As I was saying …

Why meetings matter

As I was reviewing my schedule of upcoming industry meetings on my BlackBerry® figuring out by e-mail who would be attending and learning of still more industry events through my LinkedIn connections, I had what you might call a moment of rare illumination: This whole communication thing has gone nuts. My conclusion was reinforced when NRCA recently was advised the U.S. Department of Energy no longer responds to letters but only to e-mails.

During the next two months, NRCA staff and members will be attending the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, Solar Power International 2009, China Roofing & Waterproofing 2009, Midwest Roofing Contractors Association's National Conference, National Roofing Legal Resource Center's annual seminar and NRCA's Fall Committee Meetings and Legislative Conference.

A fair question to ask, especially in a down economy, is: Is this all worthwhile?

And here's what I conclude: Meetings matter. They matter because no matter how many times you see "LOL" in your messages, you can never really gauge whether the other person is laughing. No matter how many times you receive angry-looking e-mails (you know, capital letters and boldface type), you never know whether the other person is mildly irritated or ready to heave a rock at you.