(Above Photo © MultiTaction)
Everyone knows technology is a must-have for any meeting or event, but how does a meeting planner decide which tech gadgets are going to improve the experience? You don’t want to invest research, time, and money into something that is a gimmick or a novelty that people will lose interest in by the time it ships to your office. Rather, it should make your attendees’ experience more enjoyable, convenient, and informative. We cut through the noise to break down the innovations and cool tech gadgets that will elevate audience members into active participants.
Say goodbye to traditional microphones that take an excruciating amount of time to pass down to the right person in the crowd or can be awkward to maneuver on a stand, and say hello to the world of “engagement microphones.” Brands like Catchbox and Qball make microphones encased in protective material that are durable, lightweight, and plush, allowing them to be thrown from the presenter into the hands of an eager listener, ready to offer up their insight or ask questions. Not only does it allow everyone to speak their mind easily, but it’s fun.
Audience Response Software & Meeting Apps
Downloadable apps and software like Glisser, DialogLoop, MeetingPulse, and MeetApp might not allow you to play catch with your attendees, but they do just about everything else. This includes sharing speaker slides to audience members’ personal devices; live polling and Q&As, so spectators can easily contribute during the presentation; and even a Twitter wall filled with the event’s custom hashtag for audience members to peruse.
Multi-Touch Collaboration Walls
It may sound like something for someone who is trying to keep up with the Jetsons, but it’s actually a fairly user-friendly, streamlined technology. Companies like MultiTaction, eyefactive, Pixel Paint are making these innovative, touch-screen walls more common every day. They’re a great way to get everyone up and brainstorming collaboratively and can be used as a high-tech guest book, a creative coloring-in exercise, or doodling board for the guests in attendance.
As globalization develops, there is a need for technology that allows participants who are not physically present to have a remote presence at any location with an internet connection. While video conferencing and screen-sharing apps – everything from Skype and Zoom to BlueJeans and Join.Me – is one way to do that, if looking to capture the perspective of being physically present, Go-Pro cameras can be mounted on a participant’s head to live stream the meeting from that person’s perspective. Telepresent robots – essentially, a video-conferencing screen mounted on a moving base that is controlled by an operator – is also a market that is developing rapidly. Essentially iPads on wheels, they allow the operator to simultaneously view what the robot is “looking” at and “hearing” while moving around and interacting with people.
Products like Oculus can transport your attendees from a hotel ballroom to anywhere in the world. VR can allow your attendees to tour their company’s new digs half a world away or break the ice with other meeting goers by trying their hand at VR video games.
They’re quick, simple, and attendees can complete them whenever they have a spare minute in the days following a meeting or event. As a corporate meeting planner, getting attendee feedback is critical to refining your programs, flow of events, and even the technology you integrate into your meetings. There is plenty of great survey software out there that also happens to be delightfully user-friendly – including Survey Monkey, Google Forms, and Typeform.