It's no secret that most people spend a significant amount of time on their smartphones - and that goes double for the always-connected demographic of forward-thinkers and influencers that attends major technology and industry events. Anyone presenting at a conference these days needs to grapple with the fact that the audience will be tempted by distractions from their phones and other devices. But can this dynamic be turned to the event professional's advantage?
With second screen technology, the potential distraction of smartphones can, with some planning, become an asset, making your presentation more compelling, engaging and memorable. This technology can take a number of different forms, but the basic idea is simple. Using a dedicated app or website, audience members can access a variety of materials including:
- Surveys and polls related to the presentation.
- Slides and additional visual materials.
- Note-taking and live chat functionality.
- Virtual Q&A functions.
Increasingly, it's not enough to simply stand in front of an audience and speak. The dynamics of modern meetings and event planning has changed dramatically in the last decade, and organizers need to respond.
Audience interaction and analysis
It's hard to understate the power of getting live feedback from your audience, without interrupting the flow of your presentation. University studies have shown that electronic audience engagement systems improve information retention and positive emotional response during lectures. Audience response apps also make it easy for presenters to gather immediate and relevant feedback and help control the general flow of the session.
The use of second screen interactions has another benefit - it also generates data. This means the benefits for event professionals extend beyond the meeting itself. You'll be able to answer questions you didn't even know it was possible to ask, provided you have the right data collection solutions in place. Were attendees in a specific part of the venue more or less engaged? Did particular slides or comments generate a lot of interest or inquiries? Were some visual elements referred to more often than others?
Solutions such as Glisser make this possible and even offer visualizations and graphical representations of engagement stats as well as integration with CRM systems.
Social media integration
Social media sites and platforms are among the biggest distractions at events of all types, but it's possible to turn them to your advantage. Second screen technologies can integrate with sites like Twitter and actually spread the presentation to a larger audience. Attendees can select individual slides and tweet them out to their own audiences, and this functionality can also be combined with custom event hashtags and other social markers.
Event professionals need to manage an increasing array of technologies and distractions. With the right second screen technology solutions, these potential liabilities become tools to spread your messaging further and engage your audience more completely. You'll be able to leverage data, employ social media and get real-time feedback that can make the difference between a good presentation and a great one.