Meetings: Location, Location, Beyond Geography

City004 In June 13-14, 2009, New York Times, Leslie Berlin Location, Location, Location: It Still Pays to Be Near wrote about the value of physical location even in these days of virtually instant connections.   Berlin noted the synergies that develop when a geographic location becomes an innovation magnet.

Digital tools promote connections often becoming the basis for f2f meetings.   When the discussion moves into more complex arenas, f2f appointments almost always are required.  Why?

Berlin suggested trust-building, development of professional opportunities, thorough appreciation of a company’s culture, and the energy of personal encounters that cannot be replicated virtually. These four reasons can be expanded and each could use a deep dive (perhaps future blogs).

In the meetings realm, however, both f2f and virtual locations are required. I encourage all parties: hosts, speakers, vendors, sponsors, participants to engage digitally and personally. E-tools allow us to “hear” one another, listen to wide swaths of conversation around common topics, immerse ourselves in a variety of views, and expand our horizons without ever leaving our own work spaces. To fully engage and take virtual encounters to next levels, f2f meetings can provide superb settings. Meetings can serve as magnets emitting multiple pebbles in innovation ponds.

Social media, communities, blogs, and web interactions can set the stage, serve as backdrop, and engage participants before, during and after the f2f meeting. So location (virtual), location (physical), and location (mental) really are important to meetings, events, and business!