Corporations, brands and executives should brace themselves for the brave new world of global, viral visuals. Corporate dirty laundry can be captured by a cell phone video, posted on YouTube, and then spread like wilefire in the blogosphere, on social networking sites and by word-of-mouth emails.
While I'm a big fan of transparency, this could be the downside. Short of strip-searching attendees or making them sign confidentiality agreements when they register, you have no way to stop someone who wants to audio- or videotape your meeting, and anything is fair game for global distribution these days. I know planners do everything humanly possible to make sure everything runs smoothly and that there would be nothing that most organizations wouldn't be delighted to share with the world, but what if your CEO bumbles a joke, a la John Kerry's gaffe on Iraq, and it flashed around the world, delighting your competitors?
I just hope it doesn't end up stifling free speech or the unfettered sharing of ideas as a side effect. Happy paranoid New Year, everyone.