In the age of electronic communication, have we forgotten the importance of interpersonal communication?

By Tracy Judge, CMP
Director of Business Development, Cadence Meetings & Incentives

The Four Seasons logo was my design of choice when we were painted for the black light after party... A fun twist on brand loyalty! In this photo: Tracy Judge, CMP, Director of Business Development for Meetings & Incentives at Cadence, and Chris Hart, President of Operations for the Americas for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

The Four Seasons logo was my design of choice when we were painted for the black light after party... A fun twist on brand loyalty!

In this photo: Tracy Judge, CMP, Director of Business Development for Meetings & Incentives at Cadence, and Chris Hart, President of Operations for the Americas for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

I recently attended the 2015 Four Seasons Incentive Partner Summit, a gathering of top producing incentive professionals to network and provide valuable input as meetings and incentives clients of the Four Seasons brand.

The event was held at the breathtaking Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. In typical Four Seasons fashion, the summit was over the top from the arrival experience straight through to the departure.  There was an element of surprise at every turn… Mascaradas clowns walking through the welcome dinner, painted women transformed into butterflies to accent the natural setting, artists painting guests with glow paint at the black light after party, manicures and pedicures poolside, wet waiters and tanning butlers, and the grand finale, a light and fire work show off the balcony of the final night dinner choreographed to the tune of Uptown Funk. 

Paulette Lambert, RD, CDE, Director of Nutrition for the California Health & Longevity Institute, gave an eye opening (and entertaining) presentation on the importance of health for the road warrior.  The presentation was followed by a healthy lunch prepared by the Four Seasons that allowed guests to practice the tips offered by Paulette.  In the afternoon Sue Hershkowitz-Coore reminded us to resist fabricating the backstory of others to increase the effectiveness of our communication in business and life. 

What can I say about property, food quality and service? Well, it’s a Four Seasons... a Four Seasons with an innovative and loyal General Manager.  (Shout out to you, Pascal!)

But the thing I applaud Four Seasons for the most is creating an experience that encouraged meaningful human engagement. Some of this was staged through one-on-one appointments and the communal layout of the resort.  However, I think we would all agree, the relationships formed through organic and personal conversations and interactions during the trip are the ones that will remain the most valuable and cherished throughout our careers.  For me, the trip was serendipitous, which in my opinion is the greatest gift you can give anyone.

After spending the last few days reflecting on this experience I had to wonder, in the age of electronic communication and RFPs, have we forgotten the importance of interpersonal communication?  Is a seller’s market only about price and buying power? 

I believe, in our personal lives, a trusting relationship between two parties is truly what leads to positive outcomes, fulfillment, and, most importantly, joy.  So why should business be any different?  In my opinion, applying this belief to our career is the greatest thing we can offer our customers.

My team and I are off to Cvent Connect in Las Vegas this week.  I hope to keep this conversation going there.  For those of you not attending, I would love to hear your thoughts!  Post them here…or feel free to give me a call.

Tracy