By Davina Hearne
I believe that as a society, despite being more connected than ever, we’re craving human connection more than ever before. These days most of us are so busy that we don’t have time for others in the same way that previous generations did. Global communication is at an all-time high, our social networking and online connections are thriving; yet at the same time, our real life connections and offline communities are diminishing.
We’re spending more time in front of screens building our businesses, following our passions and trying to ‘get ahead’, at the expense of spending time with other humans, making real connections and developing real friendships. I’ve come across this myself over the last couple of years as my own business grew and gave me the opportunity to travel.
While the travel took me to amazing places, I would often find myself feeling like something was missing, and it took a while to work out what it was. Being in front of my laptop all day made it difficult to make genuine connections offline. I would attend events, thinking I was going for the content, but I soon realized I was actually searching for real-life connections with other people who shared my beliefs and understood me.
At the time, most of the social interactions I was having were at large business events where people were primarily focused on networking, with their own selfinterest in mind. More times than none, I left these events feeling deflated and empty with a pocket full of business cards from people who had no real interest in anything beyond my financial status and what I could do for them.
I was looking for something more, I wanted to meet authentic people who were motivated, inspiring and most of all genuinely interested in other people. And as I looked around, I realized that I wasn’t the only person in search of this. In fact, almost everyone I would come into contact with waslooking for their own version of this – connection with people who shared their beliefs and understood them. I noticed that I was finding more value in the intimacy of smaller events than in the grandiosity of bigger events and here are the reasons why:
1. Easier to Personalise
At a small event (2-150 people), the host can personally know each person attending and is in a position to make every attendee feel valued, special and vital to the experience of the group as a whole. At this size, the event can even be tailored to cater for the personalities of the group and to create a very personalised experience.
2. Meaningful Conversations
The attendees of a smaller event seem to relax and allow their true self to be present more quickly. This has a knock- on effect of having real, meaningful conversations that can lead anywhere. Ironically, people tend to get more by 'giving more’ and so despite having less people to meet, they actually get more value from the people they do meet.
3. Deeper Connections and Lasting Friendships
The attendees of a small event have more chance to connect with each other. There isn’t so much overwhelm and FOMO, so people are more willing to spend the time getting to know each person they speak to. This inevitably leads to deeper connections and lasting friendships.
All in all, I believe small events that encourage deep connections between people who are authentic and willing to help others are on the rise. They allow people to feel valued, worthy and fulfilled. They give us the room to create the friendships we’re craving and to remove the growing feeling of loneliness in our society.
Davina Hearne is a nomadic entrepreneur from New Zealand who spends her year split between NZ, Australia, the Europe and USA. She believes that we are all craving more deep and meaningful connection in our lives and so, through her business Social Alchemy, she organises intimate and exclusive gatherings in each of the places she visits. Continuous learning and personal growth are vital for Davina, which is evident through her background is in Aviation, Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Building Businesses. Community plus having a positive impact on the world are topics very close to her heart and she loves a great discussion about how to bring these to life in new and exciting ways.