If you read time travel for events, and your mind immediately went to Back To The Future…not quite. You already know that here at Endless, we’re all for giving you the latest tips and tricks on events. And you know that when it comes to the Event Tech Podcast, technology is the magic word! Every week, we get to the nitty and gritty of the tech that is shaping our industry. But today, we’re doing things a little differently – think of it as a thought experiment.
How many times in your life have you wondered what you would do if time travel was possible? What you’d visit, where you’d go? And be honest now! We know everyone has considered it at least once in their lives. So this week, our hosts Will Curran and Brandt Krueger decided to pick up on this curious notion. What would happen if time travel for events existed? How would this shape the industry? What would be new, and what would remain the same? If you’re excited for this meta episode of Event Tech, then waste no more time – press play and let’s time travel!
Time Travel For Events: The Travel
“What would the future of the events industry look like if you had a time machine and ability to not only go forward in time but also backward in time?”, is Will’s first question. Let’s admit, the how’s and the why’s of time traveling is still quite the mystery.
Brandt has been doing his research on this subject: “It actually is a fairly thorough article in response talking about how if you’re able to approach the speed of light, basically what happens for you is time slows down. Time goes faster everywhere else relative to you. So going forward in time, at least in theory as far as we know it, is absolutely possible. If you can get going fast enough and approach the speed of light, at least as far as the way we know how to do it, everything’s going to slow down so you could travel 10,000 years into the future and only age one year during your journey. So getting there actually wouldn’t be too hard. Now getting back is where things start to get complicated because we don’t know how the math and the physics would work going backward in time”. Tricky, indeed!
“There does seem to be some relationships between gravity and time and things like that, so as you start getting into these really deep areas of physics and space is where things start to get a little weird when it comes to time”.
Time Travel For Events: Interesting Speakers
“This is one of the thoughts that I had is that if for example, we had the ability to time travel and go back in time or in the future and let’s say bring people into the future or things like that”, begins Will. “Imagine, right now we’re limited to the number of people keynoting at events is really who’s alive right now and who you’re able to get. But imagine all of a sudden that was off limits. Instead of having a history convention where you had some guy talking about Abraham Lincoln’s life, what if you could go back in time, get Abraham Lincoln, and bring them to do your keynote. I mean, that might disrupt time or something like that, I don’t know, but basically, you’d have so many more potential speakers”. That sounds exciting!
Brandt puts forward some of the dangers attached to this: “I think we have to, if we’re going to have this discussion, we have to touch on some of the possible problems that can occur with the technology like this. That’s when you start talking about the catastrophic outcomes of future tech”. For example, “what happens if you do go back in time and borrow Abraham Lincoln so that he comes forward and gives a speech at our convention and then you put him back?”.
“I think, especially with this type of technology that has the power to potentially erase the present, we’d have to be moving very, very carefully to try something very, very, very, very small and hope that there’s not a butterfly effect. So if somebody was able to come up with the technology to go back in time, we’d have to try something small and just see if there are any effects… plant a flower, something, just to make sure nothing explodes or what actually happens in the timeline. Does it create an alternate timeline? Does our timelines still exist? And now there’s been a fork where in some alternate universe, Abraham Lincoln now knows that we have meetings and conventions and knows what an audience microphone is and things like that. You know, you’d want Q&A”.
“What happens when you bring someone forward in time and then basically you’re putting them back to die, especially someone whose life was ended early. So yeah, great, we can bring Abe Lincoln forward. Maybe we should keep him? Those kinds of questions start to come up because there was still important work to be done back there”.
Time Travel For Events: Best. After Party. Ever.
“We talk about how much of our events are all themed and they’re all around the nostalgia, right? There’s a lot of arguments going on that they think like, for example, the ’90s will be the last year of nostalgia and things like that. But if you have time travel nostalgia doesn’t exist because if you want to experience, for example, let’s look at the number one most overrated done party theme, which is Great Gatsby, right? Oh, we want to feel like it’s in the 1920s blah blah blah. Imagine if instead of feeling like you’re in the 1920s the after party took a time travel machine and you got to go the 1920s and the happy hour was in the 1920s”. Can you imagine someone who wouldn’t be up for that?
How Cool Is Too Cool?
Brandt comes up with an interesting question: “I wonder if, Will, people would start to realize that our nostalgic parties are actually more fun than the parties that were going on at the time. You know, our stylized versions of parties when we talk about having a ’20s party or something like that. Would people suddenly realize, eww, you know what, I’d rather just go to my local hotel ballroom and have a ’20s party as opposed to actually because I’ve got better plumbing”.
