We’re currently headlong into preparations for the B2B Marketing Expo on 16th and 17th November (get your free ticket here) and to say we’re a little bit excited is an understatement. But it got me to thinking, why do we care so much? We’ve attended and spoken at loads of digital events during the pandemic. We’ve successfully launched and marketed a good handful more for different clients. So, why are we so desperate to get back into a room and see people face to face? It’s because, there’s something a little bit magic about connecting in the real world. And this is why…
When we speak to or with people, the majority of our impact comes from our body language (55% to be exact). Much of this is missed when we’re a tiny talking head on a screen next to a slide deck. 38% is tone of voice and a mere 7% is the words themselves. Now this is a heartbreaking stat for a copywriter to read and completely justifies the extensive delivery notes that accompany each speech I write on behalf of another person.
In fact, in a short 10 minute conversation, we can communicate up to 150 different micro-behaviours or signals that tell the person we’re talking to whether to trust us or not. Putting my marketing hat on, imagine getting someone to take not of and respond to 150 different messages in 10 minutes…pretty amazing and definitely more than you can achieve in an ad, no matter how well crafted!
Better Attention Span
Author Paul Axtell explains the psychology behind face-to-face meetings: “In-person meetings provide a sense of intimacy, connection and empathy that is difficult to replicate via video. It’s much easier to ask for attentive listening and presence, which creates the psychological safety that people need to sense, in order to engage and participate fully.”
Many digital event platforms just ape the way real world events work and this makes it hard to fully engage with the content. Dr Linda Kaye, Senior Lecturer and expert in cyberpsychology explains that one of the causes of so-called Zoom fatigue is that we are only getting a very narrow portion of our normal social cues from the people at the other end, meaning we’re having to work harder to interact effectively.
It’s Just More Fun
There’s also the joy that comes from social connection and a shared experience. Put simply, being around other people doing something we all enjoy makes us happy. We’re really looking forward to welcoming familiar faces and fresh connections alike to our first in-person event in November and we hope to see you there!!