Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Place for Face-To-Face Meetings?

Last week I was thinking about computing in the cloud, and even today I was pulling files off of Basecamp for another project. However, being in the events business, buzz on The Harvard Business Review and The Economist blogs about the value of face to face meetings definitely pulled me back down to earth.

When you're managing a project, how important do you feel face to face meetings are? Additionally, where do you place the value of networking events and conferences in contrast to online networking or webinars?

On The Harvard Business Review blog, Stephen Greer writes
"The most important aspect of these meetings is that they weren't blaming sessions. We shared successes and best practices — and learned from challenges."

To me, that is often the value of attending conferences, the opportunity to be inspired by thought leaders and peers, and also to share best practices and experiences. You might learn as much or more sharing "war stories" (and successes!) during a networking event or over coffee between sessions as you do during the sessions themselves. Similarly, inspiration may strike or your team may gel during the down time of a face to face meeting in a way that just isn't possible during a con call or by email.

Where do you stand? Would you just as soon save the networking for twitter? Or are you looking for some face time?

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