 percent of Americans say they feel anxiety when ‘not jacked into the global mindgrid of the Net,’ deprived and disoriented without Internet access. I think we have a serious problem here…..

 

Everyone needs downtime.
Everyone needs to slow down…to think, and not to think.
Everyone needs to appreciate their irreplaceable human-ness.

 

Disconnect your technology so you can re-connect to the energy of a heartbeat or a smile or a warm embrace. After all, it’s the people — face-to-face, and heart-to-heart — that matter!

My best,

 

Susan Brooks
SERVES YOU RIGHT!
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