What Tech Can’t Do

An Ode to the In-Person Event

handshake
Photo by Flazingo Photos

“This will end it,” they said.
“This will change events forever,” they warned.
“This technology can…”
“The PC will…”
“The internet is going to…”
“This software surely will…”
“Streaming is about to…”
“VR will most certainly…”

“Disruption is coming,” they warned.
“Everything will change,” they asserted.
“Events as we know them will most certainly cease.”

But despite the apocalyptic warnings, the professionals still searched.
They still signed up.
And they still came.

They arrived with notebooks in their bags and expectancy in their minds.
They shook hands and took notes.
Had conversations that shifted perspectives.
Took refreshment breaks that led to big breaks.
Heard questions that made them question.
And found courage in the corridors.

Because they understood something others didn’t:
They knew that chatrooms can’t beat rooms of chatter.
Avatars, no substitute for eye contact.
Emails, nothing like conversations.
Signatures, a cheap substitute for handshakes.

So others may still tout the end of the event, the close of the conference, the demise of the sideline deal. But not us.

We say…
Long live the in-person event.
Long live the handshake.
Long live eye contact.
Long live serendipitous moments.
And long live human connection.

Because people still matter.
Because everyone has a lesson to impart.
And because that’s what tech can’t do.

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