Most of the time, Seth Godin is a pretty smart guy at pointing out fallacies in thinking and performance. He gave away books to show the power of viral marketing and purple cows. He taught us that small is now big. He proclaimed why marketers are liars.
But I struggle with his latest blog that seems to imply big meetings and events are bogus. He said events are a huge waste of time, talent and treasure. I agree IF—and this is a big IF: If the meeting does not bring people together in meaningful ways for actually conversations… If it is nothing but grandstanding for a CEO with bells and whistles… If it will not generate buzz, enthusiasm, and understanding for a new product… Then by all means - forget it. However, human beings want to gather. There is nothing like the immediacy of looking into someone’s eyes, of experiencing a powerful message together, of shaking hands, of batting around ideas in the give and take that is so much more real than stilted chat rooms. I’ve seen major breakthroughs when a huge room of people realize they have similar issues... when a powerful speaker engages audience’s minds and sends them way thinking in new ways... and when a group of sales folks create their own American Idol competition to compose a song for a new product advertisement. Laughter, interaction, and real time conversation cement loyalty and commitment. Just can’t see that happening with “frequent, cheap communication.” It’s why I wrote the book, Talk Ain’t Cheap-It’s Priceless. Your thoughts?