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Mistaken identity?

March 8, 2013 |

Whether it’s planning a brochure, campaign or creating a stand experience, a keen marketing eye always has in mind exactly who its consumers are.

So it’s with interest we’ve been reviewing this government report on the future of identity. The intention of the academic document, produced by the Foresight (great name!) programme, is to provide policy makers with a better understanding of identities.

The conclusion, following evidence by more than 100 academics and stakeholders, is that over the next 10 years, people’s identities are likely to be significantly affected by several important drivers of change. One of which is the rapid pace of developments in technology.

Their vision of the future has a significant impact on the events world. If – as the authors suggest- the boundaries between social and work identities are blurring, this will need to be considered when message making. Increasingly there will be a need to appeal to someone’s personal needs, as well as the needs of the organisation they represent , as the lines between both will be blurred.

Potentially of most relevance is the finding that the ‘nature of what it means to be anonymous in public space will change’. So, in less formal terms, we’re going to know more about the person in front of us. The idea of a stranger might disappear as we get more and more access to data about others as we meet them in a public space.

So not only will organisations have instant access to purchase drivers and patterns of the person visiting their stand, but that person will have a host of information about the representatives from your organisation. And while that face-to-face conversation is taking place, both parties will be simultaneously connected online, gathering more data. It is face-to-face communication, but not as we know it!

If who we are offline and online blurs, and information sharing continues as the report predicts, then an exhibition space where everyone has already made a connection with an online identity pre any face-to-face contact isn’t that far away. That can be seen already with the use of social media channels, twitter walls, pre-conference blogs, data-gathering games and tweet mirrors (check out for a new shopping experience).

Just think back to where we were ten years ago when it was a fashion for beech and chrome furniture that made your stand on-trend. The world moves apace …

Check out our blog later in the year to see some of our resulting predictions for 2023.

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