GOOD FOR BUSINESS. AND MOTHER EARTH.
I keep imagining what hero shots will look like in a year or so. We all know the hero shot. It’s the DJ spinning disks for the roaring crowd. The person in the heart of the action snapping a selfie. The group of friends, arms around each other, celebrating simple connection…
Now, take all those same people and put surgical masks on them. A year ago, it would have been creepy. But now we know that the first hero shots out of quarantine will indeed feature masks, gloves, and people standing six feet apart. Far from finding it creepy, we’re all poised to celebrate — if for no other reason than because it means we’re starting to go out in public again.
The lesson we should take from this is that societal phenomena like the pandemic can make profound changes in the way we view things — our lives in general and our jobs in particular. The world has stopped in its tracks. Live events are being canceled or postponed into futures so far away that they sound like science fiction. One of our clients even told us that they do not intend to host any live events for the next two years. And good for them! We look forward to working with them to develop a suite of virtual solutions.
Decisions like theirs can be good for their business. And great for the environment, too. Just like the hero shot of the future is bound to be different, there’s also an opportunity to emerge from this crisis with a more fully-evolved and environmentally-friendly events industry.
Because, whether we like it or not, quarantine is forcing companies to conduct a grand experiment in right-sizing their live events portfolios. If it teaches us that many communications objectives can be met just as readily with virtual solutions — and with a fraction of the environmental impact — how do we decide which events should transition back to the real world, and which can remain online?
In answer, I would suggest that live events of the future should have the force of necessity behind them. They need to be occasions to connect with audiences that can’t be achieved in any other way. AND, if we’re going to fly people to Las Vegas by the hundreds or thousands, we have to be confident that we’re doing it for all the right reasons — and then have the wherewithal to purchase carbon offset credits for the flights. In fact, I can imagine a world where offsets become a standard budget line item, as ordinary and expected as labor and drayage.
The alternative — responding reactively rather than proactively — is always costlier and messier. For you clients out there concerned about the budgetary implications of greener solutions, many Fortune 500 companies and large corporations already have funds set aside for environmental offsets like this. That’s right. By creating greener events, you may even be able to *increase* your budgets.
Now, I’ll go back to imagining the hero shot of the future. As we achieve a better balance between virtual and live events, some future hero shots may well just be screen grabs. Others, though, will show DJs, attendees snapping selfies, groups of folks with their arms around each other — and they’ll all be smiling because, while they’re enjoying themselves, they’ll also be doing their part for the planet.
To learn how The XD Agency can develop award-winning—and more importantly, results-driven—experience design for your business, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.