For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine what the future will look like 10 years, even one year from now. Yet there are futurist thinkers who are trying to envision what the Internet will look like in the 22nd century. Curious about what the Internet of the future could look like? One of the projections (pun intended) for the future a measly 20 years away is meeting people via hologram. Fans of Star Wars will naturally think about the holographic projection of Princess Leia asking for Obi Wan Kenobi’s help. Unlike that fictional looped message, what if we could interact virtually with a hologram? The technology is still a developing field, but the implications for the future of events is astounding. Attendees could be there in person or in hologram. (What should we charge for registered hologram attendees? Something to think about. It might cut down on food costs.) But we already have some of this going on! Virtual or hybrid (virtual plus live) events are already here. Could holograms take the virtual side of it to a new level and, should we say, location? The most interesting part of the infographic is that there is not one mention of social media. Interesting. Just 20 years from now, will we be so interconnected via technology that LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter will be unnecessary? Maybe. And forget avatars if we can “meet” someone through their holographic profile. The other idea that runs through these predictions is the total integration of human and artificial technology. Today’s wearable technologies are getting us ever closer to this. The infographic prediction is that melding mind and machine will allow us to thought-control web search within our heads. Scary sci-fi stuff! But are we really that far away? Just consider that a mere two decades ago, a bag cell phone was the epitome of mobile tech. Today, wearable and voice controlled devices such as Google Glass are commercially viable. With these developments on the horizon, how can event planners prepare for this mobile future?
- Go Mobile Now. Some events may still be dragging their feet when it comes to introducing a mobile app, justifying it by saying they’ll wait until the technology settles. However, apps will just get more and more sophisticated over time… likely a very short time. It will then take Herculean efforts to transition from no app to apps that seem to have super powers. Baby steps!
- Begin Rethinking “Attendees.” Though virtual and hybrid events have already begun to reimagine what an attendee is, holographic presence could completely reimagine what it means to “attend” an event.