In a world caught in a social networking maze, have we in fact become so over connected that we are becoming disconnected? Attendance at a recent conference reminded many of us that face to face interaction is still a connection that remains a business priority.
We recently returned from executing a week long Summit for a client hosting a gathering of 300 CIO’s, and what came out loud and clear was how much they simply want to talk to one another.
So how does one hit the elusive nail on the head with just the right balance of information sharing and networking? We like to keep the following in mind:
People love to talk–let them. Often clients become selfish, cramming content into every spare minute. Protect that empty space in your agenda…fiercely…like it’s the last piece of land on earth.
Keeping it social. The right venue, the right format and magic happens (and for Canadians out of town during playoff season- the hockey game added to the mix of course).
Use today’s technology. We were challenged to institute an onsite networking component to connect 300 virtual strangers. We’ve come a long way since the ‘What’s your number?’ days. Today’s technology and mobile devices make it easier than ever before to facilitate the exchange of contact information.
Agenda building. Find common interests among your audience and build your agenda, offering small group meetings around those topics. Move away from a structured format and offer something that, while appearing unstructured, is in actual fact, carefully crafted.
Back to being social. Executives will embrace online social programs if the process isn’t cumbersome and they see it as a valuable resource. Content is your commodity, flaunt it.