Live Events are Every Business's Secret Weapon in the Age of the Digital Detox
I don’t know about you, but one of the first things that I get excited about around Christmas (after bread sauce and the Dr Who Christmas special) is closing my laptop for as long as I can get away with.
It seems like i’m not alone. A huge number of people within the networks and communities that I am part of made a conscious effort at the start of this year to take some time away from screens and take their foot of the ‘MUST POST EVERY DAY OR MY BUSINESS WILL COLLAPSE’ pedal. I’m no social media strategist, but I can say with a strong degree of certainty that taking a breather from posting is not going to do any long term damage to you or your business.
I should say of course that I LOVE social media. Facebook groups and engaging with people’s instagram feeds is a crucial way of building communities growing businesses and finding interiors inspo. With all that being said, social media has to enhance real life, NOT replace it. There is a shift happening currently, and people are becoming more discerning about their time spent online. The latest iPhones and the Google Pixel can be programmed to send you push notifications telling you to get off your phone at a certain time. Even the technology itself is telling you to look up!
What this means for businesses is that events held in real life are even more potent and important than ever. Social platforms connect you with your tribe, then it is up to you to create a space IRL to make those relationships real. That is where the gold is.
As an example, I am a part of a select few online biz platforms (The Coven being #1 for women supporting women), and I have made some interesting and enjoyable connections through that. Given the right kind of online environment, it is amazing how quickly you feel safe spilling your innermost thoughts to a group of women you have never met. Crazy eh?
HOWEVER, without a doubt the best thing about those platforms is that they have connected me with people that I can go on to meet in real life. Women Will Create, The Un Wedding Show, Most Curious Wedding Fair, my platform The Oxford Collective plus craft fairs, meet ups you name it, have come out of meeting women online and feeling driven to connect face to face. There is no substitute for sparkling eyes, contact and overlapping conversation.
As Maggie Warrell wrote for Forbes, “Trust lies at the core of all our relationships and is the currency of influence in every workplace and organization”. Part of the complexity behind developing online relationships is that it almost automatically has to come with a side of suspicion. How well can you really ‘know’ someone who has slid into your DM’s, never mind trust them to deliver on a project, turn up on time or follow through on their promises? Meeting someone in person allows your intuition to do it’s work. You can see how that person interacts with others. Are they different in person to how they come across online? Do they behave with kindness towards others? All of these important things can be established within moments at a live event, where it could take weeks of slowly developing a working relationship online to get to the same point.
When was the last time you felt that rush of glee when you just *click* with someone over Instagram? Spoiler: it’s never happened to me. I’ve met some incredible people online through Instagram and Facebook groups, but it isn’t until I’ve met someone in person that I’ve truly felt like I have found a kindred spirit. It’s just a fact, humans are designed to connect in person!
Putting on events is hard. Especially events that make it look easy. The smoother the event runs, as a rule, the trickier it was to organise. If you create an event and invite existing and potential clients, you are showing them that you are competent, organised, and invested in making them feel special. Even if you hire someone to help you with your event planning, it shows that you know where your limits are and how to delegate when required. It’s a win-win! Events give you the opportunity to showcase your creativity, attention to detail, interpersonal skills and ambition, because it takes all of these things to be able to do it well. If you have a product or service that is about to launch, or your business has reached a milestone, creating a gathering in real life will strengthen and grow the belief of your clients in you far more than you could possibly do over email.
Why not try it? While other small biz owners are fretting over what colour border to use on their Instagram photos this week, bring people together! Create laughter, spectacle and joy where there wasn’t before! Help your clients to associate those things with YOU and YOUR business.
*And if you aren’t sure how, that’s where Amy Meadows Events comes in… I’d love to help take the fear out of putting on events. My clients range from wellness professionals, to theatre directors, to Creative directors. Drop me a note at email@example.com.
Amy is an Creative Partner and Live Event Specialist working with ambitious, creatively curious business owners to curate bespoke live events that celebrate and build their communities. In an increasingly digital world, human connection is more fundamental than ever, and Amy’s live events are a celebration of that. Amy is the first Live Event Specialist to be working alongside businesses owners to give their brand a digital detox, and getting back to the basics of bringing people together. Throwing events can be nerve wracking for any business, so Amy is the guiding hand to take the fear away and develop long term live event strategies.
Before launching her business, Amy was an Executive Assistant to UHNW families in London, worked in Marketing for blue chip companies and produced an open air Shakespeare Festival in her spare time.
Amy currently works with clients and couples in the UK, US and Canada. As well as running her business, she co-founded The Oxford Collective, an Oxfordshire based community for business owners, freelancers, creatives and dreamers. Amy has been featured on the Smart Girl Tribe blog, This Sister Speaks podcast and Rock my Wedding. When she isn’t working, Amy can be found on dog walks with her puppy Earnest.