Smashing the 1960’s technological dream
The world in which we live today is not the one that 1960’s visionaries predicted. Whilst the technology for hover cars and robots helpers exists, where their predictions went wrong revolved around its uptake. Their assertion that we would live in a world shaped primarily by these technologies was wrong, but they were right to predict that there would be big changes. In some ways, the changes that did actually occur were even more dramatic than they expected. Developments such as the spread of social media, smart phones, the internet, the cloud etc have not only changed how we do business, but also how we interact, build relationships, communicate, form bonds and define who we are – much more impactful than a slightly different way of commuting and doing housework.
Technology has provided us with opportunity and strengths but like a classic SWOT analysis, there are also threats and weaknesses. Many predicted that technologies such as video conferencing, webinars and online demos would be the death of the events industry. Why would people be interested in going somewhere to meet in person when everything could be done remotely? It’s a good question, but the answer, provided by the growth and success of the events industry, has provided an equally good answer. Rather than be threatened or disadvantaged by these emerging technologies, the events industry has embraced them and used them to enrich the content, structure and promotion of events. Webinars and event websites are now a common way of promoting an event and a short stroll through any trade show will bring to you a numerous opportunities to interact with online demos.
Technology still has to overcome the basic premise that people like meeting and talking to other people. It’s a social thing, and deep rooted in the human psyche. Of course, things change, and could change very quickly. What if technology could give us the level of human contact that we crave, all without having to leave our home or office? It’s possible, but if you find it hard to imagine, just watch the film ‘Surrogates’. Whilst it won’t win many awards, if you watch it, i'm sure you’ll see what I mean…