What we now need to think about is how we apply this dizzying array of technology in the best and most meaningful ways to enhance and extend the experience?
Seems like at nearly every event industry gathering I attend these days, everyone is still debating the impact that technology will have on live events. The most common view seems to be that on-line digital experiences are not a replacement for the need for people to meet and engage in a live experience. They argue that live experiences are 1000s of years old and will likely continue as the increasing online digital world looks for live human experience and interaction.
I of course think there is truth in this position. But that’s not to say that digital technology has not changed the live experience or that it won’t continue to transform live experience in the future.
Remember that back when television first emerged, everyone listening to radio said it wouldn’t take off. After all, who wants to see someone speak into a microphone? But new audiences emerged, needs and preferences changed, and today the digitalisation of experience will continue to challenge traditional event design. Radio still exists but television has had a greater impact on advertising, marketing and the world in general than could have possibly been imagined. We are dealing with a new audience of digital natives, that are technology-enabled and with the desire and ability to communicate digitally in addition to physically. It would be foolish for the events industry not to realise that change is coming and it will have an impact on the future of how we design and deliver live experiences.
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So, one thing we don’t need to continue to debate or worry about is whether technology is going to be an integral part of the live experience. We will continue to see breakthroughs in new experience technologies, apps, social media, AI, VR, drones, interactive video, projection mapping, holograms and more. What we now need to think about is how we apply this dizzying array of technology in the best and most meaningful ways to enhance and extend the experience?
Increasingly we will be expected to design more on-live experiences – where digital and live medium work seamlessly and effortlessly together to amplify the brand experience both for those physically in attendance as well as the increasing numbers of remote digital attendees.
Relying on the traditional approaches and expertise that the events industry has been using for years to design event experiences will not be sufficient to create the next generation of on-live experiences. A new interdisciplinary approach that engages a much wider range of skills and disciplines is the future of experience design in an increasingly digital world.