Face to Face in a Digital Age

Sep 27, 2019

PALOS VERDES, CA – E-mail, text, Skype, Snap Chat, Face Time, video conferencing, and even the primitive phone are all ways to communicate without being in the same room. A decade ago, you could find plenty of people who said the trade show/educational conference industry would soon be dead. After all, why bother with face-to-face conferences? And yet, here we are in 2019, and CSC thrives along with plenty of other events.  

In a previous issue of News Print, I mentioned my experience with other conferences in the Emerald Expositions lineup (plus my barn nightmare that brought me face to face with the legal language of construction projects). When I encounter regular attendees, I like to ask: Why are face-to-face conferences important in today’s digital age?  

The answers are remarkably similar. Conferences are more important today precisely because of the digital age in which we live. Face-to-face interaction is “old school” but it’s paradoxically refreshing. As humans, we see the value of in-person contact. There is no substitute for eye contact and a firm handshake.  

Being in the same room and listening to an educational session helps the listener to tune in and be present. Hauling yourself up the hill to the Palos Verdes peninsula takes a bit of effort. You will know that you’re out of the office when the salt air hits your nostrils. The theory that you must get out of the office to fully focus on the business will seem a bit more real.  

If you’re on the fence about attending CSC, I hope you’ll read this issue’s interview with Brian Perlberg. Brian has been attending the show for a dozen years now. His time is valuable, as is yours, but Brian makes the decision each year to make the trip. We tout the education, networking, and inspiration of CSC because plenty of people have felt it in past conferences. I urge you to make the trip and hope to see you there.  

Greg Thompson is the editor of News Print and can be reached via e-mail: greg.thompson91@yahoo.com and at (970) 227-1002. Greg is a longtime writer/editor for a variety of fields, including home medical equipment, radiology, and patio/hearth products. He is married with three (somewhat) grown children, three horses, two dogs, and a hard-earned barn that was built in spite of a miserable legal dispute.