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When virtual meetings just donít cut it

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Posted by: Bernie Dagenais on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm

A compelling webinar has its place. Sales calls and job interviews can be conducted over a phone or computer. Social media is a great way to connect with colleagues and customer prospects.

These technological advancements have enhanced learning and productivity, but they don’t replace the value of face-to-face interaction. The Main Line Chamber of Commerce continues to show the power of in-person connection.

In recent weeks, the Chamber team brought together more than 50 first-generation college students on a rainy night at West Chester University, featuring the opportunity to meet eight employers and a professional trainer in effective communications strategies.

Another 30 college-aged women from a variety of schools showed up early on a March morning at World Café Life in Philadelphia to hear from a panel professionals about their career paths.

When 300 business people come to Valley Forge Military Academy & College on April 30 for our Inspirational Breakfast featuring three-time Olympic champion Dawn Staley, relationships will be strengthened and lessons in leadership will be among the takeaways.

An email doesn’t replace a handshake and the best chambers of commerce bring people together for a purpose. We like to call what we do connecting with business, leadership development and talent.

At the West Chester University event, WCU graduate Emily Pereira of Pinnacle Group Training and Organization Development talked with students about proper communications tactics, body language and business etiquette – key factors that can determine success or failure. Students met with employers seeking interns and new hires that included Wells Fargo, Vanguard, Independence Blue Cross and PennMutual. Almost a quarter of all freshmen students at WCU are first-generation college students, meaning they are typically a diverse group of individuals who are driven enough to find their way into school without parental role models to show the way.

Vanguard was also part of the event hosted by World Café Live in Philadelphia, which was also attended by Enterprise Holdings, SEI Investments and keynoted by applications development company MilkCrate Founder, CEO and entrepreneur Morgan Berman. Berman does a great job talking about risk, fears and finding balance – topics that resonate with men and women, young and old.

As for Inspirational Breakfast this month, I’m excited to learn more about Staley’s leadership journey as a motivated child who grew up in a poor Philadelphia neighborhood to become a professional basketball player who won Olympic Gold. It’s her experience taking a struggling program at the University of South Carolina and turning out NCAA Champions in 2017 that I most look forward to learning more about.

If you, like me, believe that showing up matters, I invite you to register now for what we expect will be a sold-out event.

Click here to read the entire issue of the April newsletter.

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