Last week, we talked about the state of the endurance industry and seven trends we’re seeing. But when it comes to our technology, we’re always thinking about what’s next too, and that can hold a bunch of different possibilities. One thing’s for sure—we’re in the middle of a really exciting time. Technology is re-imagining…well, everything.
Here are our 5 predictions for the future for endurance technology:
1. Demographics will evolve into psychographics
In the future, you’ll be charting personality traits instead of running reports on age groups and gender. More and more of our daily lives are happening online (especially from mobile devices) and soon online behavior will be even more trackable and accessible to you. It will go way beyond keyword research and evolve into something much more complex and detailed. Very soon, your reporting will be telling you what a participant was thinking and doing before they registered for your event.
2. Events will become more game-ified
Races are now event experiences. It’s all about providing a quality experience for the participant, and those experiences are only going to get more and more vivid. Through technology, events will game-ify by intensifying the connections we make with each other and promoting competition in new ways. Think more along the lines of real-life games.
For example, Strava is a running and cycling GPS tracker that logs your activity and ranks you against other users online. Here in San Diego, we have a steep hill leading up to our office and employees use Strava to wage a “King of the Hill” battle for best time running and biking up the hill. Can you imagine how this will evolve in the next few years? Think of the variety of ways your registrants could connect and compete against each other—before, during and after your event. Plus, throw wearable technology (like Google Glass) into the mix and watch how participation in events and activities really intensifies.
3. Your brand will be what your customers say it is
Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other online communities, businesses are relinquishing more and more control over what’s being said about them. Your customers (participants) are creating a lot of the content that shapes the image and personality of your business (event), and that is only going to become more prevalent. What does that mean for you? Listen more, talk less, and promote open sharing.
4. Technology will further simplify
As Steve Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex.” The most successful technology companies, like Apple and Google, are brilliant at keeping things simple. And this works because simplicity allows people to access what they want quickly. Today that means instant results from an online search or an app. But we envision a future that makes life easier and registration simpler for participants. How about one-click event registration (like the Amazon checkout process)? Or an event charge card?
5. Websites will be more customized
It’s already happening—when you’re logged in on certain websites, ads or suggestions will display based on your previous behavior on that site. From here on, websites are only going to get more dynamic. Google will present you with more and more customized content based on your likes and history. For sites like ACTIVE.com, participants will no longer have to search to find an activity—it will pop up instantly and be tailored to them. For your event websites, when a participant visits, the appropriate category and age division will be front and center on the homepage, as well as suggested merchandise that’s in their size. Websites will be dynamic, customized, and predictive!
What do you think the future holds for the endurance industry? Comment below!
SEE ALSO: Top 5 Mob Event Trends to Watch in 2013