Showcase brings praise for PowerPoint integration and ease of useFor decades conferences, workshops and other business events have followed a set format. But recently, forward-thinking organisers have turned this on its head.
simply-communicate, a community for internal communications professionals, has been a driver of these radical changes. Its SMiLE London workshops uses technology – and in particular mobile apps – to make the events more engaging, thought-provoking and useful.
The Challenge – Finding the best events platforms
The SMiLE (standing for Social Media inside Large Enterprise) brand is part of simply-communicate’s network of training products and services. In addition to its annual conference, it also holds twice-yearly workshops, typically attended by over 100 delegates.
As a leading authority on business communications, its challenge is to navigate the fast-evolving world of event technology and introduce its members and workshop audiences to the most promising platforms. Its second goal is to make these workshops as interactive and as lively as possible for lively and creative communications professionals with high expectations.
The best way to address both these challenges simultaneously is to use these emerging platforms in real life to test how they will perform – and then let these delegates judge their value for themselves.
The Solution – Meetoo for live messaging and polling<br/> Meetoo was chosen to be used throughout the day at a recent SMiLE London workshop. Meetoo is an instant messaging and live polling platform which can be downloaded onto any mobile device (iOS or Android) or accessed via the web. In other words, the organisers had no need to provide any hardware as delegates could use their own phones or tablets to access information, answer questions and present their own questions to presenters.
As Marc Wright, simply-communicate’s publisher, explains: “The day was organised into three streams, with the 115 delegates choosing how many seminars they attended. As there was no plenary session, Meetoo was a unifying force. We used it mainly for polling and for gathering questions, it’s a great way for people to get their voice heard.
“Also, if you didn’t get to one particular session you could just go to the appropriate Meetoo feed and investigate the questions and answers to get a flavour of the discussion.”
The Results – Downloaded by the majority
Wright reports that around 60% of the delegates downloaded Meetoo, a higher number than last year when an alternative app was used. “Each year it gets better and better. When we first introduced platforms such as Meetoo, delegates used to wonder what on earth they were. Now the majority participate and find them valuable.”
So how did Meetoo compare with other technologies? “We were particularly impressed by Meetoo’s ability to integrate with PowerPoint which meant the polling could become an integral part of an entire presentation, with the results shown almost immediately. Most presenters had prepared the poll questions beforehand, but you could see how questions could arise out of a discussion and an instant poll prepared on the fly,” says Wright.
“The interesting thing about Meetoo is that it’s much more focused on getting responses from people than anything else we’ve tried. It’s a more powerful tool than a general event app which is doing many other jobs.”
Freelance marketing and communications expert Alison Boothby who was at the workshop agrees: “Audience response systems might sound a bit old hat, but Meetoo is dead simple, really quick to get up and running and works with PowerPoint, which I really liked. It was easy to see how it could add value and interest to a wide range of meetings.”
simply-communicate sees itself as a showcase for technology and will always be on the lookout for new apps and platforms. However, when asked if he will continue to use Meetoo, Wright is positive: “Yes we shall certainly be using it again,” he affirms. “What will be interesting will be to watch how it could allow communications to spread beyond the room, enabling delegates to take part remotely.
“But once an event organiser introduces this type of app, they will never want to go back.”
Lumi is a global market leader in real-time audience insight technology for research, meetings and events, education and corporate communication. Operating from offices in ten countries, Lumi’s core technologies and engaging mobile apps are used by hundreds of multinational corporations and their advisers to provide an unparalleled understanding of attitudes, opinion and behaviour in a dynamic and innovative way