Let’s face it. Meeting people still matters.

Caroline Williams, Chief Executive, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

It’s never been easier, or quicker, to communicate with one another than it is right now. We have more means of talking and sending messages than we ever dreamed of. Apart from being able to stay in touch while we’re on the move, we have entirely new forums in which to convey our thoughts and ideas. The social media have become business tools.

No forward thinking business is going to ignore or underestimate the opportunities that communications and information technology have created for us. And yet, ultimately, is there any more important form of dialogue than the face to face meeting?

There’s probably never been a more important time to engage with our customers, in real time, and face to face. Statistics and surveys vary but there can be little doubt that we are emerging into a post-recession economy. On the face of it that’s good news, but it’s the companies who sit back and wait for something to happen who will flounder. It’s the ones who seize the opportunities who will succeed.

Within our region the opportunities are vast. We have innovative, creative and forward thinking companies delivering new ideas, products and services as never before. In a vibrant and growing economy they need to be ‘out there’ selling their wares to new and existing customers.

From a purchaser’s point of view it means there are new things to see, new concepts to explore and potential new benefits to bring to their own businesses.  

All of that exciting interaction happens best when people meet face to face, to buy and sell. Doing better business comes from demonstrating what you’re offering, conveying your ideas with a passion and proving that you’re ready, willing and able to put yourself in front of your customer. Even in a world where online shopping has become an everyday fact, retail would die if purchases weren’t made over the counter every day. In the B2B world, where technology can enhance your customer service and raise your profile, your customer base will eventually dwindle if you don’t get out to see them.

It’s the importance of meeting customers and suppliers face to face that drives The Chamber’s B2B events. The next Business 2 Business Exhibition, on October 15th, comes precisely at this crucial period in the region’s economic recovery.

We know that the reason it’s already heavily subscribed is that the region’s businesses are feeling more confident. They’re gearing up for the drive towards a more optimistic and positive time. The ones who are most fleet of foot, and most likely to succeed are the ones who want to get in front of potential customers, see new ideas, and do better business.

And let’s face it, when the deal is done the best, and most time honoured way to seal it is still to shake hands. And you can only do that when you’re face to face! 

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