What Can You Do In Person that You Can’t Do On the Phone?

Both my seminar on how to host effective User Conferences (which I will post some day), and Seth’s recent post on the pressure that the hassle and expense of travel is putting on conference planners, stress the same thing:

 “…a conference organizer owes the attendees: surprise, juxtaposition, drama, engagement, souvenirs and just possibly, excitement.” – Seth Godin

Travel used to be fun and exciting; now it’s dull and tedious.  If you’re going to make people do it, you have to give them a reason.  They have to expect that being there in person will add value that they couldn’t get from a conference call, videoconference, online virtual event, webinar, DVD, or some other remote technology. 

And what is a bar, really, but a conference venue that hosts a new event every night?  Just as a conference is going to have to offer people something that they can only get by being there in person, successful bars have to offer people the chance to interact with other people in a way they can’t otherwise.