CERTIFICATION MADE POSSIBLE
printing has been called the
next industrial revolution.
It promises to upend
existing supply chains,
and rewrite how products
come to market. It’s
already led to life-saving
innovations in medicine, and
groundbreaking advances in
construction and design.
Yes, 3D printing has arrived, and people can’t seem to get enough of it. New
meetings and expositions are springing up across the globe to feed professional
and consumer interest in the emerging technology, and established meetings are
seeing an increased 3D-printing presence.
But to what extent the technology actually will be utilized within the industry
is not yet clear. “The impact will be less hands-on, more big-picture, in that it will
redefine almost every industry landscape, and that has implications for the trade
show industry, entrepreneurs and innovators widely across multiple industries,” said
Tara Dunion, senior director of event communications for International Consumer
Electronics Show (CES), the giant technology show held in Las Vegas each January.
Meetings-technology consultant Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES, agrees. “On a
global scale, it’s a significant technology trend,” he said, “but not one that’s going to
impact the meetings industry in the next five years.”
But not everyone is so sure. “It does have a tremendous ability to change
our industry,” said Wilson Tang, senior director of experience design and digital
strategy at FreemanXP, Freeman’s brand experience agency.
To gain a clearer sense of how profound (or not) 3D printing’s impact may be on
events, Convene spoke with planners, designers, futurists, and technologists inside and
outside the industry. We asked about 3D printing’s current uses, its future potential —
and how it might influence how we gather and learn. A L