Technology Today and Tomorrow

Technology Today and Tomorrow

Does technology scare you? Perhaps you have a smart phone, but only know how to use about 20% of the functions. Perhaps you really don’t know what happens when that dreaded “we use cookies” pops up on your screen when you go to a website. Or how did that car dealer know I had done all this research on their car and sent me a notice with a great offer. Or will a computer/robot take my job away one day?

I know it is two days before Halloween and I should be scared of ghosts and goblins, but perhaps the really scary scenario is the technology we embrace every day. Or do we just need to do a better of job educating ourselves? What does the world hold for our sector and the future?

In recent chats and conversations with some sector leaders, we arrived at a few conclusions and I wanted to share some of them with you. Here are the top four findings.

  1. Yes, the world is becoming more automated, but in our industry, relationships are tantamount and there will be a human role. In the past decade, for instance, we have seen several “automated sponsorship sales” programs and apps. But in most cases, they have failed. The successful ones know that their product is part of the process not a replacement for the process. It can commoditize assets and audiences for matching to provide much-needed content and data to make better decisions. But humans will still need to part of the experiential design and delivery of successful sponsorship programs.
  1. Networking will replace (or has replaced) the résumé. People will need to interact more at conferences or events like the SMCC sessions in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal, and conferences like the WSC . In addition, through the digital side with LinkedIn and other social platforms, the search and showcasing will be conducted without postings and résumés. This means that our social face must be more professional (even on Facebook) and our in-person face-to-face engagement must increase.
  1. There will be more of a shift to contract workers versus employees. With the continued rising costs of employee benefits, space, and management, we are going o see a continued shift to outsourced contractors versus “full time employees.” We are already seeing this to some extent in sponsorship naming rights sales and sponsorship sales, as well as on-site activation engagement. Soon we will see more of a shift in these two areas as well as in fulfillment and management.
  1. And finally, the smart phone will continue to grow (as will the tablet) as the source for documents, presentations, and 24/7 engagement for research and activations. This all means more “phone time,” so I have included a few apps you can research and download to hep you get off your phone.
  2. FLIPD – Provides a “casual lock” (and a full lock) mode to set up. You say how long you want to stay off your phone—30 minutes, 2 hours, 5 days—and it locks you out for that time.
  3. OFFTIME – This app allows you to segregate your existing apps into modes such as family, work, or personal time and then allows you to set times when you can and cannot access certain apps. For example, you could “turn off” work-related apps after 5:00 p.m.
  4. APPDETOX – Just like its name. With this app, you can establish boundaries on an app-by-app basis, including day and time. Perhaps you want to access Twitter on weekends, but not at mealtimes—or no emails on weekends. This app can do that for you. Also, it can ease you into “detoxification” and let you know which apps are sucking up most of your time, and you can wean off them versus going cold turkey!
  5. MOMENT – This will track how much time you actually use your phone each day. You may find this shocking and thus curb your time on the phone—and it will help you with that too!

Remember, technology can create jobs as well, both on the tech side and on the face-to-face side. Lululemon developed a perfect sport bra sizing program. When you come into the store, you wear a bra with a Bluetooth device in it that records the movement while running on a treadmill. The data can then determine the best fitting sport bra for the customer. This technology will require more in store staff clients, tech people with the data, and treadmill repair service people! And for the sponsorship mind, I see lots of marketable sponsorship opportunities aligned with this!

Even if it is two days before Halloween and also National Internet Day—#InternetDay—today, don’t be scared of technology and the internet. They will truly help us grow!

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