In an increasingly mobile world Bryan Holliday ponders where meetings might be heading.

By Bryan Holliday




At a recent conference held in Las Vegas event attendees who own free-to-air television stations discovered that 50 per cent of people under 35 are not watching television in the traditional way; instead they are watching programs on a variety of other devices. If we extrapolate this to the conference world, we see a variety of content that once upon a time may have only been delivered face-to-face, now being delivered via web streaming, pod casts or video downloads.

Curious about this trend, I invited some of our younger members of staff to advise me on how their mobile phones are integrated into their business and social lives. The responses were quite open and enlightening. One said: “I think that mobile phones are a piece of technology that we as a generation have just become so accustomed to using and, just as you get dressed for work, you also always remember to `wear’ your phone. Forgetting it, or not having it with you, is like you are suddenly out of contact with the rest of the world.”

Another said: “The internet lets you speak to people who you share interests with, wherever they live. I think most people prefer the unity and friendship that comes from shared interests rather than being in the one place at one time together. We get to do that now online and can access information whenever we want to.”
It’s become clear to me that in order for us to reach out to potential conference delegates from younger generations, we need to better understand when and how they receive content and indeed the power of information that is available at their fingertips. We need to evaluate whether being in a conference auditorium is indeed the best method of sharing information.

As the sophistication of these devices seems to be coming more pronounced almost daily, I wonder if there will be unforseen social and economic side-effects of so much communication, or is this just making human beings more connected and aware of the world around them? Time will no doubt tell. m