Back into the world of face-to-face events

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A big loss to many people during the peak of the COVID pandemic was face-to-face interactions. From sales meetings to industry events, most were cancelled or hosted online. Given that we (humans) are such social animals who thrive on connection, we’re sure it’s something many organisations felt the loss of.

It was great that we were still able to deliver many of our events online, and support our SAP community. However, in-person events remain extremely important! Research by Forbes backs this up, finding that 85% of people believe events build stronger and more meaningful business relationships when in-person.

Those relationships are the foundation of a lot of what we do at UKISUG, ensuring you are able to connect with peers, experts, partners and SAP. Indeed, 71% of members see networking opportunities as one of the main functions of UKISUG. In-person events also allow us a much deeper level of networking, as we can all pick up on the nuances of other people’s body language or the way tone of voice can highlight a particular level of enthusiasm or apprehension. This is difficult to replicate virtually.

In his book ‘Leaders Eat Last’ American author Simon Sinek, says ”Trust is not formed through a screen, it is formed across a table. It takes a handshake to bind humans... and no technology yet can replace that. There is no such thing as virtual trust.” This really resonates.

Thinking about face-to-face events, they are irreplaceable places for sharing ideas and meeting different people you might not ordinarily connect with. We’ve always seen our events as ones that bring everyone together, allowing people to meet those on the same journey they find themselves on, or people that can share thoughts and tips from having completed the journey already.

At our recent events some members were saying they were the first events they have attended since 2019, adding that it was great to be back in person. As such, if you’re still unsure about heading back out to meet people in-person, we’d love to welcome you to any of our upcoming events.

In fact, if you plan on attending our UKISUG CONNECT conference in November, you’ll also be able to get a masterclass on how to get the most from in-person networking from our guest speaker Will Kintish. He is author of best-selling book ‘Business Networking – The Survival Guide’, so his keynote could be just the thing for anyone who thinks they might be a little rusty when it comes to in-person networking.

For those of you that might still be a bit apprehensive about returning to in-person events – or even just heading back into the office, you may also want to listen to our SUGTalks podcast episode on ‘Stepping outside of your comfort zone’ that we released earlier this year. In it, Simon Nichols, Wellbeing Director at Thrive – our mental health partner – shares his top tips for those that might be struggling to head back into an office environment following the pandemic.

We look forward to hopefully see you at an in-person UKISUG event soon!

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