We know one thing: they are not at your meeting. That’s because in-person meetings aren’t what they once were: the only game in town. In 2020, along the curve of value for cost, meetings are are not just at the low end, they are downright abysmal.
Why meetings aren’t working in 2020, let me count the ways.
- Meetings and information reach very few people. The meeting announcement is almost more valuable than the meeting, itself, in terms of marketing communications value. (In that case, we don’t ‘need’ to hold meetings, we just need to hold announcements of meetings.)
- Attendees tend to be the same few people every meeting. For people who attend these meetings to network, rather than to be informed this is problematic. For everyone who attends for the information, it can be even worse.
- Meetings are ephemeral. Once the meeting is over the content, insights, and conversations disappear into the ether, never to be seen again. That means presenters aren’t getting the full value of their labor. It’s less than optimal.
- Meetings tend to be judged by the number of attendees rather than the quality of the content or presentation. This leads to a perverse set of incentives in setting meetings up: marketability takes precedence over hard-core value. Meetings under a certain number of attendees may cause financial losses, leading organizers to dismiss out-of-hand events they don’t think are marketable.
- People confuse the community with meetings. Then they miss out on all the other benefits and value the community may offer them. They don’t join because they think they won’t be able to attend enough meetings and that’s the only value metric they consider. The problem is,
- People can’t always attend even if they want to. People don’t want to attend. Attending is painful, expensive, and inflexible. Meeting time, place, and cost present a kind of tyranny over decision making that people are simply not willing to tolerate in 2020. Because,
- We expect information to come to us. We expect to consume how we want to, when we want to. In bites or all at once. In whole or piecemeal.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that meetings were never that great to begin with. They were simply all that was possible or practical, the best option we had.
Modern tools have allowed KBLA to do away with meetings in favor of communications channels that simply provide more value.
- Videos and digital downloads are more flexible. Watch them when you want, how you want, in whole or piecemeal.
- Videos and downloads are persistent. The data and insights don’t disappear when the meeting is over. You can watch the videos again and again. You can study the presentation materials at your own pace. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
- Vetted social media networking offers flexibility, persistence, and payback. Through social media channels like the KBLA FB Group, you can meet people from around the world who never attended any meeting but who you know are in your ecosystem of goals by virtue of their KBLA membership.
- KBLA’s communications channels, by virtue of not being tied to time and place, reach a global audience. The possibilities are unlimited because the reach is wide and the persistence of communication is long.
There are better ways to bring value to a business community in 2020 and as technology continues to evolve there will be even better ways in the near future. Customers now demand that information and services come to them, on their terms, rather than having to be chased. Expectations have changed.
Eventually, everyone is going to end up where KBLA is now. It’s inevitable. We just made the leap first.
Rodney J. Johnson
KBLA Co-Founder and Managing Director