A powerpoint presentation used to be a novelty for both a speaker and his audience. Those days have long gone.
Delegates today expect a more interactive experience from conferences and events. In this “information on-demand age”, we expect to be more in control of the information we access and when we access it. Conferences are no exception.
No longer passive listeners, delegates welcome the opportunity to be given the platform to express their thoughts and opinions at the conference in real time.
With this trend, it is no surprise that events professionals have long been talking about the use of non-conference style and open-space meetings. The premise being that these meetings are participant-driven, have no fixed agenda and avoid the conventional death-by-powerpoint scenario.
This might be an extreme format and might be too ad-hoc for some. After all, there is nothing wrong with setting a theme and an agenda – messages will need to be presented in a logical timeline, but more consideration needs to be given to the role of the delegates and how they can participate.
Wireless handsets, among other high-tech presentation systems, have been great in increasing audience participation ofs tech-savvy delegates.
Interactive technologies have been around for some time, but they are only as good as the client who implements them. Just because you have provided interactive keypads to your delegates and asked them a question about the quality of the catering doesn’t make for an interactive meeting.
There’s a lot more to it and it’s vital to take the time to understand how such technologies can be applied and help facilitate an interactive event. Conferences should be thought of as investment, not just an expense that requires maximum ROI to be achieved.
Used effectively, these technologies can transform a presentation-led conference to an empowering experience for delegates with interactive quizzes and the like.
At the very least, delegates will leave with the feeling that their opinion counted and that can’t be a bad thing.
What sort of experience do you want your delegates to have? What do you want them to leave with? Presenters need to take time to think about how they can get their audience involved.