Where will events be by 2020?
My entry for a $500 scholarship from Grosh Dackdrops to EventCamp 2011 to be held in Chicago on February 11-13, 2011.
The question: “How will the events industry change in the next 10 years and what will you do to help it get there?”
By the year 2020, the events industry will no longer be simply about an annual meeting or conference in the likes of Orlando, Nashville, Chicago, or Las Vegas in February, April, or October. The event “experience” will last all year long, as more facets are brought into the online arena. Will the annual conference still be a highlight on the calendar? Yes. Will the annual meeting still have informational sessions, keynote speakers, receptions, and parties? Yes.
Think of it this way: the annual event (or any other symposium or meeting for that matter) will be an integral part of an ongoing dialogue. Instead of “introductions” to colleagues or a renewal of friendship with peers at these events, it will be the transition of online relationships to include offline (or in real-life or “IRL” 😉 ) that will be key. Familiar refrains will be, “Now, what’s your Twitter (or insert name of popular social media platform in 2020) handle? Oh, I follow you!” or “Oh, I read your blog!” or “Hey, weren’t we in that virtual class together last spring?” Additionally, the use of social media will be further integrated into the event experience to provide background- and on-topic-chats; to give an opportunity for real-time feedback, polls, and surveys; and to facilitate networking for all attendees. In other words, the community- any community- will begin to feel smaller and more like familiar terrain.
ChatterBachs will be there along the way to be a resource and provide consulting, training, blogging, micro-blogging, and event coverage.