I’d Like To Reserve 1927, Please
“I wonder if you could reserve a year? The PCMA convention is always in 1939 or maybe just this year, and then next year it’ll be somewhere else. You wouldn’t want him to conflict because that would be awkward if you both went back to 1939, “Oh, you’re having your convention now.” “We had this year reserved.” I mean, just think of the logistical problems. Boy, I’m Mr. Negative Nellie on this show, but I just keep seeing the logistic problems”. Well, we see where you’re coming from, Brandt!
“I mean, the future would be so cool too. I’m just imagining why would you go to the past to attend a past conference when you can go to a future one and see what the future going to look like. I mean, talk about technology. I mean our podcast would like be insane. We’d have topics on days because we’d be like, “Oh, we don’t have anything to talk about this week. Okay, let me just like go 50 years forward,” and be like, “Oh my gosh, you should see this thing that we’re going to get in 50 years.” I’m just imagining how exciting it’s going to be able to bring back that information from the future as well. But then the question is does that affect our past and all this”. Well, that would definitely be one heck of a podcast!
Brandt says it like it is: “It would have to be heavily regulated. Right? I don’t think people like you or I would just be able to do it for that very reason that forward in time and having knowledge of the future means then coming back to your own time is just as dangerous as going back in time and all of the things that are fraught with that. So all of the things that I’ve already negatived about going back in time apply to go forward in time if you plan on coming back”.
Security, Security, Security
“One thing we have to look at too is like security at events is totally going to change, in multiple ways”, says Will. “First of all, time security, right? What’s going to keep someone from just like, “I’m going to come into the event” and something bad can happen, right? Like, “Oh my gosh, this is the second I know that this person’s presenting and speaking and I’m going to poof, show up and do a time assassination or something” like that. God forbid. But then there’s also the question of as well, will you need additional security? Will you need security to keep your event from really happening? There’s all these things I think this is going to create this whole new industry of time security as well when it comes to everything as well”.
“We think about security being tough now. What’s it going to be like in the future to keep you from some guy who can phase through walls. Metal detectors won’t be needed anymore. You know what I mean? I just. It just blows my mind”.
Time Travel For Events: What Else?
“I think that it is an interesting point. If something does go wrong, do you have the right to go back and fix it?” is a good point brought up by Brandt. “You know, event people are perfectionist already. Now give them the ability to go back in time and make it even better. Would our events ever get finished? You know what I mean? Would they ever be done because you can always go back and make it one step closer, and what happens when you get stuck in your own personal time loop trying to make your event perfect?”.
A Potential Solution
Here’s what Brandt proposes: “What if we did have the ability to combine some future tech? Let’s say we have the ability to go back and view the past or the future and maybe have ambassadors, shall we say, that are able to go back or forward in time and they’re able to visit without interfering kind of thing. You know, that’s something that comes up in sci-fi stories a lot, right? The idea of these watchers that are just kind of there to observe the event but not interfere in any way, shape, or form. And then those people are somehow able to transmit, “Hey, this was what it was like when we were there.” And then in our current timeline, we’re able to use some kind of holographic technology or VR technology to be able to be there without actually being there.”
“So now we’re taking it into our experiential events, right? Where we’re able to go back and experience what it was like to be there either through a sense-wise type thing or, to keep it even simpler we just are able to make our 1920s party better because we have that information, that more accurate information of what it was actually like, rather than just relying on stories or what was written down. History has a tendency to favor the positive and sometimes ignore the negatives”.
“There’s always going to be people that jump ahead. Even if we do come up with a safe way of doing that, what’s to prevent someone from going back and messing with the timeline”. And that’s true – we see it now, and we’ll see it then (if then ever comes).
“The optimistic scenario is that we’re able to go back and have these amazing experiences or go forward and have these amazing experiences. (…) The pragmatic possibility is that there’s going to have to be heavy regulation about it. So, I think that’s where you start to turn to those alternatives of what can we do to get around that and take advantage of the technology without destroying the world”. Without even noticing, Brandt closes today’s episode with a perfect summary.
That’s all for this week’s Event Tech Podcast! We hope you enjoyed walking with us through this amazing thought experiment. Did it get you thinking about-about the future and time travel for events? We sure hope it did…maybe you’ll be the one responsible for making it a reality!