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Bing Pulse adds interest and excitement to presentations

Greg Shaw

. . and Microsoft is offering it free of charge, Greg Shaw tells Sydney Paulden

A chat with Greg Shaw opened my eyes to even more benefits flowing from simple-to-use, readily available and ultra-low-cost technology. I met Greg at International Confex 2015 in London. He is Senior Director Strategy in Microsoft’s Exec Strategic& Special Projects Division, based in the hi-tech location of Redmond, State of Washington, USA.

He gave me a rapid overview of Bing Pulse. This is a means of giving every member of an audience at a conference a real opportunity to participate. It also provides data instantaneously to organisers and presenters which they can use for instant decision-making, for subsequent analysis and for the creation of a more interesting experience for all the attendees.

In simple terms, Microsoft provides an event organiser with a customised website that every attendee at an event can access. Through this, a pulse is generated that gives an opportunity for all to vote whenever the presenter wishes. The results of the vote are instantaneously displayed on a second screen.

Once familiar with the technique, its applications are endless. With a multiple-choice display, for example, an audience can show its level of interest in any item under discussion. Or an audience can have its say at to which direction the presentation should go, where there are alternatives.

It is a valuable tool for identifying, statistically, the experience and interests of the audience. How many have already visited a particular destination, for example; or what sizes of events they organise. It also helps in identifying any differences in opinion influenced by the demographics of an audience, according to the proportions, say, of males or females or by age groups.

Used creatively, Bing Pulse can even add humour. This was illustrated in Greg Shaw’s own presentation to his audience at International Confex 2015 in London on February 19. Greg comes from the depths of Oklahoma in the Mid-West of the USA. At one point he listed a number of sports, such as American football, baseball, swimming, cricket and athletics and asked his audience to click on the one they thought would be his particular interest.

When the votes had been displayed, he was able to surprise and amuse them by showing a photograph of himself in cricket whites!

Greg told ITCM that Bing Pulse had been used very effectively by national tv channels in the USA, such as Fox News, MSNBC and CNN. It had provided audiences, in their homes, the opportunity to vote and give their opinions on the news or the sports that were being screened.

This information was not only of use to the channels, but also made the broadcasts more interesting for the viewers. They could see, statistically at a glance, to what extent other viewers agreed or disagreed with their own opinion.

‘A network offering Bing Pulse’, says Greg, ‘obviously can have an edge over those without it and are likely to gain and maintain a bigger audience’.

Another aspect of Bing Pulse that should make it even more appealing to event organisers is that the service is being offered by Microsoft free of charge!

What’s the catch? None. It is simply that Microsoft is keen to motivate people to use Bing as their web search engine. The use of a Pulse website at an event helps to get more people familiar with Bing as an internet access tool.

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