Mobile. Social. Augmented. Wearable. What does this all mean for the future of social events? According to James Spellos from Meeting U at the recent Techsy Talk, it’s the direction that event industry technology is headed.
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans are smartphone owners. Of all smartphone owners, 68% use their devices to read the news, 67% share pictures, videos, or commentary about events in their community, 56% learn about community events or activities, and 67% use their phone for turn-by-turn navigation while driving.
When did we become so self-reliant on device that used to be plugged into the wall, required a quarter to make a call, and at one point even required an entire network of employees behind the scenes to “connect” us together? Do you remember when big news (and when I say news, I mean real news; nothing like Lindsey Lohan getting arrested AGAIN) occurred and people huddled around storefront windows to become informed?
My addiction to the news started when I was very young. I watched CNN Headline News religiously and knew my regular news would be at the top and thirty minutes of every hour, finance every 15 and 45 minutes, and most importantly (at least to me back then) was that sports would happen every 20 and 50 minutes. I could never have imagined at that time that the smartphone would essentially give me the ability to watch the news (and non-news) anywhere, anytime, in REAL time.
It’s no coincidence that Apple has turned their focus to watches and taken over one of the most successful wireless headphones brands, Beats by Dre. People love tchotchkes and in no way am I implying that the new Apple Watch is a cheap giveaway that a vendor may give out as a takeaway. What I am implying is that I believe Mr. Spellos has hit the nail on the head. Mobile, Social, Augmented, Wearable items in our immediate future.
It’s fun to think of the possibilities. Maybe the giveaway pen that we see given away at every hotel now can track where our attendees stay. Perhaps the lanyard allows us to track our guests’ experiences in specific cities so we can give them a better experience the next year. Maybe the notepads that we spread across tables allows the speaker to analyze real time how engaging they are based on the notes, keywords, and phrases that the audience is writing down?
One cannot predict the future, but by dreaming big you can help shape it.