It’s easily the most talked about and lauded technological development to hit the mass market in years. In fact, there hasn’t been a major tech event in 2019 – from CES to the Mobile World Congress – where it hasn’t dominated. It’s 5G, the fifth generation in cellular network technology, and in the years to come, it’s going to impact virtually every sector, including the events industry.
HIGH-QUALITY, HIGH-VOLUME, DYNAMIC AND IMMEDIATE
“5G is going to be exponentially bigger than anything we’ve experienced before,” says John Paul Waites, Worx Group’s CEO. “It’s going to fundamentally shift human behaviour as it gives more people instant access to high-quality, high-volume, dynamic content across multiple and various platforms.”
This phenomenon is going to place enormous pressure on brands. Strategic decisions are going to have to be driven entirely by end users who, spoilt for choice, are going to become increasingly selective about the content they consume and how they consume it. Brands that fail to put their users first and fail to drive world-class content directly into the hands of these users, will simply be left behind.
THE EVENTING SPACE
What do these changes mean for eventing? “If you’ve focused your energy on decor and catering and have ignored digital advances and content improvements, you’re about to experience a heap of pain as the latter leapfrog the former,” says JP. “Today, a significant focus needs to be placed on how to connect brands, experiences and audiences at speed and at scale within the eventing landscape.”
Other key eventing shifts that will likely occur as a result of 5G include:
- The rise of the creative and the death of the influencer: As rights change over publishing, broadcasting and other forms of distribution, the impact of the old-school influencer will wilt. Instead, real talent will dominate, with athletes, musicians, artists, comedians, authors and filmmakers having more control over their work, and distributing it in real time and at scale.
- The inter-connectivity of everything: The Internet of Things is going to connect all manner of devices and platforms, and webinars, live events and knowledge-sharing environments are going to tap into these resources, streaming high-quality and immediate content around the world.
- Shifts in budgeting and ROI: With vanity measures gone, CMOs and event planners are going to fundamentally change the way they manage their budgets and how they measure ROI. More than ever before, real, connected engagement is going to count.
And if you think that 5G is still a long way off – an imaginary phenomenon unlikely to impact our lives in the foreseeable future – think again. It’s likely that 5G will be a reality in South Africa within the next 12 to 18 months, and those who are prepared for it are going to fly far and fast. The time to consider how dynamic content is going to influence your in-real-life events is now.