User Conferences: Are face-to-face interactions still valuable?

With the economy hitting companies hard and limiting budgets, many companies have opted out of attending conferences and utilized online media such as webinars as an alternative.  Corbin Ball, a meetings technology expert, addressed this issue recently in his article http://www.4hoteliers.com/4hots_fshw.php?mwi=5611

For our customers, we have postponed the annual national conference at their request for the past couple years in favor of more localized conferences.  We feel that it’s valuable to get our customers together to network and get ideas and tips from each other, but how valuable is it really?  With the economy and manufacturing starting to pick up, is it time to rally the troops for another national conference? 

So we ask you:  Do you value face-to-face meetings and conferences or see it as a waste of time and resources?  For you industry professionals, what are you doing to stay in front of your customers and get them networking?

Posted by Debbie McCall, Account Manager, ProfitKey International
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6 Responses to User Conferences: Are face-to-face interactions still valuable?

  1. John Klinkenborg says:

    I still believe that the national user conferences provide value. I think that they are important to both the users and to ProfitKey. The interaction between the wide base of users and ProfitKey personnel provides both sides with the opportunity to see what the really important issues are. The interaction at the conferences goes a long way to build on the relationships that are a necessary part of the partnership between the users and ProfitKey.

  2. Eric Kurzhal says:

    I’ve learned a lot national user conferences that I was able to bring back and use in our shop. Much of it from other users and how they use the software. I don’t think webinars or local meetings a great of a job of replacing the networking availible at a national meeting.

  3. Lori Weed says:

    I would agree with the earlier comments made on this topic. As a partner to other software companies, I typically attend/exhibit at several user conferences annually and most recently, I’ve participated in virtual online conferences as well. I must say that there is no substitute for the value that face-to-face interaction provides. By getting the opportunity to meet with people in a ‘live environment’ I am better able to engage in a conversation with attendees to learn more about their industry, organization, and business challenges and thus better suited to make appropriate recommendations for solutions that may be able to assist them. And, the opportunity for conference attendees to network and share ideas and suggestions with their peers at a face-to-face event is invaluable.

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