Many times, event meeting services organizations see the meeting world as black and white. Either attendees are local or remote. They are coming to the meeting or they are not. They are either paying attention to the speaker or they are glued to their smartphone.

However,  there are a lot of shades of gray when it comes to meetings. While face-to-face meetings are still effective and have great advantages, online backchannels are going to become more and more important to the attendee as they wish to stay connected to the meeting AND the office or home environment.

Bizzabo, a social networking company, recently posted an infographic highlighting how face-to-face meetings and social media collide in a good way. Here are the highlights:

In the United States alone, the event meeting services industry generates or produces every year:

  • $263 Billion in Direct Spending
  • 1.7 Million Jobs
  • 205 Million Attendees
  • 1.8 Million Meetings

Face-to-Face Meetings are Still Very Important Because:

  • There is better communication among attendees, presenters, exhibitors and sponsors
  • The speaker can read the attendees’ body language and facial expressions
  • Whether it is at the exhibitor booth, in a meeting or at a networking function — there are real-time, instant reactions
  • Presenters can express humor better and
  • Human contact builds trust.
  • 83% of businesspersons believe that developing personal relationships is the key to doing business and
  • 53% think that video conferencing and web-based meetings are a poor substitute for F2F meetings

Yet, Mobile Technology Use is Building

  • There has been a 63% increase of smartphone shipments since 2011
  • 74% of smartphone owners use location-based services to check-in or check-out nearby services such as restaurants and attractions and
  • 35% make purchases on them.

Now more people will access the Internet from a mobile device than a PC.

How Social Media Helps Networking

  • 70% of #eventprofs tweets are during live events
  • 61% of attendees use LinkedIn to keep in touch with their contacts and
  • The average user is logged onto social media 8.5 hours per month

Here are the Key Takeaways: 

  1. Face-to-Face Meetings are still important because they build business relationships and allow speakers to shift their message based on attendee cues.
  2. Meetings help stimulate the local economy through jobs and taxes, and will continue to be produced and
  3. With the explosion of smartphones and mobile apps, these devices will be used for social media conversations, web based apps, and purchases — which may mean that more attendees will register for conferences via their smartphones.

AV Event Solutions, a recently acquired SmartSource partner, a California meeting equipment supplier, can provide you with interactive technology tool rentals for your next face-to-face meeting including iPads and Wi-Fi network arrays! Give them a call at (888) 249-4903 to get started!