A lot of the projects I work on tend to be online. This has big upsides: mobility of work, flexibility of work, cross-pollination of work. But the downside is I often spend a disproportionate amount of time with my battery-inefficient macbook. What this means is that each month I make sure I have at least one offline project (more than just an event or meeting) that I’m committed to doing. Ideally two or three.
Here’s what I’ve got in the pipeline this Spring. See you there!
1. THNK Accelerator Festival
Why am I going? To re-connect with friends and THNKrs on projects we’re all working on, to discover new great projects and people and to enjoy fine Dutch hospitality.
2. Tribewanted Monestevole Season 2 Opening & Digital Detox
Why am I going? To join my Umbrian family for the celebration of a new season and all the good things Monestevole brings, and to discuss with tribe members and visiting guests how best to manage our tech diets.
3. Hunter Gather Cook Treehouse HQ Opening
Why am I going? I love treehouses and I’m working with Nick Weston and friends on building a community around getting more people into trees. If our kickstarter goes well we’ll be building the foraging school’s new HQ and hosting a bunch of the backers for a wild cocktails party in the woods.
I was part of a class at Oxford Brookes university last week. These were some of the trends and ideas I shared from personal observations over the last 12 months.
1. Community Experiences for All
Ok, so this is nothing new but are community tourism experiences now finally building up a head-of-steam? At Tribewanted we’ve seen an increase in the number of young families wanting their children to have authentic cultural experiences as early as possible in life, rather than simply resort recovery-time. This also seems to be happening alongside the reaction to the ‘McDonaldisation of Tourism’ (Golf-courses everywhere) that Leo Hickman argues convincingly in his book The Final Call. This is happening in the tourist guide space too – Tripbod offers ‘your friend at the other end’.
2. Digital Detoxing
We all knew this was going to happen. Right? Silicon valley uber-geeks heading to the hills at the weekend for an iLife amnesty, for a few hours at least. In reality this deliberate ‘disconnect to reconnect’ trend is something we’ve seen in our mirrors for a while. The number of surf n yoga retreats on offer shows this. But it feels like the need to hand-over our techno tools in order to relax and revive means we’ve reached a new point where a health problem at work is now an opportunity for travel and tourism.
3. Pop-up Hotels
Ok, it’s just glorified camping or Glamping as we know it. But by reframing and marketing as ‘pop-up’ alongside the trend in retail, are we likely to see this grow especially at events and festivals? This year we’ve seen it at Glastonbury and with urban pop-ups.
4. Home is your Hotel room
One name has dominated them all – Airbnb – who have successfully monetised the trend that Couchsurfing was the first to explode online. This year Airbnb is expected to book 55 million ‘bednights’. That’s 50% of any of the major hotel chains and the company isn’t even a decade old! As with the trust in crowdfunding their seems to be a growing acceptance of ‘staying with a stranger’ and the businesses that provide a great online user experience are profiting. See also: One Fine Stay, Housetrip, Sleepout, Kippsy.
5. The End of the Stars
Could 2013 finally be the year when industry-led star ratings are overtaken by peer-led reviews? Tripadvisor has been disrupting this space for a while. With the rise of guest and host locked-in review systems like Airbnb (you review each other) are we going to see less bitchin’ and more honesty? Do hotel stars still matter?