Surface World Live proves face-to-face communication is critical in modern B2B sales process

During the past two years due to the covid pandemic virtual communication has been a vital new addition to the daily running of many businesses across the globe. Even though this has been generally a successful way to connect with other businesses and with new and prospective customers, in-person meetings will now have a significant influence in 2022 and beyond.

Throughout the covid pandemic the B2B sales process became increasingly digital due to the restrictions in place. However face-to-face meetings still provide certain benefits that technology cannot replace. After two years of only being able to converse digitally, face-to-face business at long last is making its return as a key element of the sales process.

Research has shown that in-person meetings are 34 times more successful than those made via email. The close rate for in-person meetings is 57%, and executives and business travellers estimate that 28% of their current business would be lost without in-person meetings. The pandemic may have shaken things up by bringing digital interaction to the fore, but face-to-face meetings retain a strong appeal.

The human brain is wired for connection and appreciation. To build relationships and close deals, it is essential to understand what makes each person tick. Businesses need to take into account that face-to-face sales are often the first time a customer gets acquainted with your brand, products, and services.

A recent report from Stellar Global discovered that 85% of customers would be encouraged to buy a product after a product demonstration, while 73% want a product demonstration to give them an understanding of how that product works.

These findings highlight the importance of taking the time to demonstrate your product, educate prospective customers about its advantages and answer any questions they have.

A product demonstration given to your customer provides them the opportunity to learn how it will benefit them the most. Using face-to-face meetings to show how your product helps them solve their problems, wants and desires is crucial in the sales environment.

In some cases, technology can improve communication efficiency during the sales process. In other cases, technology exacerbates the problem of poor sales communication. Any sale can, for example, be ruined by a dropped call or poor internet connection. Face-to-face selling overcomes these technical challenges, allowing salespeople to build real relationships with prospects. Another benefit for face-to-face sales is the ability to better measure prospects’ reactions by using body language cues.

All in all, success in B2B sales means using all the methods available to you and using them well. Technology should, of course, be used when it is sensible to do so, but the value of face-to-face interaction can never be understated. At a time when societies and the world are opening up again, embracing in-person meetings is sure to yield success.

After a targetted marketing campaign, and in depth preparations by the shows organiser and all exhibitors, Surface World Live opened its doors after a four year hiatus due to the covid pandemic at the NEC in Birmingham. Over 100 exhibitors were present to greet visitors to the show, many unsure what to expect given the circumstances.

As soon as the doors opened visitor after visitor entered the show. A steady flow was seen during the full two days, footfall was considerably above the previous show back in 2018! The exhibitors were inundated with query after query, proving the surface finishing industry was out in full force ready to do business.

Surface World Live was proven to be a very successful tool in re-connecting the industry and a great boost to business moral.

The next Surface World Live is to take place in September 2023. Dates and venue are yet to be announced but reservations are already being taken.

If you are interested at exhibiting at the show or would like to advertise in the shows sister magazine, Surface World, please call Nigel Bean on +44 (0) 1442 826826 to discuss your requirements. Or you can send an email to