Sunday, October 24, 2010

ACFW Conference 2020: A Look into the Future

Today's posting is a "speculative" one about what the ACFW conference of that time period might look like. Gear up and get ready to depart. Let's jump into our time-travelling Delorean, accelerate up to 88 mph, and head Back To the Future!

To Infinity, and Beyond:
As you well know, technology is expanding at an exponential rate. At some point in our history, technological devices that we use on a day to day basis now, were once considered "impossible" or "fancies of the imagination." Inventions such as the combustible engine, the telephone, travelling at the speed of sound, computers smaller than refrigerators, and even the ability to "send electronic mail" were all considered creations of science-fiction, crack pots, and foolish dreamers.

Given where we are today, technologically, and considering how popular Christian Fiction has become recently, what will the 2020 ACFW conference look like? What things might we see?

  • Let's assume that the conference will be held back in Indianapolis again (naturally).
  • Let's also assume that Christian Fiction will continue to grow and that more and more Christians will be called to tell their story (and thus want to perfect their talents) and desire to attend our conference.
Getting There is Half the Fun:
The technological evolution in air travel will allow the trip to be much faster, cheaper, and be scheduled at a moments notice (really, no joking). By 2020, high speed rail trains between cities will be more highly developed. Both air and train travel will be able to bring you directly to the event. The planes of that time will be VTOL (vertical take off and landing) capable and the MRTV's (magnetic repulsor transit vehicles) will have "train" tracks through major structures in each city and have stops at key destinations (aka our hotel). The end result is that more people who want to attend the conference will be able to do so. The numbers of attendees will be 5-10 times the 2010 final count (better start planning now guys and gals).

I Can't Make it:
Now, for those writers who want to attend but are unable to do so, they will not have to worry. The entire conference--main events, classes, training sessions, and panel discussions will all be streamed live right into whatever device the off-site participant is using (perhaps an iPhone 10-G or iPad-Extreme type of device). Imagine those attendance numbers now.

Going Green:
Instructors will be able to broadcast outlines and reference notes directly to the attendees in real time via the techno devices of the time. Localized push technology will let the speaker send documents to everyone in the room electronically. Carry that one step further, providing that you registered for the event, the off-site attendees might be able to ask questions and correspond with the speaker.

Finding your Way:
Trying to locate your friend in the sea of people? Just use your communication device to map out exactly where that person is in relation to you and display it (assuming that the location function is turned on by choice) on your communication device. You can even set it to locate "Indiana attendees" or "speculative fiction writers" to help you network. Need to know the physical layout of the event, tap into the app on your device and it will show you your present location and exactly how to proceed to where you need to go via the localized GPS mapping service of the facility.

Now onto the even cooler stuff...

Now You See Me:
I mentioned before that, for this exercise, that the convention was being held in Indianapolis, but with the continued progression of communication technology, there is no reason that the ACFW yearly convention cannot be in multiple locations at the same time! Holographic projection has come along way in the last few years. Seriously, it's not just science-fiction anymore. Just google it. By 2020, "we" should have more of the bugs worked out. With real time streaming, you can attend events 5 states away. It's not to far fetched to say that you could have a room of attendees 5 states away watching a presentation by a guest speaker on a real stage...a stage with a holographic projection of the presenter. With multiple HD image scanning and multi-faceted laser projection technology of today, this next step is almost here.

The End, or Just the Beginning:
Well, there you have it. Time to come back to good old 2010. If you look back at the technology of 2000 and how far we have come since then, the things I have projected here are really not that far fetched. Remember, "With God, All Things Are Possible." (Matthew 19:26 NIV). "All" means ALL. Technology only matters in how we use it. Using it for the Lord is the best and only way to use it. The future history is still the best history to come.

Oh,...and let's not forget, there will be stations through out the conference where you can get a 15-minute massage from a trained professional for a fair price. The "Shoe-Shine guy" will still be there too (and by then, he has been hired to travel with the ACFW conference to help us put our best foot forward).


  1. Oh my, I don't think I am ready for all this. But I'll be 76 and hopefully still going strong!!!

  2. Makes my head spin, but I can believe it!

  3. It's fun thinking about where technology will take us...if it's used for the right reasons. After writing this, I thought maybe I should have titled it 2015 as more realistic the way things are going.

  4. While I appreciate the general tone of this post...its beginning almost made me bail entirely.

    Please, could we kindly refrain from assuming that everyone on this blog believes in the "rapture"? Some of us don't, and it's more than a little annoying to see this bandied about as if it's an accepted and universal article of Christian faith. It's not.

    We don't "do" denominations here; neither should we "do" dispensationalism and/or make assumptions that are not, by ANY means, universal beliefs held by Christians everywhere.


  5. Darren, sounds like a fun event, put me on the registration list. Personally I'm planning on using my new and improved transporter (like on Star Trek) to beam me across the state that day. This will be paid for by my wildly successful novels. Fact or fiction? Attend in 2020 to find out.

  6. Or, attach your personal flying utility belt and fly like a bird.
    "Look, up in the sky..." and all.

  7. "It's a bird... It's a plane... No, it's Super Author!" :)