Trust Economy

In December, I helped put together a session at IAEE’s Expo Expo on Trusted Marketplaces of the Future. Josh Packard (sociologist) and Janet Sperstad (neuroscience geek) helped design the session content and discussion.
The overarching thoughts are:
·          Trade shows are a very traditional model.
·          B2B buying has changed a lot.
·          There is a wave of social disruption that is changing how consumers procure goods and services.
·          In five or ten years, will your trade show be the trusted platform for your industry?
While researching this topic, I tripped across Rachel Botsman’s Trust Stack . Rachel spoke a few years ago at PCMA’s Convening Leaders. She’s an expert on the sharing economy/collaborative consumption and has done significant research on understanding how trust is earned, or not. Here are the elements of her Trust Stack:
1)     Trust the idea.
2)     Trust the platform.
3)     Trust the other users.
While many are focused on experience design and networking as differentiators, the fundamental truth is that all of it is transactional without high trust in your organization, its fan base and the vendors that support the community. The idea, platform and other users all must be trusted. 

February 2019
Video: Researcher Rachel Botsman says, "We've stopped trusting institutions and started trusting strangers."

I've explored five realities of today's B2B buyer and how those insights can be applied to the traditional expo. The most glaring reality that three out of four buyers conduct the majority of their research before talking to a salesperson remains a major issue. The biggest risk has to do with how much buyers and sellers trust the enviroment we create.
In my research I’ve found that building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference. Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance. I’ve identified eight management behaviors that foster trust. 

People don’t trust institutions today says sociologist  Dr. Josh Packard . We don’t think institutions have our best interests in mind he says. We believe they serve the interests of the professionals who created and run them, and they serve the interests of perpetuating their own existence. Your association, annual conference and governance are all institutions. As such, you’ll need to earn more trust and loyalty from your members, attendees and suppliers, who now have higher expectations for transparency, authenticity and value.

In a Q&A with Rachel Botsman, author of Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart , she says when she first wrote about the so-called sharing economy, there were two aspects that interested her. One was how you can take idle assets and unlock their value through technology, and the second was trust.This notion that technology could breed familiarity and enable strangers to trust one another was fascinating, and the start of something much bigger.