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“What? A virtual event? Nah, no way.”
“I can’t stay focused on a zoom training for that long.”
“I actually want to meet the other attendees, one-on-one, and in real time.”
“The networking is a big part of the value for me.”

If you think any of those thoughts… I get it.
Those were my exact thoughts about virtual events… UNTIL.

UNTIL this happened to me. Let me tell you about it…

I paid big bucks to attend an Oxford Innovation Conference for business leaders and cutting edge thinkers.

It was scheduled to be in-person towards the end of last year. Well, of course, due to corona lockdowns… It HAD to be moved virtually.

I was NOT happy about that. BUT dognabbit… I was already committed. And the money had already been spent.

Well, let me tell you the…
3 SUPER SURPRISING THINGS THAT HAPPENED…
THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

Candidly, I did NOT see this coming, AT ALL. And this might help you…

I wish someone sat me down and explained these things to me…
I’m sure I missed out on a lot of great opportunities having had a false perception about all this.

FIRST OFF…
And this one might seem obvious….
But DAMN was this awesome…
I didn’t have to pack a bag…
Drudge through the airport…
Sit on a 13 hour flight to London Heathrow…
Then cabbie to check into a lonely hotel…
To then have to put on a new monkey suit every day…
To sit uncomfortably in a ballroom of coughing, clammy handed strangers.
THAT was MAAAAAJOR PLUS!!

As a card carrying introvert…
To avoid all that was JOYOUS…
LET. ME. TELL. YOOOOOU.

Now, what I DIDN’T expect was THIS…
NUMBER TWO…
The networking was WAY better…
WAY easier… WAY more productive…
And WAY more comfortable.

I met WAY more people…
And had WAY more USEFUL conversations…
Then at any physical event I EVER went to as an attendee.

Here’s why…
When you put human animals together in a physical space…
It’s awkward.
Who do you approach?
How do you approach them so it doesn’t seem creepy or odd.

You end up wandering the hallways…
The lobby… the networking receptions…
Or the lunch room just eyeing people shyly…
But still trying to look cool.
And… you usually just end up going to your room… or going to the bathroom a suspicious number of times!

And when you actually engage people…
It’s polite social banter….
Conversations about the weather…
Where they traveled in from…
Where their kids are going to school…
Where they went on their last vacation…
Their hobbies, charity work… blah-blah-blah-shoot-me-in-the-head-chitchat-hell.

BUT… in the virtual environment…
People are way more comfortable and used to… just getting right to the point!
To jump right into exchanging ideas, resources, valuable contacts, etc.

Chitchat to a MINIMUM…
Productive conversation at a MAXIMUM!

To an obsessive value-per-minute guy like me…
This is a Godsend!

You pop into a virtual room and BAM!…
You are immediately engaged in PRODUCTIVE dialog.

And if one room is ‘meh’… with ONE CLICK… BAM!
And you are out of there…
No awkward goodbyes and no one gets butt-hurt.
And you are immediately in another room…
Where the gold might be flowing.

Here is the THIRD aspect I was supremely surprised by…
The actual event EXPERIENCE was better too…

Here’s why…
I got a FRONT ROW seat in every session I attended…
I wasn’t just a body in the back of the room staring at a Jumbotron…
Having to look through some jackimo’s iPad as he holds it up every 20 seconds to take a picture of every damn slide…
You know what I’m talking about! Makes me murderous!

Instead…
I was up-close and personal with every speaker…
The perfect switching between close up shot, their slides, wide shots, etc.

It’s like watching a football game from the comfort of your favorite chair…
With the 50 cameras set up to see every grimace, tackle, miraculous catch… And replay to boot…

VERSUS watching from one spot up in the nose bleeds.
Yeah, it’s exactly like that by comparison.

AND best of all…
If the speaker sucked…
Or if, (EHEM)… the topic wasn’t what I was looking for..
With a click I could BOUNCE!.. And try a different session.

Instead of standing up…
And rubbing my butt in everyone’s face…
As I scootch down the aisle to leave…
Profusely apologizing along the way…
And irritating the speaker…

As a result… I LEARNED WAY more…
AND I was WAY more comfortable all along the way…

Again, rather than sitting on a hard hotel banquet chair…
In the dark… in an uncomfortable monkey suit…

Instead, I was in my MOST comfortable environment…
All my tools to take notes, share resources, and interact at my fingertips… All with pants optional!

And I had complete control over my food, shower, bed, pillow, gym, etc.

Oh, one last BIG BIG bennie…
No clammy handshakes…
No high-fiving, No dancing, no hugging, no massaging each…
And all the other goofy-ass things conference hosts think they have to do to keep you awake and energized… and no freezing your arse off in the meat locker of a conference room.

Anyway, all said and done…
It was a MILLION times better than I would have thought…
And I think you will think so too.

One PRO tip here…
You still have the choice, and I recommend it, to leave your home and office and get “OFF SITE.”

Drive across town to a local boutique hotel.
This is business bootcamp.
You don’t go home at night when you are in bootcamp.
You have to disconnect and fully engage in bootcamp.

For this 3-day MBA, you too need to fully immerse and engage yourself…
And that requires you to disengage from your daily life – your office, and your family…

JUST like you would have to if you flew on a plane, checked into a hotel in order to attend this event in person.

That ONE pro tip will be a game-changer to ALL you get out of this experience.

Okay, you in?

 

CAREER & BUSINESS SUCCESS

Blog DARREN HARDY