Networking events have come a long way since their inception, evolving from traditional face-to-face gatherings to the virtual and hybrid experiences of today’s business world. Still, the true question is, what will the future hold for networking events?
As technology advances at an unprecedented pace, it’s intriguing to consider where networking events will be in the next 100 years. Will we still be shaking hands and exchanging those critical business cards, or will we immerse ourselves in a futuristic digital realm?
We shall explore the potential future of networking events and how they may look in the futuristic world we all envision.
One of the most exciting developments and prospects for networking events in the next century is the widespread adoption of virtual reality, otherwise known as VR.
Now, imagine for a second you are attending a conference or trade show without leaving the comfort of your home. Just as equally interesting to think about, imagine, if you will, attending a networking event where you can project your holographic avatar into a virtual mixer while on the other side of the country.
Virtual reality technology will enable participants to interact in a fully immersive three-dimensional environment, complete with real lifelike avatars and real-time communication. This immersion level will redefine how we connect with others in the business world, transcending geographical boundaries and providing an unrivaled networking experience. The convenience of virtual reality is something brands are eager to know and understand. Virtual reality is around the corner and will become a cornerstone of the way we do business around the world.
Artificial Intelligence will play a massive role in the future of the way we do network events and even spill into our day-to-day lives. Artificial Intelligence will be able to analyze attendees’ profiles, preferences, and past interactions to curate more personalized networking opportunities. The undeniable need to understand your potential client’s undesirable needs and unquenchable wants in the business world can set you apart from the rest of the brands on the trade show floor or conference.
The convenient aspect of this exciting technology is showcased in this perfect example of the lack of need for the old-school approach of business cards. You won’t need to sift through a sea of business cards; AI will suggest meaningful connections and important dialogue, making your networking efforts more effective and fruitful.
As mentioned above, Holographic presences has already been implemented today. One of the most interesting and futuristic events that have been flooding the social airwaves has been the holographic performances of deceased music performers.
In 2012, the popular music festival Coachella literally brought back to life one of the most inspirational and popular music artists of a generation, Tupac Shakur. A holographic presence of Tupac was given a full concert set and was a groundbreaking performance that left music festival goers in a state of shock. The realistic holographic performer was the talk of the music festival world. This specific holographic performance was a step into the future.
As you can imagine, after the success of a holographic performance like Coachella 2012, holographic technology will advance into the business sector. This breakthrough technology will enable people to attend multiple events simultaneously, expanding their networking horizons exponentially. Though we can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to bring someone back from the dead metaphorically in the business world, you will be able to use this technology to expand your business operations without you being there physically with a sense of you being there.
Security and Privacy
As business networking events become more pointed towards increasingly digital, security and privacy concerns will become more crucial. Future technologies will need to incorporate robust encryption, biometric authentication, and other safeguards to protect companies’ sensitive information. The fear of hackers has become an important topic in the business world, so the more safeguards a company has, the better shape it will be during these trying times.
A relatively new development in the world of technology is Blockchains. A Blockchain works as a distributed network that enables the decentralization of data, which makes it more secure and difficult to tamper with. Blockchain technology will be integrated to ensure the integrity of potential clients and attendees’ data. As we continue through the advancements of technology, security, and privacy will be at the front seat of the discussion.
Present day, with the focus being on global warming and climate change, companies have prioritized sustainability and, most importantly, eco-friendly practices in networking events. The days of printing thousands upon thousands of brochures and flyers may be long gone. Instead, events may be decided to adopt digital materials, eco-conscious venues, and carbon-neutral practices.
QR codes have become a way for companies and events to display their brochures or any informative information that has become important to the event goer or attendee. More and more brands are moving towards this practical solution. Future virtual events will require significantly fewer resources and will naturally contribute to a greener business future.
Coupled with virtual reality, augmented reality will offer exciting opportunities for networking events. Attendees may wear AR glasses or use AR apps to receive real-time information about other participants, exhibits, or speakers as they navigate the event space. Augmented reality can allow patrons to access this technology through a smartphone, which allows this type of imaginative reality to be easily accessible.
However, the main difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is that virtual reality replaces your vision while augmented reality adds to them. This technology is created for free movement while protecting images or data points over whatever you’re looking at. The most common example of augmented reality is various enterprise-level “smart glasses,” which are completely transparent and allow you to see everything in front of you, but data points are layered on top of reality.
We don’t know the full scope of this technology or that of virtual reality, but it will continue to evolve and embed itself in our culture.
Improved Internet Connection
The next century will likely see the proliferation of hyper-connectivity. With 5G technology fully integrated into networking events, participants will enjoy lightning-fast internet speed and seamless communication. This will enable the real-time exchange of data, ideas, and innovations, fostering collaboration on an unprecedented scale.
The expansion of high-powered internet connection has expanded around the world, and with this expansion comes a higher need for the quality of internet to touch all corners of the world.
Improving internet connection, while simple to understand, is imperative for the advancement of all types of business around the globe.
In the near future, networking events will prioritize inclusivity and accessibility for all. Advanced technologies will cater to individuals with disabilities, making sure that no one is left behind in the modern day of networking. Language barriers may also be eliminated through live and instant translations and interpretation tools.
The future of networking is poised to be an exciting blend of technological innovation and human connection. At the same time, the next 100 years will undoubtedly bring unfathomable changes to how we professionally network, but the core purpose will remain the same: forging meaningful relationships, sharing ideas, and driving progress.
As technology continues to advance, networking events will organically evolve, offering new and exciting opportunities for professionals from all walks of life. So, whether you’re attending a holographic trade show or networking with AI-driven avatars, the future of networking events promises to be an exhilarating journey into the unknown.
And who knows? We might even be networking on the Moon.
The Trade Group is a full-service trade show and event marketing company. We will work with you to create an exhibit or an event that brings in leads and helps you achieve your business goals. Contact us here or give us a call at 972-734-8585.
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