You Don’t Have to Go to Harvard

ColumnistEditor's NoteManagement & MotivationProfessional Development/Leadership
ISE Columnist Sharon Vollman

But You DO Need to Invest in Yourself —

Did you know THIS about face-to-face networking? The Harvard Business Review says best practices of face-to-face experiences incorporate 5 design drivers.

  1. Purposeful focus. Face-to-face experiences inherently have the potential to generate and sustain focus. When we are physically together, it is more difficult to give in to all kinds of distractions. It is easier for our colleagues to keep us focused, and we all keep each other on task.
  2. Interpersonal bonding. IRL biz bonding can help foster trust, support, and openness.
  3. Deep learning. This happens when participants have the time and space to explore concepts that matter for their particular situations and challenges.
  4. Unencumbered experimentation. Experimentation in business is often impeded by concerns over turf, resources, advancement, credit, and so on. Immersive face-to-face experiences are necessary to foster the development of trust and bonds that allow for experimentation unencumbered by these concerns.
  5. Structured serendipity. This refers to the effect of stumbling onto something truly wonderful while looking for something entirely unrelated. HBR says well-designed immersive experiences consists of a balance of formal and informal elements that create fertile ground for such a moment.  (Can you say ISE EXPO 2021?)


So while we may never go back to a pre-COVID-19 business environment, the ISE team has designed ISE EXPO 2021 to be of high value to you and your team. Use the education guide to schedule some deep learning. Carve out time for some unencumbered experimentation at the Demo Zone. Get ready to exercise those face-to-face (and/or mask-to-mask) muscles at the Outdoor IRL Networking Event. And focus on solving your network pain points on the exhibit floor.

Then, wait for it. You never know when structured serendipity could strike.

All you have to do is make the commitment to invest in real life (#IIRL) at ISE EXPO 2021. Take advantage of 50% OFF registration fees with an early bird attendee conference pass until July 27, 2021. 


About Sharon Vollman

Sharon Vollman is Senior Vice President, Editorial Director of ISE magazine. She oversees all editorial processes and staff for ISE magazine, the ISE e-newsletter,, and leads the educational content development for ISE EXPO and several events. Vollman has created educational partnerships with the major communications and entertainment providers including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Cincinnati Bell. She has covered the telecom industry since 1996, when she joined OSP magazine as editor. Prior to that she worked in advertising with Ogilvy & Mather and CME. Vollman has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/advertising from the University of Iowa.