Last night I went to Manchester, NH to see New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, and 98 Degrees. While I went because of my daughter, it was a fun concert. There was a ton of energy throughout the Verizon Wireless Arena that stayed strong for more than two hours.
My take: This experience made me think about the power of in-person events. These pictures were taken by my mobile phone and quickly uploaded to Facebook. Yes, the world is being taken over by digital media, from computers to mobile phones to a plethora of other connected devices. But all of the digital media in the world could not replace the power of being in that arena with all of those other people as these bands performed.
In-person events are uniquely powerful experiences. I’ve really learned this lesson with the Customer Experience Professionals Association. While we reach a global audience with our online resources, there’s a unique experience that happens when our members come together. That’s why there’s so much passion around our 20+ cities with local networking events and our annual Members Insight Exchange. It was as clear as ever during my participation in a recent CXPA event in London.
It turns out that there are some key characteristics of in-person experiences that are not easily replicated in any other type of interaction, some of which I capture in the acronym SPACE:
- Spontaneous: People react to each other in real-time
- Passionate: Energy gets magnified across the group
- Accessible: People tend to lower their guard
- Connected: Shared experience makes people feel more connected
- Engaged: People become more fully immersed
The bottom line: Digital interactions will continue to grow, but in-person experiences will always have their unique SPACE