The live experience is not dead.
While we can listen to free music on Spotify, we jump at the chance to see our favorite bands in concert. While we can FaceTime family from across the country, we endure the pains of traveling to spend the holidays together. While we can go on YouTube to watch keynotes and presentations, we travel to different cities to hear thought leaders share their ideas live.
Why? Technology allows for valuable connection, but in-person interactions create irreplaceable and authentic experiences outside of the digital world. An Eventbrite study found 78% of millennials are fueling the “experience economy”—spending more money on experiences rather than materials.
Here are four reasons why it’s valuable and important to attend events in today’s digital era.:
1. Learning IRL Instead of URL
Listening to a speaker in person offers a rich opportunity to actively watch, listen, and receive information. According to a recent Forbes article, “like artists, the best speakers are original and relevant in the moment. You can’t get that online. The best reinforce a mission, catalyze an audience, even inspire action.” Face-to-face interactions help motivate and mobilize people, rather than just being another message on the other side of a screen.
Nothing beats gathering people in one place in real life. According to The Muse, “conferences are one of the single best ways to network.” Instead of having to come up with an icebreaker, a conference provides a common topic to chat about: the conference itself!
You may not only make new connections, but also could potentially make new friends. Thirty percent of millennials say they met someone at a live event that became a good friend. Who knows, the conversations you have at an event may be even more valuable than the content.
3. Ask Questions, Get Answers
When a session includes a quick Q&A, make sure to bring your questions! While you may already follow a speaker on Twitter or have their email address, make the effort to introduce yourself personally and ask a question directly. The answer they provide face-to-face may be more extensive than over a tweet or email. Conferences allow for direct access to experts and thought leaders seen on stage.
Events allow you not only to gain insight from speakers, but also from other industry professionals. Gather intel from fellow attendees on topics and ideas that are of interest to you. Translate those insights into actionable takeaways that you can implement at your company.
4. A Change of Scenery
How often do you actually set aside time to learn something new relating to your field or industry? Conferences and events offer the opportunity to embrace a posture of learning. Take advantage of listening, asking questions, and participating in discussions at events. Embrace the change of scenery and extract all that you can from the experience.
People appreciate live experiences, even with an abundance of online content available. Watching videos from behind a screen is not the same as watching a speaker live from the audience. People truly value the event experience: learning from speakers in live settings, networking with other attendees, and implementing relevant takeaways.
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