6 Indisputable Reasons In-Person Networking > Virtual


In a digital age where “connection” often means a quick add on LinkedIn or a more quickly forgotten DM, this quote from Forbes is more relevant than ever: “85% of people say they build stronger, more meaningful business relationships during in-person meetings and conferences. While video and conference calls can certainly be convenient, there’s no denying the effectiveness of meeting in person.”

While virtual events sound easy (and they are), the piper has to get paid somewhere—what you gain in convenience you lose in connection. As a business owner, your time is already at a premium. If you’re going to be spending an hour (or even a whole day) networking, you should make sure you get the most out of it.

Here are 6 indisputable reasons why you should choose in-person networking events over virtual events whenever you can.

1. Live Interactions Are More Likely to Energize You Than Virtual Ones

There’s a unique kind of energy that pervades in-person events, a buzz that virtual meetings, for all their convenience, can’t reproduce. This atmosphere acts as a catalyst for organic interactions that just aren’t possible at virtual meetings.

Think about the spontaneous conversations that happen over coffee breaks at in-person conferences, the shared laughs or insights that break down walls, and the collective nodding during a particularly impactful keynote that transforms into a discussion with the person next to you after the speech is over.

Being surrounded by and interacting with like-minded people all pursuing the same goals that you are can energize you and remind you why you started your business in the first place. You’ll walk away from each in-person event ready to tackle your next big challenge.

2. You Can Create Better Accountability by Building a Stronger Network

Building a network at in-person events goes beyond exchanging business cards—it’s about forging relationships that last. When you meet someone face-to-face, you share stories, discuss challenges, and dream up future successes. These interactions lay the foundation for a network of accountability.

Imagine having a group of fellow business owners who know your face, understand your journey, and genuinely want to see you succeed. They become your informal board of advisors, your cheerleaders, and sometimes, the gentle push you need to stay on track toward your goals.

This circle of trust is invaluable, offering perspectives that can help you navigate the ebbs and flows of business ownership. It’s hard to create these at virtual events where you are randomly placed with people instead of being able to gravitate toward the people you feel most in tune with.

3. You’ll Be Less Distracted and Less Likely to Check Out

Virtual events, while convenient, come with an inherent flaw—the ease of distraction. In contrast, attending an event in person is a commitment, a deliberate choice to invest time in yourself and your business. It’s an opportunity to step away from the daily grind, immerse yourself in a new environment, and truly focus on networking and learning.

This distraction-free zone forces you out of your comfort zone and into the present moment. It’s where you’re most likely to have meaningful conversations, create authentic connections, and absorb knowledge that can catalyze the growth of your business. By choosing to be fully present, you open yourself up to opportunities and insights that might have otherwise slipped by unnoticed.

At virtual events, it’s incredibly easy to get distracted by kids, your partner, your pets, or anything else going on around the house. It’s just as easy to end up spending your time answering emails instead of engaging. Sitting in a chair at home in front of your computer is unlikely to energize you and excite you.

4. You’ll Meet More People and Be More Likely to Meet New Potential Clients

In-person networking events are better relationship incubators than virtual, period. Each interaction has the potential to transform into a referral, partnership, or client relationship. The key here is the immediacy and intensity of face-to-face connections, which tend to stick in people’s minds far longer than an online interaction.

You also miss out on the randomness of in-person events, which can often lead to unexpected connections. Maybe the person you sit next to during a workshop or the one you strike up a conversation with in the lunch line could be your next big client. You’re not going to get that with virtual events.

5. The Rapport You Build Will Be Deeper Thanks to Nonverbal Communication

The subtleties of nonverbal communication—gestures, tone of voice, facial expressions—play a huge role in building rapport. These cues make up 70% to 93% of communication and are almost entirely lost in virtual settings, especially when cameras are off. In person, they enable deeper, more meaningful connections.

Shaking someone’s hand, looking them in the eye—these are the things that cement a relationship. These nonverbal cues build trust and rapport in a way that just can’t be replicated online. They make interactions memorable and form a foundation for strong business relationships.

6. You Can Have More Organic, Spontaneous, Creative Interactions

In-person events are the ultimate breeding ground for creativity. The spontaneity of face-to-face interactions often sparks ideas that might never have come to life in the structured format of a virtual meeting. Off-the-agenda conversations and impromptu brainstorming sessions can be incredibly valuable, often more so than the workshops or speakers themselves.

Imagine discussing a challenge you’re facing, only to have someone from a completely different industry offer a perspective you hadn’t considered. These cross-pollination moments are frequent at in-person events, leading to innovative solutions and unique collaboration opportunities. You’re just not going to get that kind of magic at a virtual event.

Get Out There and Network!

In-person networking events are incredibly powerful, and now that the majority of the world has returned to business as usual, there’s no longer a good excuse for missing them.

Speaking of which… if you’re looking for some great events to attend, we’ve got a ton coming up.Check out our upcoming events here.


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