Are Live Conversations Making a Comeback?

By Caroline Moriarity Sacks Director of INFORUM

In the technology capital of the world, San Franciscans know better than most about the latest messaging or communication apps. In a city turning conversations more virtual by the minute, a phenomenon is also developing: its citizens are wanting more interactions offline, with real people. At INFORUM, The Commonwealth Club’s Innovation Lab, we’re constantly seeing the benefits that come from live interactions.

While some may argue that social media, forums, podcasts or live video streams are just as useful as the real deal, you miss the events that aren’t captured by film or social media. These are the experiences that can only be seen or heard firsthand. Notice the facial expressions on the executives on stage? Or, the way a panelist lights up because he/she noticed their family in an audience? These cues provide more color and context that can add to a person’s individual experience.

Let’s not forget the benefits of making real human connections. Sometimes the best part of an event is simply hearing the commentary from attendees. Conversations that happen before and after a program is just as impactful, if not more rewarding. Plus, these conversations often open up doors to meeting new people who can become a connection in the future.

There’s also a difference between witnessing it online vs. in-person. Yes, we can listen to audio from a conversation between Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! and Marc Benioff of, but being there to laugh with the audience, feel the tension or witness history is something that you can always look back on. That experience is one of a kind.  

There are more benefits and we encourage you to see for yourself at our next INFORUM event. Check out our site for the next program; we hope to see you there:


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