Expect the MASS MINGLING trend to be giving for a long time. While all of the above will go mainstream in the years to come, keep a (short-term) eye out for impromptu meet-ups of strangers, mobs and crowds with similar causes. Many of these meet-ups will revolve around generating public attention, or getting something done.
Also (and rather amusingly), expect the new lament from sociologists and philosophers to be about the loss of solitude, due to 24/7 connecting activities (after having fretted over social isolation for years ;-)
Long term, younger generations will be at ease with meeting likeminded souls they’ve met ‘virtually': it's a change in attitude that will fuel MASS MINGLING even more.
On the tech side of things, expect the triumphant rise of all things mobile to continue: iPhones, Android, Apps, iPads, 3G, 3.5G, 4G, Wifi everywhere, clouds, GPS (and Galileo, Compass and Glonass)– the list goes on! Which is yet another push for MASS MINGLING on steroids.
For business, the opportunities are plentiful: Anyone involved with anything that helps people getting and staying in touch, that gets people from A-Z, or that accommodates those people before, during or after meet-ups with others, should find it easy to dream up services and products that further facilitate MASS MINGLING. Run with the examples above: how would they apply to your own industry?
At the same time, purely 'online' brands will have to further embrace the real world, by building a temporary or permanent real-world, physical presence. In the end, every business wants to be where its customers (physically) are. Of course, our recent Trend Briefing on BRAND BUTLERS comes to mind, too.
Oh, and what's trendwatching.com itself doing, mingling-wise? Well, while we're doing plenty of unofficial mingling, we will initiate a number of more structured MASS MINGLING events for dedicated readers, Seth Godin style. We'll announce these meet-ups early Q4, so make sure you are subscribed to our Trend Briefings.