The future of offline events and in-person meetups
How to scale yourself by organizing interesting experiences
With Facebook rebranding itself as Meta and investing $10 Billion/year in the metaverse, one might wonder what will happen to in-person interactions. Will we engage and connect primarily through online, immersive experiences? Will education, commerce, entertainment and leisure happen largely through powerful headsets and shiny screens? The pandemic did create a new normal and things aren’t really going back to the way they were.
The boundary between online and IRL (in real life) is blurring and we are likely to witness hybrid forms of engagement. In this digitally mediated world, there will be a premium on quality in-person meetups, interactions and experiences. This presents an opportunity for organizations and for individuals who enjoy bringing people together.
World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos is perhaps the most high-profile event of the year. The power of that meeting lies not in the panel discussions and keynotes but the conversations that serendipitously take place in corridors. You can read Utkarsh’s reflections on Davos here.
“My days usually began at six am, when it was still pitch-dark and -22 degrees outside. On the second day, I missed the shuttle transfer to the congress center and ran five kilometers, in slippery snow, to make it to a breakfast with Christine Lagarde in time. There were 10 of us in the room; Lagarde was keen to hear our views on the future of workforces and the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, gender roles and the economy. Towards the end of breakfast, she shared an interesting story from when she was finance minister of France. Often presidents of companies would come to report on their strategies; when she asked them about their board composition, they would always say that they would love to have a woman on their board, but they just couldn’t find any, the ones they knew already being fully booked. So, she kept a piece of paper in her bag with the names of 20 women ready on it. Breakfasts like these set the tone of the day and we headed for public sessions, bilateral meetings and working group discussions with a sense of possibility.”