In the next 20 years, six dramatic technology trends will influence our connected world.
We are already watching how these forces are shaping modern web culture.
Kevin Kelly, co-founder and senior maverick of Wired Magazine, identified these six trends in his opening keynote at the 2011 Web 2.0 Conference. His reflections give us a window into what is important now and what we should be planning for in the future.
Is your association prepared to use these web verbs to their advantage? Are your meeting and event organizers considering how these trends will impact your conferences and events?
Screens are everywhere! In our pockets. On our desks. In our living rooms. In our kitchens. In our backpacks. In our classrooms. At our conferences. On our tablets. In our transportation hubs.
Instead of thinking of platforms for delivery of your content, think of screens. Which screens are your customers using to connect with you and consume your messages? Are you providing ways that they can consume your content in small chunks on their mobile devices? Are you live streaming your conference content? Are you using Skype to your advantage? Are you considering telepresence?
The movie Minority Report is an omen of what’s to come. Today, most of our interaction with the Web is through our fingertips. Kinect gamers interact with gestures and body movement free of controller devices. Many people interact with Web content via their mobile devices using hand gestures.
As we interact with content, the Web adapts. Developers use detailed analytics to measure our Web movements. Then they make better apps that adapt to our movements.
Customers want to interact with your conference and association content. They want to make it their own. They want to digest it, repurpose it, expand it, shrink it, customize it and discuss it. Stop information indigestion by pushing too much content too fast. Let them digest it properly with face-to-face and online participation. Let them interact with it and others!
Anything and everything that can be shared will be shared. Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter only scratch the surface of where we are going. People can measure and track everything in the new “quantified-self” movement. And they are sharing that data with others. Why? We can learn and benefit from each other’s data.
Are you keeping your association and conference experiences and content exclusive and behind fire walls? Customers want to share your content with others. They want to showcase the experiences they have with you. Let them. Help them do it easily.
And consider creating apps that allow them to quantify their involvement with your association, your content and your conference. Blend gamification with the “quantified-self” movement to create another layer of the experience that is shareable and spreadable.
4. Flowing AKA Streaming
Originally the metaphor for the personal computer was the desktop. Then it became the web page. Now the metaphor is flowing or streaming.
Some lifestream their daily events. Some click a link to a YouTube video and expect it to begin streaming immediately. We can tap into streams of content, information, and data anytime. And they stream on the screens that are everywhere.
Your customers will expect live streaming from your conference. When you don’t, they will think that the event had nothing of value worth sharing with others.
Your customers want to see a lifestream of your organization’s experiences. Consider creating a graphic time-line of past, current and future events so people can get a quick grasp of your organization and where it is going. Show them how they can merge their life stream with your organization’s stream to create a better future.
We used to want to own CDs, computer games, movies, etc. With streams flowing everywhere, we now just want to access it. We are fine renting it. Within seconds we can connect with a movie in Nextflix, download an eBook from Amazon, or listen to a recording.
Have you moved your association content to the clouds yet? Who is overseeing the institutional knowledge and the brain wealth of your members? Can your customers access your knowledge, content and experiences in a matter of seconds or does it take an experienced trekker to navigate your web archives? How easily can your remote attendees access the conference experience?
“The Internet is the world’s largest copy machine,” says Kelly. Immediacy, personalization and customization are critical keys to value. While digital piracy wiped out the old, traditional music model, the music industry is thriving by allowing for personalization and customization. Live concerts are experiences that can’t be recreated.
Your same old, same old way of doing conferences is stale. They can be recreated and copied. You must create unique, unpredictable conference and association experiences. They must be different and if you want to succeed.
Sources: TechCrunch & VentureBeat
Which of these Web verbs excite or scare you? How can associations or event professionals take advantage of these technology trends?
Paul Salinger says
great list Jeff. I vote for greening as #7
Association/Conference Impact – A more sustainable model of managing events that can reduce cost to both the bottomline and the environment, and when a social component is added helps communities that are impacted by the travel into a community. The most effective meeting, IMO, is all of the above plus sustainability as the lens through which it is all done for overall conference operations.
Jeff Hurt says
Thanks for always reminding us about sustainability issues. We can never stop talking and thinking about those.
BTW, is greening a “Web Verb?” 😉
Debra Askanase says
Jeff – this is one of the very best posts I’ve ever read on your site; brilliant concept. I have two other thoughts (though not as event professional, but as one who attends) about trends: curation and generation. By curation, I mean crowdsourced curation. That may not be the best way to pick the sessions that are important, but this trend and expectation from amongst association attendees is here. By generation, I mean content generation – how can every aspect of the conference actually be content generated from within? I think this is also a trend, at least in social media, and I’d be curious to know what you think of that idea.
This blog post, I do believe, is about to inspire one of my own: Six Web Verbs Associated with Social Media of the future. I’m stewing on it right now…
Jeff Hurt says
Great additions to the Six Web Verbs. Counting Paul’s Greening as #7, you just added #8 – curation and #9 generation. I agree that it makes sense to use some crowdsourced content. The challenge is the crowd doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. So I like a balance of both crowdsourced and specific chosen content. As for generation, looking to the audience as the experts is a great tactic. The con is that the audience can become an echo chamber and if no one has experience with something, the audience becomes its own limiting factor. As you probably know by now, I am a “Both, And” kind of person so I say do both, crowdsourcing and generating and add specific chosen content to reach beyond the crowd’s experience and knowledge.
Thanks for reading & commenting. I’m looking forward to your post.