Making 2021 the year of meaningful connections

By Jamie Bentley.

According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update: A World in Trauma, a company/technical expert (59%), academic expert (57%) and person like yourself (56%) are the only credible spokespeople of today.

So, its critically important for businesses to lead where they have expertise and use their people, their biggest assets as ambassadors: also rewarding them with new experiences that will further their professional development after the pandemic.

Interestingly, despite recent austerity, we’ve seen delegate numbers for our events, including next week’s World Hydrogen Congress, soaring – demonstrating that professionals are emerging from their cocoons and dedicating time to discussing the critical issues of the day with their peers.

Whether it’s connecting with thought-leaders, sharing insights, best practice or discovering the latest developments in the field – gathering intelligence from trusted sources outside your pandemic bubble will most certainly give you a competitive edge after months of seeing the same faces at work and at home.

Andrew Hill in the FT recently cited a study by Kitchen, now at Flinders University in Adelaide, suggesting ‘conference-goers followed up with just 20 to 30 percent of the contacts they made’. However, in an industry full of specialists like ours – it’s quality and where you are attending a carefully curated event, quantity when it comes to expanding your network and demonstrating ROI to your employer on the cost of your ticket.

I’ve spent quite some years in the training, events and marketing businesses and following some challenging times, where we’ve all had to adapt fast– I think I can say I’m seeing the world getting out of its leisurewear and getting ready to mark 2021 with a (select) gala dinner or two.

Today – it’s not about getting back to your desk (wherever that is) with a bunch of business cards – it’s making the meaningful connections (online or face to face) that you’ll 100% follow up which counts.

Jamie Bentley is Head of Marketing for World Hydrogen Leaders, the organizers of The World Hydrogen Congress.

Photo by Fabio Bracht on Unsplash

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