Conducting business on a global level is essentially about meeting with and understanding the business environment of those with whom you wish to engage. There are only a few ways to do this. On a very personal level, you can arrange a business trip to specifically meet with a targeted business prospect. This is first prize, as you have a one-on-one relationship with that prospect from the outset. In an ideal world, all business would be done like this – face to face – meeting your prospect wherever they are.
The reality is that large companies that need to conduct business development on a large scale need networking events that enable the possibility of making many contacts or engaging with many of their own international people in one space at one time. This is why we have global events, like major conferences, expos or industry showcases and fortunately, through travel and events specialists, we can do this on a regular basis. It is no secret that I am someone who is a firm advocate of the huge benefits of the human experience when attending such functions and the power of reading your prospective clients’ body language and utilising your persuasive powers with a smile and a firm handshake. There is, however, another aspect to consider.
Live events have always relied on a certain amount of great technology to give them the “Wow factor”, and that technology has, although rapidly, only grown in the last decade or two with the introduction of tech. like Virtual and Augmented Reality. These will no doubt play a larger role in the events to come, but another form of technology, as a matter of necessity, rapidly evolved during the pandemic which has forever changed the nature of events as we know them. This is the virtual event technology we had to turn to in order to try to keep some sort of large-scale global networking in place during this restrictive time. It could not replace in-person events, but did a great job of keeping us in communication when we could not meet face to face.
Enter Hybrid events
As a result of this technology, with the realisation that a lot of costs can be saved through utilising it and benefitting from its obviously wider reach, virtual event technology is now generally used in tandem with in-person events to create Hybrid events. I am happy about this and believe it is a good marriage, so much so that my company BidTravel has created an in-house division to facilitate such events and it’s an exciting new venture.
The company is BID Concepts and Experiences and it prides itself on being a leading experiential event, meetings, conferences and incentive business. They combine the best in agency talent with the agility, excellence, value and service of a smaller shop. It is both global and local and has some big ideas and very talented people who offer customised hybrid event solutions.
We take you there one way or another
Even as someone who will always prefer the face-to-face meeting approach, I can see the sense in maximising the efficacy of any event by widening its reach with technology that enables attendees from all over the world (who may not be able to physically attend) to still be in the mix. I’m happy to see this as our business, in essence, is to get people together, one way or another or through one medium or another. I do believe that the trials and tribulations we face are never to be ignored but to be learned from. Even out of that destructive pandemic we can extract the benefits of a constructive emerging technology and use it to improve our future because, let’s face it, we are living through the technological revolution, so it stands to reason that both the human experience and technology play a role in conducting better global business.LIDIA FOLLI
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER