When was the last time you got out and actually talked to a stranger? It doesn’t matter where we are anymore, whether we’re at the coffee shop or sitting at home on the couch, we’re constantly inundated with technology. It’s literally everywhere.

We all have phones in our pockets, people are always using their computers, stores are using Shopify’s POS system—which uses iPads as cash registers, and this is making us all a little bit less social, to be frank. We talk about how social media brings us closer and more connected to people, which is definitely part of the truth, but it’s also giving us the opportunity to hide behind screens and not actually meet people face-to-face anymore.

This is a problem of today and something more businesses are starting to deal with and will continue to deal with in the coming years. I know from my experience networking and doing business online that it’s extremely efficient to sit at my desk at home, be close to my pantry so I can eat whenever I want, and go on any social network and start a conversation with people without actually being in the same location as them.

Using technology like this can be an asset and a curse, and I wanted to bring you up to speed with something that your company should do to help combat this. I sat down with my good friends over at Hawke Media who run the massively successful Hawkefest, which is an annual gathering of the top e-commerce executives in sunny Los Angeles. They come together for a one-day anti-conference to support collaboration and share best practices in the e-commerce industry.

For those that are not familiar, Hawke Media is one of the fastest-growing marketing consultancies in the United States, boasting some of the top brands around the world as clients and having received several awards for their work. 

Basically, think of them as your CMO in a toolbox that consists of a team of professionals, all skilled in different areas of marketing and branding. They work alongside you and your brand and will allow you to possess the capabilities of a team versus just a single CMO.

How Hawkefest Started

Hawkefest is in its third year now, and it all started after Founder and CEO Erik Huberman saw a need in the industry to bring their clients, industry peers, and personnel together for a one-day gathering that wasn’t in a stuffy conference room.

He wanted it to be held somewhere more creative that inspired the audience and speakers to think bigger and be more comfortable.

Last year’s edition featured circus performers and amazing acrobats, and this year Hawke has decided to one-up it a bit with a magic theme hosted at the infamous Houdini Estate.

If you are not familiar with Houdini, perhaps this video will look familiar.

Harry Houdini was a famous stunt performer and illusionist that pulled off some miraculous stunts in front of millions of people over the course of his lifetime.

The fact that this year’s Hawke Fest is being held at the iconic Houdini Estate nestled away in the Hollywood Hills is a huge statement made by Hawke Media. They’ve chosen a unique spot to bring together employees, industry experts, and executives from top brands around the world.

Why Should Your Company Hold an Event like Hawkefest?

You’re probably asking yourself this question as you read this, so let me give you a few reasons why.

#1. It helps create a human connection of your brand with current and potential customers.

You and your team get to connect with people in person. No, it’s not on a phone call, video chat, or through a messaging platform. Real-world connections are made and the needle can be pushed a lot farther when you are sitting down with an executive of a company in person and chatting with them for an extended period of time.

I know from experience that I’ve closed deals, partnerships, and made huge leaps in business when I get to meet people in person because it creates another layer to that relationship.

#2. You bring your people together under one roof.

Whether you choose to do an industry-type event or a company retreat, having an annual event will show your current team that you value their dedication and hard work, and you want to reward them by being a part of something special.

Hawkefest allows the opportunity for several team members of Hawke Media to network outside of the office, be on stage leading discussions and workshops, and the opportunity to bask in celebrating the company that they work for.

If you get one thing from this article, let it be known that you should do your own event. Start small if you have to and build it from there. Maybe one day you’ll hold it at the Houdini Estate like Hawke Media is.

Clinton Senkow

Clinton is the Co-founder/Chief Operating Officer of Influencive and a writer at The Huffington Post and Thrive Global. He’s a two-time G20 YEA Entrepreneur representing Canada and advisor to several businesses and entrepreneurs.