We look back at our first blog posts 10 years ago. The importance of relationships has not changed, but technology has. Jujama delivered technology to facilitate relationships then, and continues to evolve to do so today.
With so much new technology around us and so many new apps and devices and widgets debuting practically every day, people can get sidetracked about what really makes business happen. It’s not the job board that gets us the job or the Blackberry that lands us the deal—it’s still the human relationship that counts. Sure, life is easier and business is more efficient because we have so much technology at our fingertips, but we still sell our products to people who trust us and want the value we bring, and we still evaluate whether a potential business partner can be trusted by getting to know that person, hearing their story, and observing how they act. We build our network one person at a time, and that network gives back manifold connections, as each of our colleagues comes with their own network attached.
This is why conferences and industry meetings will always have value for business—because they give us the chance to meet one another in person, build relationships and assess the competition with the most advanced technology we have: our own eyes, ears and ability to read each other’s body language.
But our ability to expand our networks via technology is also growing by leaps and bounds. Look at the growth experienced by networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in the past few years. And social media will be the bedrock that all future conferences and industry meetings will be built upon. People will begin to find it increasingly more acceptable to expose more and more of their personal details on different forms of social media. While this trend will certainly increase in the future, we think it is already the case. People understand the value they can gain by customizing their personal settings and allowing select groups to access their information remotely—everything from more targeted advertising to reconnecting with old friends. In the conference arena, this ability to reach out before the event, touch base during the meeting and follow up with leads and people of interest afterwards will become an essential part of getting the greatest ROI in conference attendance—as always, by allowing participants to find and meet face-to-face with others whose offerings can enhance their own business.
Jujama’s role in this landscape is to bring together the most useful ideas in social media technology in one friendly interface, and then customize and optimize that interface for the individual meeting.
- the professional orientation and “Rolodex” functions of LinkedIn;
- the detailed user-generated content (contact-tracking and follow-up) of SalesForce;
- the real-time update capabilities of Twitter (for last-minute meetings and changes of plan onsite at the event);
- and the interactive community focus of Facebook.
Like other social media, the Jujama platform is accessible 24/7 via the web from any desktop, laptop, netbook, PDA, mobile device or web-enabled phone. But unlike some other forms of social media, Jujama does not replace face-to-face interaction, it simply facilitates it.
Jujama enables event participants to do the “heavy lifting” of identifying prospects and scheduling meetings with them before the conference begins. At the event, Jujama lets participants use any unscheduled free time to squeeze in more face to face events (from pitches to more casual relationship-enhancing get-togethers like Happy Hour). Then after the conference has ended, Jujama allows participants to follow up with interesting people and keep in touch, thus building their personal network beyond the bounds of the meeting and allowing business relationships to develop at their own pace. Because of Jujama’s scalability and time-flexibility, the platform is equally well suited for facilitating interaction at an annual meeting or for building a permanent online community for an industry sector or trade association.
This functionality, flexibility, convenience and connection are the best tools social media can offer— and they are currently redefining how meetings are run. Jujama believes they will prove the foundation for the future of the conference industry.