A friend writes to say he’s been about the effects of “social distancing” policies. Will they have a permanent effect on our lives, he wondered. And will they impact events such as trade shows?
It wasn’t the first time I have been asked that of late. The subject also came up on a couple of podcasts I’ve had the good fortune to do, one with Judy Warner of Altium and the other with Mike Konrad of Aqueous Technologies.
My short answer is, I think there will be an impact, but it will swing toward more contact, not less. Indeed, after being cooped up for so long, I think people will crave human connections. Moreover, I don’t think it will have an effect on trade shows. In fact, I think this will reveal lots of holes/flaws in inter-/intra-company digital communications, which gives us all something to work on for the next quarantine (heaven forbid).
We aren’t the only ones contemplating what happens next. The Boston Globe this week published a piece in which several self-styled business futurists and science-fiction writers expect the world will look like next fall/winter.
I can’t say I’m impressed with most of their responses, which if anything feel exaggerated for effect. But see for yourself.