It seems that we are re-discovering the value of face-to-face communication. Sure, web conferences, email and LinkedIn messaging are more efficient. But typically these impersonal communication channels are less effective. You can’t read body language on the phone. You can’t see an inquisitive tilt of the head in email.

And it’s very, very hard to establish a connection on any level besides the subject matter at hand. Who wants to discuss sports or family or pets via LinkedIn? It’s harder to network electronically. In-person conversations help you establish a deeper connection. And those deeper connections can sometimes — or oftentimes — make the difference between a sale or a no-sale.

I don’t know too many people who enjoy airports and airplanes. But data suggests that we are traveling to more trade shows than we have over the past few years. Both attendee and exhibitor counts are expected to increase in 2016 over 2015. The increases are small, but any increase is a huge turnaround from the massive cutbacks in trade show popularity of a few years ago. 

Source: Convene Magazine

So maybe we’re finding a better balance point between travel and no travel, between electronic and in-person communication. Meetings are hard to get and expensive. Sometimes, there’s nothing better.