There is no doubt that we have benefited from online professional networking sites like LinkedIn. They have given us the opportunity to reach out across the globe to many people we may never meet but can still have some level of mutually beneficial relationship with. This is true of social networking in general where many windows into the world have been opened to us and have created the perception, at least, that we really do live in a global village.
But for all the reach and scale social media has given us, that nagging feeling of superficiality still endures. We know that the majority of our online-only contacts will likely never have the depth or real sense of attachment that our offline, real world relationships do. And indeed there is growing research showing that social media is making some people more unhappy (e.g. Association of Facebook Use With Compromised Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study by Shakya & Christakis 2017) – and perhaps even more startling to us Gen X’ers and Boomers is that the digital natives of the millennial generation are even starting to cool towards social media. Some are starting to see that excessive use of devices and social media is hindering their development of close, personal relationships. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not predicting the rapid demise of social media–far from it–all I am saying that I believe we are at the beginning of a natural correction where online and offline come more into balanced co-existence.
I also think this is particularly true when it comes to professional networking. We have become very adept at using online meeting & webinar platforms to host meetings and events. The advantages of convenience, time and travel cost savings are obvious–but the level of spontaneous engagement an online seminar or conference can generate is often less so. My prediction is that we are going to see more and more professionals return to in-person events, not forsaking the online variety but rather looking to strike a balance and to get something different from each.
Which brings me to the launch of our new Go Ahead! website for our own in-person networking and events. While we clearly embrace everything digital from our product Pipeliner CRM to this our online, digital sales magazine Sales POP! with its webinars, online panel discussions and interviews, we also believe that the analog remains a powerful force. People need opportunities to come together in-person, listen to great speakers, unlock breakthrough thinking and build meaningful professional relationships. To learn more about our events go to the new website or to learn about how our digital and analog platforms are interlinked click here.
Maybe this is the month to lift your head out of the computer and find an in-person, business event near you? Get out there, press the flesh, dust off those face-to-face networking skills (or develop new ones if you have grown up more digitally inclined). You might be amazed how energizing and refreshing it can be to spend time with other people and really meet them!
Pipeliner CRM empowers salespeople for meetings of all kinds. Download a free trial now.