Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Events of the Future and Digital Fluidity

Is the above photo a trade show dream, where thousands swarm the floor, seeking information and not swag; seeking connections and not business cards; where organizations are cementing their brand presence and not merely taking up space?  It is hard to say what the individuals experienced, because we give so little energy in our typical planning cycle to thinking of the individuals.  We may create "buyer personas" and attendee profiles, generalizing to show our exhibitors the types of people they should expect to meet at our show, enticing them to purchase a booth and immerse themselves in the experience.  But how each person is able to build their own schedule, easily find their preferred exhibitors or those they seek to know more about, or find colleagues, friends, and potential collaborators who have similar interests - this is still missing for many.

I wrote recently for Corporate Meetings Network about the concept of Digital Fluidity and what this means to our event experiences and I believe we must become much more fluent in this new language, and the medium which lives in the pockets and purses of the individuals who attend.  They are busy, they are living with a certain amount of stress from work, life and the integration of the two in a continuously time - strapped world where 24/7 access is a reality for many. How can we use mobile and its inherent tools such as location via bluetooth or similar now built in to so many devices, or apply concepts such as flipped learning with augmented reality, and ease their journey through our event, allowing for deeper connections, more relevant learning to the time and space they are in now, and deliver events which are ultimately more meaningful, and create a thirst to return again?  It is these questions that keep me intrigued, that cause me to ask deeper questions of fellow planners and the smart people I work with and to continue to explore the many facets and components of mobile and how we can use it, quite simply, in a better way.   How are you using the new wave of technology to enhance your experiences?