The Power of Face-to-Face Meetings to Drive Emotional Engagement
By Fred Bendaña Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Creative Producers Group | August 01, 2013
The term "engagement" is so overused these days that it has nearly become a cliche. However, internal initiatives to engage and develop team members often remain under-invested and misunderstood by organizations large and small. Here's what we know: studies show that actively engaged stakeholders generate the greatest levels of customer satisfaction and these higher levels of satisfaction directly impact business profitability. Considering that it costs significantly more money and resources to onboard a new employee or brand representative than it does to keep a valued team member, it makes undeniable financial sense to find ways to capture both the hearts and minds of your people.
Organizations regularly implement a variety of means to try and form this lasting connection with their internal audience, and one key method of doing so is the face-to-face conference, convention or meeting.
This invaluable interaction allows leaders to be face-to-face with their key stakeholders who are directly responsible for their organization's success – the general managers, sales professionals, franchise owners, hotel operators, and even front line staff. Considering your brand experience will succeed, or fail, at the hands of the people who touch your customers, greater employee and brand ambassador/representative loyalty pays dividends. Producing a strategic, engaging event that emotionally connects with this audience can deliver meaningful results and leverage the return on your meeting investment.
The ROI of Face-to-Face Meetings
Since 2008, budgets for conferences, conventions and meetings have been heavily scrutinized, and in many cases slashed, in an effort to reduce costs and to minimize potential damage to brand reputation. But it is the personal interaction and team experiences created at these very meetings that generate engagement and long-term brand advocacy in a relatively very short period. A recent Oxford Economics Study, The Return on Investment of U.S. Business Travelers, showed that for every dollar invested in a conference, convention, or meeting, companies realize $12.50 in incremental revenue and $3.80 in new profits. Although still somewhat unevenly, the industry has recovered over the last year and approximately 80% of the events and meetings cancelled in 2008-2009 are now once again operating.