Saturday, September 27, 2008

Recession? No, I think we are just changing

Are we doing more but buying less “things”?


Of course, this is mainly a Europe, North America and Australasia thing but ….


I’ve had this feeling for some time, that people are spending more on travel and attending events than filling their homes and covering their bodies with “stuff”. Manufacturing production is down and down but hotels and events are doing very, very well. Construction may be down but homelessness does not seem to be up. People are still living somewhere.


I found an article in the Irish Times very interesting that seems to support what I have been thinking.


This is an article about the upcoming re-opening of The Point in Dublin, one of Ireland’s leading entertainment venues. Well, now it will be the leading venue. Some of the facts I find interesting.


They point out that not so many years ago a music performer earned 70% or his or her income from recordings, mainly cds, but now this is down to 30%. People are buying less things, maybe through lack of space to store them but also due to the convenience of digital replacements.


Another interesting point is that there is a boom in people over 40s going out to events, so all ages can be at any concert now. The babies of “baby boomers” have now had babies, or at least are responsible adults, so now they want to experience their “second youth”.


This time round, though, they want comforts


No more lining up, queueing up for hours or even days for tickets and entrance. They want to book online and be guided right into their pre-booked seats. No more dossin’ on floors of friend’s pads and sharing “munchies” but good value comfortable hotels with en suite rooms, healthy nutritious catering complete with baristas and sommeliers.


A bunch of musicians in dirty t-shirts and jeans spending much of the time tuning up and chatting to each other rarely provides the value we seek. We now look for value, for creative stage sets, for visual performances that make us imagine and send us to another place as much as the music.


Add to this the tribalness that people are developing, possibly influenced by the structures of social sites, like Facebook especially, as folks seem to congregate at these events with tribal enthusiasm similar to sports events.


The huge growth of alternative education at retreats including accommodation and meals seems to also be a response to these new world tribal instincts.


Perhaps with the circulation of money slowing down events will start to become smaller with folks travelling smaller distances but I do not see a weaker demand for quality performances supported with quality accommodation and dining where we can enjoy being part of the tribes we choose to be amongst.


I do not think we are becoming nations of sit-at-homes on our PCs browsing web sites and writing emails any more. We seem to be growing towards using social networking for gathering the clans, gathering the tribes and then work out where we can physically meet and share our passions. in either entertainment or in things we wish to discover and learn or both.


I think we are entering the most exciting times ever.      


 

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