Your event budgets are confirmed and a purposeful communications strategy in place; after much deliberation and varied propositions then come a wash-of pickings that can make-or-break, build or bend your event; your career.
What interactive event modules will I use at my next corporate event?
With so many factors to consider and decisions to make, the credibility of yourself, your brand and your event are under continual scrutiny. It’s no wonder why in a recent poll by Forbes, ‘The Most Stressful Jobs of 2014’ Forbes report that the 5th most stressful job of 2014 is ‘Event Coordinator’. This poll declares that event professionals are in more stressful working environments than that of a Police Officer, Taxi Driver, Newspaper Reporter, Senior Corporate Executive and a PR Executive.
We’ve talked to, and worked with, hundreds if not thousands of event professionals and communications personnel from all over the world, representing a diversity of industries and professional ranking. For many years we have been hearing first-hand of their individual or group concerns and have always been there to offer guidance and support.
“Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take your eyes off your goal” Henry Ford
When an event professional talks to us they don’t always know what they are looking for; what they need. We are asked many questions, ‘Why do I need to consider using Feedback Forms’ ‘What would you recommend to enhance my event communications’. To aid in your decision making processes we have put our services under the microscope. By looking closely at the events which we have provided a conference app to over the past twelve months, we’ve come up with a Top Three list of modules that have added value and played a key part in successful events worldwide. We’d like to share our findings and help inspire and inform you on your decision making journey.
Here’s our Top Three event communications modules. We’ll list them below and talk about why they are at the top.
Voting allows you to poll the audience on key issues via a virtual box. These can be anonymous or named responses. You are able to determine where the responses came from as the CMS (Content Management System) tracks iPad activity during the whole event. The ‘big screen’ then displays these results as they come in from the room. Due to the immediate response system, it engages the mood of the audience and allows for instant feedback to be ascertained. It is often tricky to engage or energise the whole room whilst simultaneously nurturing communications; Voting creates a buzz. The speedy systematic communication, vote question > vote > display, encourages audience participation. The Voting module offers you the planner multiple options, such as Asking for Opinion, Factual or Quiz (countdown timers and leader boards can be added to your Voting module format to evoke the feeling of a quiz) enabling you to target the feel of your approach.
The versatility of this module is what makes Voting number one on this list. It is able to reach out and engage each delegate, encourages participation and allows you, the planner to obtain feedback without using a designated feedback form. You are even able to filter your Voting results to show relationships or patterns between responses. Clever isn’t it!
“Voting allows my clients to capture data without even trying capture data. It engages their audiences and it’s very interactive”
- Q & A
Q&A has been around for a long, long time. The introduction of this module to our conference app has eliminated the use of dreaded event communications tools which we have found to massively restrict degrees of audience participation, such as the microphone. We’ve removed these barriers and created a module to allow widespread engagement.
The Question and Answer module allows each delegate to submit his/ her own questions to the presenter via their event iPad. Delegates are able to enter anonymous questions to the speaker/ presenter or they are able to add their name, using the capture fields on the screen (demonstrated below). These questions are all stored on the CMS and can be collected throughout the day, responded to during the event or even post-event. This Content Management System is vastly intelligent; it provides a record of who has submitted what question, and at what time.
In an event with a large audience, questions can be moderated before reaching the presenter. These questions can be sorted accordingly and relayed to the ‘big screen’. The presenter is then able to respond to the displayed question(s) shared by your moderator. We’ve found that this aids in ensuring quality content is being discussed and that the focus for the event is maintained with due considerations for all delegates. The ‘big screen’ is able to share single or multiple responses, as in the style of a feed.
Data that is captured by your Q&A session on the iPads can go further. This data can be used to populate another module called Word Cloud. Delegates are able to see what has been discussed most during the day and discuss. These tools help in simplifying the creation of your event content- the event itself is creating content that you are able to utilise interactively.
Although not as interactive, and perhaps popular due to the fact that agendas are often quite essential, the Agenda module brings an exciting twist to the traditional paper hand-out. Within the conference app, you are able to sync Speaker Biographies with your Agenda, thus enabling your delegates to discover the credentials of your speakers with ease, bringing interactivity to an otherwise simple module.
We’ve made the Agenda module a lot more practical for all event planners. There’s a lot more you can do with your Agenda module that will enhance a feeling of individual worth amongst your delegates; Personalised Agendas. The content of each Agenda module is specific to the delegate; break-out sessions, meetings and so on.
Perhaps the most vital element to the Agenda module is that it enables you to keep your content up-to-date and in real time, which gives you more flexibility. For example, if a session is over-running, or speakers have changed their presentation times, the CMS can update all the iPads to show any revisions of the agenda made throughout your event. So, there’s no need to chase individual delegates or edit posters to show amendments- we can push-out these changes to the individuals or group.
“An Agenda module that can be updated live on-site is definitely impressive”
So there you have it, our Top Three Event Planner Modules; Voting, Agenda and Q&A.
Different event communication suppliers will have different qualities to their app modules, so some of the features highlighted here may not be widely accessible. It is advised, that you know your supplier and what they’re offering before agreeing to use their services.
This is a guest post by Andrew Phillips. Andrew works for Concise Media Design. Concise is an interactive media design agency with offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. With more than 15 years’ experience as a premium provider to the corporate events industry, we have developed a deep understanding of the needs of producers, presenters and audiences. You can tweet them at@ConciseDesign