The importance of face-to-face interaction in an increasingly virtual world

These days we’ve got Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality and who knows what else on the horizon, but when it comes to it, the best place to do meaningful things is still Real Reality.

Yes, we can all work from home, the local coffee shop or a park bench perfectly productively.

However, I’m sceptical that an entirely virtual working life would be healthy. There are some things that no video link or live chat can provide.

Remember IKEA’s masterful trolling with the advert they produced back in 2015?

Their catalogue ‘isn’t an e-book or a digital book, it’s a bookbook.™’ The ad is hilarious, talking through the features as if they are cutting edge tech, but it makes a serious point - a physical paper object is the simplest and best way to present their products.

And so it is for creativity and innovative thinking.

The incomparable value of face to face interactions was really brought home to me by the experience I had late last year at the Dot Dot Dot ‘anti-conference.’

I mentioned in my blog post at the time that I was pretty blown away by the immediate ‘deep and meaningful’ (and I don’t mean late night boozy ones!) conversations we all immediately fell into.

The intentional intimacy of the event - that we were all thrown together the San Antonio hills at Ibizan Institution Pikes - absolutely fostered that, and the connections I made with brilliant, inspiring minds there are undoubtedly stronger for meeting their owners in full glorious 3D.

The power of meeting IRL

There’s some pretty persuasive evidence that face-to-face meetings are more effective:

  • Almost 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships.
  • Remote meetings generate on average just over 10 ideas, while in-person meetings generate an average of over 13.
  • 85% percent of job vacancies are filled through networking.
  • The average company would lose 17% of its profits if it eliminated face-to-face meetings
  • For every dollar spent on travel, the average business receives $12.50 in value

Basically, you can’t beat personal connection in business.

It goes beyond business too - numerous studies have linked a lack of in-person interaction to poor mental health.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to make 2019 the year I meet more of my online connections in person.

To achieve that, I’m spending my Wednesdays at The Ned drinking great coffee and meeting brilliant people.

Meet me IRL on a #Nednesday

Would you be up for a quick coffee one Nednesday? My treat.

I’d love to learn more about you:

Maybe you’ve got an innovative new product but you’re not sure of the next steps to take?

Maybe you’re just overflowing with innovation?

Or the opposite is true and you need a friendly push to get some ideas percolating?

Regardless, I’d love to meet you in person.

I’ll probably get too enthusiastic and provide you with all manner of unsolicited advice relating to branding. You should definitely take full advantage of this quirk.

Just book your slot here and we can get going.