Face Time

We communicate differently these days. Thank technology or do we?

Most of our phone conversations are an automated messaging service with a voice that is often cold, incorrect, or hangs up on you.

We spend less time shopping in stores and having small talk with clerks and cashiers. It’s more convenient to use an e-commerce storefront and hope the order goes through correctly. If not, we are in a chat room with a first name that you suspect is chatting with a few others at the same time. Worse yet, the alternative option is pushing numbers on the phone until we reach a live voice. And we are usually not in a good frame of mind by then to have a meaningful dialog.

We are still social, however. That is if you count communicating with your friends and fans via any number of social media platforms. Hey, at least this time you can usually see a photo of who you are communicating with.

And these are the ways we communicate in business, too. There are virtual meetings, conference calls and email messages.

What happened to doing business with a handshake?

Where did face-to-face conversations go?

Let’s face it. Would you prefer doing business with a typed word and automated voice or a casual conversation over dinner or coffee? Do we really choose the people who we build a long term relationship with sight unseen?  Perhaps. There have been successful matches on dating and social media sites.

Today’s virtual world leaves little time to spend face-to-face with your professional peers. Attending the AHP annual seminar provides you with an opportunity to meet new contacts, to create beneficial partnerships, and to increase your avenues of new business. Most likely, you are already going to have publishing and horses in common. Bingo, a perfect face time match.

From my home office, I don’t get a lot of face time with our members. The annual seminar is the one time a year that Judy and I have an opportunity to see old friends and put names to faces of the new members. That face time re-enforces the relationships and motivates us to create new services for our members.

The cost of attending a seminar seems expensive when you add up travel, meals, and registration; however it’s the cost of doing business and a small price to pay for an opportunity to spend three days with your professional peers.

You may or may not know, but I have been to every AHP seminar since 1975. I have certainly made many friends and learned from my colleagues. However, in my 22 years as Executive Director, I have watched the interaction among the members and seen the long term benefits of attending the conference.

I hope to share some face-time with you in Charleston.

P.S. And to anyone who wants an update on my re-focusing program. I’m about a third through the book; probably a sign that I need to read it during the day, not before going to bed.

Christine Brune

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