There are so many technology choices nowadays for meetings and events, it is often difficult to discern what makes sense for different types of meetings. This blog is going to delve into different types of situations and what tools can make the greatest impact with the attendee.

Scenario 1: You want to know the immediate reaction to a issue, decision, or speaker.

You want to know what your attendees think. There are two types of questions to gather that information.

For close-ended questions, survey attendees using wireless audience response systems. It’s an easy and efficient way to gather immediate feedback on any issue or decision.

If your goal is to aggregate opinions from the attendees with open-ended questions, this will require the use of equipment where the attendee can write or dialog their answers. A facilitator can scribe the answers, Twitter or mind mapping applications can be used if you rent Tablet PCs. You can display results on large Plasma TVs or via a projector and screen rental.

Scenario 2: You have different sets of people within the organization that have different opinions about what should happen.

Perhaps you are at an association meeting where there is going to be great discussion about the future of the organization. Group A wants the association to go one way and Group B wants it to go in a very different direction. How do you get them to agree on a vision? When people have a chance to participate and analyze others opinions, they are most likely to buy into a direction, even if it isn’t their own.

In this scenario, it would be best to have a facilitator run the meeting in Townhall style. Have plenty of wireless mics available for audience questions and comments, spend the money on a good sound system so everyone can hear all comments, and consider recording the entire event for future reference and clarification of questions and comments.

Scenario 3: You need new ideas from attendees to help make your organization, association, and/or event more effective.

There are two ways to go with this scenario.

First, you could be looking for “out of the box” thinking, which requires the ability to gather and rank ideas. You need to be open minded and be willing to accept the wishes of the masses.

You can ask for new ideas before the conference through a Twitter group, email blast, or blog. You can also create an on-line community and crowdsource new ideas. Post all the ideas and ask the attendees to rank the ideas 1 through whatever the total number of ideas that are posted.

While at the conference, you can continue to gather information through touch panel kiosks which can be available 24 hours.

The second way is more about asking for more effective ways to complete an already established process. Perhaps, touch on every aspect of the association from membership chapter meetings to the annual meeting. Ask attendees to identify problems within each area and have them prioritize which problems they would like addressed first. This again can be completed through online communities before the meeting and extended on-site by renting iPads or laptops where questions can be posted and prioritization can occur.

AV Event Solutions, a California meeting equipment supplier, is available to provide your organization with state-of-the-art technology rental tools for your next meeting, event or trade show. Give them a call today!