The structure of most meetings today is the way it has been for decades; a presenter gets up and lectures, audience members take notes (or not), and the session ends with a standard 15 minute Q&A session with limited to no questions from the audience. C’mon meeting planners, am I right or am I right? I should know, this has been the way I have been planning most of my meetings for years, but I know there has to be a better way.
With all the technology available today, meetings should be interactive, engaging, and even (gulp) fun! Here are 6 ways an event meeting services company can help planners start to make it happen.
- Add Wireless Audience Response Systems. Audience response system units have come along way from the bubble buttons that allowed you to answer multiple choice questions on the screen. While those units are still available, newer units have texting and microphone capabilities integrated into the audience response rental. In addition, it has been shown to increase audience participation because attendees can provide feedback or questions anonymously.
- Create a Twitter group for the Event. Communicate to your attendees before the event (many times please) that you are going to use a Twitter group exclusive to this event. If the user has a smartphone and are already using Twitter, this is going to be easy. However, for those attendees who have neither, you might rent iPads or rent Tablet PCs and have the AV company install the Twitter app on each mobile device.
- Scratch the traditional room setting. Now this won’t work with every meeting, but get rid of the tables and have everyone sit in one large circle. It removes the physical barrier of a table, but you will need a large space and wireless mics in order to pull this off . The presenter or facilitator sits with the rest of the group, thus making every person equal.
- Make the schedule "blank". At EventCamp last November, their were papers on a table near the registration area, where attendees indicated what they could teach, and then based on all the topics, attendees voted on what they wanted to learn.
- Let Presenters speak for only 20 minutes. Better yet, limit your presenters to only 10 slides. This allows plenty of time for discussion (40 minutes, in your typical breakout session) and it makes the presenter better because they are bringing "pinpoint accuracy" to their message. 10 slides, 20 minutes. Learn tips on how to create a powerful PowerPoint Presentation.
- Don’t let the Presenter be the Cop in the Room. Most speakers like to be the "teacher" and make the audience go where they are. Let’s stop that! Audience members do go off topic and that is okay. Go where the attendees are, not where the speaker wants them to go.
"The reality is, most people are not happy with the traditional conference experience anymore," says Adrian Segar, Owner of Segar Consulting. "When it was the only option, they grinned and bore it. Now they don’t have to do that anymore."
AV Event Solutions, is here to help you make your next meeting, event, or conference more interactive and fun! Call us today!