Whatever technology meeting and event planners adopt, its aim is to simply provide better engagement with its audience.
BY BRAD FOSTER
And what that primarily means is better meeting outcomes. The best and most current whiz bang technology has no purpose unless it creates better audience engagement and better meeting outcomes. Who really needs 3D holographic images unless these images help achieve the required outcomes of meeting and event planners?
One of the world’s leading companies in the area of audience interaction, IML, is pushing the boundaries in creating better meetings, and has a global strategy of doing much more.
For those who don’t know IML, the company provides hand-held audience response devices the size of mobile smart phones to delegates who can use them to participate in meetings more effectively. UK based CEO of IML, Richard Fisher, was in Sydney recently where he told micenet AUSTRALIA that the company is now working far more closely with its clients to really drill down to what they want to achieve from their meetings and events.
“A lot of people run events and they put them together without really thinking about what it is that they want to achieve,” he explains.
“Let’s say you could be a software company or a telecoms company and you’ve got your 150 best prospects there. Really what you’re trying to do is inform them about what you’re doing and you hope that they go away and think positively about that and do something with you in the future. What you haven’t really done is capitalise on having 150 people in the room who understand their businesses better than you do – the issues that they’re facing better than you do, and what problems they are facing – and harness that intellectual horsepower to try and help you position yourself better.
“Our whole premise is based upon trying to help our clients capitalise on that intellectual horsepower, capability and knowledge in a room and use it more effectively to get an ROI out of a meeting or event. And also to consider there are 150 in that room who want to leave the meeting or event with something as well. The big question for us is what are they thinking and how are they feeling when they leave the room? That’s really almost turning around our position – hence the `harnessing audience insight’ [tagline that IML has now].”
Mr Fisher agrees that yes, meetings should be more interactive between presenters and the audience, however, there really is another level of opportunity for meeting planners.
The company is about to embark on a research project to understand more about the relative importance and potential opportunities in this area of the business and how IML can better equip planners with achieving better meetings outcomes.
IML works in partnership with its clients to understand the purpose of the event and what the outcomes are. The company then deploys the right technology to ensure aims can be achieved, with generated content analysed to create insightful information that supports the required success criteria of the meeting or event.
micenet AUSTRALIA will be following up with IML on what its research revealed in a future edition.
new webcast strategy
At the forefront of technology, Staging Connections has designed a technical solution that is allowing clients to have greater reach with their meetings and events than the venue in which they are held.
Recently Staging Connections teamed up with Interactive, providing the platform for Interactive to hold its annual awards presentation and business goals announcement as a national assembly involving all staff at the one time.
With a team of 300 employees spread throughout urban and rural Australia, internal communications for the company has been difficult.
This time, Staging Connections combined multiple site events with webcasting and videoconferencing technology allowing all employees to have direct, instant and clear contact with the CEO.
With Sydney acting as the host site, the CEO presented the year’s business goals supported with PowerPoint slides, which was streamed live via webcast to engage employees based throughout Australia, while also complemented by the use of video conferencing (audio and visual) to stream into two other events in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Staging Connections Victoria head of production, Ian Kirkwood, said watching the CEO “was incredible as he had unhindered access to all of his staff. The CEO even spotted an employee in the audience in Brisbane and picked on him! The event was highly successful in achieving the key objectives – to effectively engage with the audience.”
Featuring intuitive technology, Staging Connections set up each site so when the CEO pointed to the slides, all event sites were looking at the exact presentation.
The opportunity to personally engage all employees via company branded events and a website interface along with a reduction in internal costs, the Interactive team were reportedly thrilled with the outcomes.
“Staging Connections has not only made the technology aspect of the presentation seamless, but have also provided a professional production,” said Interactive director of human resources, Merylee Crockett.
“The team we worked with are passionate about what they do, highly skilled and professional. Their calmness, flexibility and experience allowed us to get on with the job of communicating with our people, with the comfort of knowing everything behind the scenes would run smoothly. A quality event!”
The platform is called CEOwebcast, and is complemented by a number of features including social media integration, advertising modules, sponsorship opportunities, and a live or on demand company survey and supporting documents that are available to download including presentations, FAQ documents, and company announcements.