The conversations have changed

20140604_130349Eager attendees are arriving for another inspiring day at the `Making CSI Matter Conference`, Johannesburg . I am with the Poken team and we are putting the final touches on the big day, when the one thing that any event specialist works to avoid, happens.

Tim gets pulled aside by the Trialogue Event Manager and it is clear she wants to have a serious talk.

Wait a second…I think to myself, this isn’t normal. This kind of thing never happens. It is pretty clear we are all feeling the pinch of this new kind of tension. But like a boss, Tim motions her toward a more private area.

The event manager begins by stating how “shocked” she is and how different the event is this year. With a slight sweat gathering on his brow, Tim asks “Is it something we’ve done”? But before he can finish, the lady interrupts. “I think Poken has done enough!”

Amor and I can barely speak as we introduce Poken to new arriving attendees.

Tim keeps quiet and listens as the manager continuous. “Conversations have changed Tim. Usually we meet people and exchange business cards and the conversation is based upon the colour of the card, or the title, and the more decadent the card, the more important the person, and then everyone asks boring questions about what they have just read on the business card. But now, people don’t have those cues; they actually have to start asking human questions…


Ok wait. Did we hear correct? Yep, she gets it.

20140603_123541With a smile of relief, Tim winks at Amor and I and we are back. She continues the conversation, talking about how people have no `social crutches` to lean on anymore. They actually need to ask real questions and find common ground to share their business ideas. They are creating real connections and Poken has allowed them to do that.

A salesperson can invite a potential client to their stand and tell them they need to look at page seven of the brochure. But what they miss out on is a genuine connection that only happens through human interaction without unnecessary formalities.  Poken has not only changed the conversation but also the way in which people network. Let’s get connecting.


Barbara Van Der Walt

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