I am so amazed by the miracle of videoconferencing.
The fact that we have
1) much higher bandwidth today to accomplish it, and,
2) brilliantly clear video and audio, makes using these wonders of technology ideal for collaborating, connecting and building community.
But the technology alone is not good enough.
I just returned from a business trip to Greece where I was able to see, for the first time, that country’s beautiful oceanside communities, the marvels of ancient Athens with the Parthenon and the Acropolis, and even more. By “even more” I mean getting a chance to see what it is really like with boots on the ground.
(To see a quick video I did from the Acropolis showing the Parthenon in Athens, click here.)
Greece is going through tough economic times. It isn’t the purpose of this article to go into the why or to offer solutions. However, it is real and it affects people and their lives.
I saw the excessively prevalent graffiti in downtown Athens. I talked with the people who live there and are struggling with the challenging economy.
More importantly, I was able to get to know some people and build relationships.
Sometimes when you’re in that environment outside your normal surroundings you build relationships very fast. If you’ve ever gone to a convention or business meeting out of town, you know what I mean. Something special happens, even magical, in that unique environment.
Yes, the beauties of visual communication today are marvelous. I still use, and love using, tools like Skype, YouTube, Facebook Live and Zoom (probably my favorite). These modern-day marvels of visual communication give us the ability to maintain relationships that might otherwise decay.
Visual communication is also good to begin relationships, which can be strengthened with in-person experiences.
While I was in Athens, I was able to make connections with people to do business in the future in many mutually-beneficial ways. Already I have made money from those relationships, even though we’ve known each other for only a very short time.
The need for both
The point is that it is not either-or, it is both. We need to fully use the new technologies of video communication to build relationships and help customers. I use these video communication tools almost every day and love them more and more.
But you still want to be there, in the flesh, shaking hands with people, breaking bread over meals, having drinks at the coffee shops and local bars, all to build business. Yes, you have to hustle. You sometimes will go and it will be a waste of your time, money and energy. Welcome to planet Earth. It works that way here sometimes.