is Exploring What’s Next

Three Standout Perspectives on the Future of Experiences

From three of today’s blazing hot prognosticators, these are the trends, ideas, and experimentations that address the most crucial question all of us are asking: “what will people want next?”

To kick off May, our teams launched Xplor by Opus, an experimental live experience. We brought together senior event leaders and global marketing executives for fast-moving talks and a provocative discussion with three incredible speakers.

Here are the three standout perspectives that have inspired conversations long after Xplor wrapped.

Birth of a New Space

As an internationally renowned event curator, Monique van Dusseldorp, publisher of The Future of Events newsletter, is behind some of the world’s most influential creativity and technology conferences. Her work has changed the zeitgeist of the events industry.

During Xplor, Monique showed how we are witnessing the birth of a new space for gathering and that this is just a glimpse of what is to come.

Monique explored how experiments, like Tweaker and ITAlive, and remote audiences, like those during Saturday Takeaway and WWE, are purposefully helping attendees feel as if they were all in the same space together. Going beyond the expected broadcasts, she also showed the many new ways to be present together, as embodied by Study with Me and Tim’s Listening Party.

Altogether, these examples push the mindset into how an ‘‘online happening’’ and the power of commentary are becoming social objects.

New Status Currency in the Virtual Experience Economy

As the author of books on trend-driven innovation, head of content at Founders Forum, and The Future Normal weekly newsletter, Henry Coutinho-Mason’s ideas have instigated notable successes for more than 100,000 professionals at hundreds of the world’s leading brands.

For the participants in Xplor, Henry showed how digital experiences become a new status currency. He asked: How will you create virtual experiences that consumers value—and want to share—as much as their real-world experiences?

We all know about the Experience Economy. Over the past year, innovative brands are using immersive new technologies to increasingly enable people to get their experience-based status fixes from virtual experiences, too. Henry first explored these ideas in an early edition of his newsletter. During Xplor, he showed examples of how brands have pushed this forward.

The opportunity: stop thinking about digital experiences simply as tools or entertainment, and start thinking about them as platforms for status-accruing experiences.

Welcome to the Chit-Chat Economy

Rounding out the talks during Xplor was David Mattin. He is the author of the blazing hot newsletters, New World, Same Humans. Launched last year, his weekly newsletter on trends, technology, and society just blew past 16,000 subscribers.

David picked up the exploration of why early enthusiasm among tech employers for remote or hybrid working now seems to be waning. As Harvard Business Review recently published, remote knowledge workers maintained productivity when it comes to employee motivation and creativity, but innovation and creativity declined. These declines are driving people to recognize the importance of impromptu, informal office small talk. As David states: “It turns out that organizational culture, and a whole lot of innovation, depends on this kind of spontaneous chit-chat.”

The big question then becomes: how do we encourage spontaneous small talk when our people work remotely? During his Xplor presentation, David showed examples of “serendipity machines” that use AI, human curation, or both to match people for quick conversations.

More Like This, Delivered to You

This thinking from Monique, Henry, and David is a piece of what they presented at Xplor and what they bring to their communities. Subscribe to their newsletters through the links above and invite them to speak at your next event—you and your audiences will love their fresh, original perspectives as much as we do.

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By Brent Turner

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Brent is a member of the executive team for Opus Agency, an experience agency that delivers flagship programs for 13 of the top 20 global brands.

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