When you think about the future of your meetings, whose attendees will come from a different mindset than what has made your meetings so successful so far, contemplate these words by Wired's Bruce Sterling, in an editorial about the future:
- The future of the Internet lies not with institutions but with individuals. Low-cost connections will proliferate, encouraging creativity, collaboration, and telecommuting. The Net itself will recede into the background. If you're under 21, you likely don't care much about any supposed difference between virtual and actual, online and off. That's because the two realms are penetrating each other; Google Earth mingles with Google Maps, and daily life shows up on Flickr. Like the real world, the Net will be increasingly international and decreasingly reliant on English. It will be wrapped in a Chinese kung fu outfit, intoned in an Indian accent, oozing Brazilian sex appeal.
While he's talking about the Web, I think it's on the mark when it comes to how people learn, and we better get ready for it. Think about how you integrate Web and live events, how you help attendees create and collaborate, how you will make an increasingly international audience comfortable and welcomed.