Our role as event planners and producers, is to create experiences that attendees will remember for all the right reasons.
To do that we have to stay tuned into trends, fads and our shifting culture and habits. Technology has always played a significant part in that.
We are generationally divided in the social world, with the youngest on TikTok and Snapchat. The twenty-somethings on Instagram and the over 35's still on Facebook (or nowhere). Twitter is less about a social network than a rolling newsfeed and home from instant feedback (and condemnation). All of the social networks value our data and advertising and we are increasingly aware of it.
Video has become a massive part of the content we all consume having grown exponentially - fuelled by the way videos autoplay in our feed and the rising speed and reducing costs of internet data.
The content of all feeds is evolved - they are no longer displayed chronologically; algorithms decide what you should see first - and Stories have taken over as the go-to content space for most users of Instagram. Content is increasingly transient and disposable.
There is a language and behaviour in the Snapchat (and TikTok) generation which we older users know little about e.g. Snap streaks. But the peak Snapchatters just voted for the first time, so we need to become aware, particularly of the open way that youngest generation share and use their location data. Above all, people are sharing the best version of themselves, though there is currently a small backlash against that because of the perceived harm being caused by the quest for 'likes'. Black Mirror perfectly captured the horror of uncontrolled technology running society (I don’t think we are there yet!).
In our event world and business in general, there is less appetite for bespoke networks or apps, people have enough to keep on top of already, there is also less willingness to publicly share views since they can come back to bite. More conversations happen in the private messaging world. Oh, and we will still have to provide 'Instagrammable' moments for some time to come. Messages The Last Decade of Trends: Communication 10 years ago, we were moving away from Microsoft's Instant Messenger and SMS messages, today we are in the encrypted area of WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. With direct messaging within other apps including Snap, Instagram and Twitter, peer-to-peer comms has become very confused.
Add to this the business specific networks of LinkedIn, Facebook's Workplace and Slack and there is a vast array of channels. Many businesses have elected to control their comms internally using system messaging or Yammer.
The use of WhatsApp has created a backlash in some workplaces because it is impossible to 'switch off' from the group chats particularly when you are not working. For us, event specific WhatsApp groups are amazingly versatile way for groups of crew to communicate quickly on site, indeed they have replaced site radios in some larger event functions. Memes and Social Sharing The Last Decade of Trends: Memes "Let me just show you this funny picture / comment / video", is all too common as is sharing them across social media and messaging platforms. The sharing culture of funny memes has spawned an industry creating them, particularly sophisticated video content. Hashtags are followed as often as people now and the social platforms have evolved to feature hashtag content prominently, particularly Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.