Recent media reports have revealed that Apple plans to include features to encourage customers to spend less time on their mobile devices (The Week, 9th June 2018). It will be possible to block apps that are proving to be too compelling. The apparent addiction to media platforms reflects the need to feel involved, included and recognised. There is a strong desire amongst users to be praised, using Likes and other positive emojis to confirm their self-esteem. This digital frenzy is not good for people’s wellbeing and alternative life-style options are desperately needed.

Everything in moderation

“Virtual” contact has been lauded by digital media companies as a way of connecting people and building communities. Like all good things, it is best used in moderation. We need to maintain a balance between the digital and real worlds, to retain the unique benefits that can only be experienced through face-to-face personal interaction.  We still love parties, don’t we?  That’s because there is no substitute for sharing a live experience.  This applies to the workplace too, the environment where many of us spend a lot of our time and where good relationships are vital.

Live business events provide an opportunity for companies to combine the power of personal recognition and inclusion with driving performance.  A real “buzz” is generated by taking people out of their normal routine and bringing them together for a special occasion.  Corporate hospitality events for staff, channel partners and customers are a great way of encouraging closer personal connections.  The images and memories of being there are tangible, emotional and rewarding for those who have been invited.

A live event gives people a sense of belonging, rewards them for doing a good job and motivates them to maintain high performance standards for a long time after the event.  It also allows employees and other stakeholders to get to know each other better, to relax in an informal setting and to enjoy each other’s company.  Senior managers from the company hosting the hospitality event have a chance to get closer to people and often to meet their life partners and others with influence over the business relationship.

Real-time, not face-time

Communication provides the channel for improving understanding.  Live communication makes the most impact.  The audience of invited guests will be better informed, more inspired and reinvigorated if the hospitality is delivered with flair.  Extravagance is not necessary, but a clear focus on the guest is absolutely essential.  When we feel appreciated and admired, the endorphins kick in and we feel good about ourselves.  That is the effect you want your hospitality event to have on your key people.  Their loyalty to your brand and commitment to your business success will be reinforced and your investment in the event will be repaid many times over.

The more you bring your key people together, in real-time live encounters, the more you will strengthen bonds and stimulate co-operation.  Sharing Likes on a screen can become a competition for attention.  It is unhealthy, emotionally as well as physically.  Meeting face to face, talking, debating, listening and contributing all provoke ideas and a feeling of satisfaction.  Wellbeing depends in part on knowing you have value to offer and being given space to reach your full potential.  With so much positive activity to fill their time together, your team will no longer depend on their phone for reassurance.  That’s the power of well-managed corporate hospitality events.