It is undeniable that the way people communicate has changed. That was never more apparent than during the global COVID-19 pandemic when forced lockdowns and the requirement to move to digital relationships were thrust upon us.
Since we’ve come out of this extended period of enforced virtual meetings, virtual happy hours and virtual connections, it feels that not a week goes by without seeing a social or blog post about how important and valuable it is to be able to spend time together in person. But why is that? What is it about being physically present in the same room as someone else that means the connection you make and the relationship you build is deeper and more meaningful, and achieves better outcomes?
Why are face-to-face meetings important?
2023 marked the 15th year of the Publitek Press Event, this year dubbed ‘Publitek Connect’. The event has become an annual opportunity for companies in the electronics sector to meet with all the leading journalists and analysts representing publications and analyst firms covering the sector.
This year was no exception, with 28 editors writing for publications circulated across three continents, as well as attendance from the global research analyst firm Omdia. During the course of a busy two-day event, they met with seven companies for, in the words of the inimitable EE Times’ Nitin Dahad, “an engaging set of conversations with companies ranging from sensing and processing to signal connectivity and test, and on topics ranging from #AI, #electrification and #mobility, to the circular economy, defence and aerospace”.
Returning to the question of ‘why?’ face-to-face meetings and engagement have received such a fanfare return – at events like this, you have the time and setting to do something that is unlikely to happen in a virtual environment. The added dimension of being in the same place as those with whom you are interacting is that you can present so much more than a company or a product. You present yourself – the face, the feeling, the passion and the importance of whatever story you put in front of a journalist. You can spend time with people who share your passion for changing the world through innovation without the constraints and limitations of a Zoom or Teams discussion. Because of this, you can build bonds that are not possible via email, phone calls, or video conferencing.
In the words of Kelly Wigginton, Senior Director of Marketing at Bel Fuse Inc, “The Publitek Connect event was a valuable experience that allowed for meaningful conversations about the electronics industry. The information sharing and discussions with experienced and knowledgeable editors don’t happen in the same way when you are digital. The event provided our company with the opportunity to share where our technology and products are headed and why. This serves our business and builds strong relationships with industry thought leaders.“
Why journalists want to build better relationships
Journalists offer an interesting perspective on face-to-face meetings. Guillem Alsina, editor-in-chief of NTDHoy.com, said: “Publitek Connect 2023 has been, as it is every year, a unique opportunity to personally meet the professionals from each company with whom we work daily by mail or phone to do our job, in a relaxed environment that has facilitated communication. Because our job as journalists is to inform ourselves well, and then explain this information to our readers.”
Publitek believes in the philosophy of building meaningful relationships at the heart of the communications campaigns it conducts on behalf of its clients. Post-pandemic, it’s clear that face-to-face has always been, and will always be, a vital part of any effective B2B marketing strategy.
Planning for Publitek Connect 2024 is already underway. For more information about how to be involved, please contact me.