Between new apps and tech gadgets, it feels nearly impossible to keep up with the growing list of must-have tools for meetings and events. With the ever-expanding list of helpful event planner tools, also comes the fantastic laundry list of attendee engagement technology. Along with attaining your meeting’s objective(s) you strive to keep your attendees awake, alert and active. By requesting participation, you’re keeping the conversation alive and enabling learner objectives to be met. What better way to retain information, than actually participating in the event and its conversation?
This short list of tech gadgets will help jump start the conversation and your attendees’ interest.
Attendees have valuable feedback which can be shared amongst the group. If you’ve got people who are eager to participate, make sure you’re leveraging the tools in their pockets - smartphones, which can be turned into individual, wireless microphones. With Crowd Mics, the speaker creates a name and access code for the event within the app and session participants download this version. From there, when the presenter is ready to take questions they can select people from a list of names or select an open-mic option for anyone in the room to reply. And for those shy attendees, there’s a text feature where they can submit comments to the speaker.
The app is free for groups of 20 or less and pricing starts at $25 for 50 participants.
For small meetings, international meetings or even meetings on-the-fly Google now offers Chromebox which is a video conferencing kit providing you with an HD camera, mic/speaker unit and a remote control. With up to 15 participants per session, you can call in from anywhere and quickly connect with other callers. Watch out GoToMeeting! Chromebox does not require any funky access codes or logins and invites can be sent right through your Google calendar. Easily share your screen and connect with keynote speakers, other planning team members, or venues. This is a great tool for the pre-planning phase of events.
I’ve found the Chromebox on Amazon for $180. There’s also a $250 annual support fee.
On Location Engagements
In a recent blog post about iBeacons for events I discussed how valuable this would become to the event space and such is the case with the new On Location Engagement beacons. Specific for tradeshows and events, OLE drives relevant, location-based content to your attendees quickly increasing engagement and superior visitor experiences. You’re also able to include interactive maps, drive sponsorship love, video demos, post-show surveys and more! Best of all, for eventprofs, they have drag & drop functionality, which means no HTML knowledge required. And, OLE can be integrated as part of an existing app. Pricing isn't currently available.
We touched on mics a little earlier, but Catchbox will really create some lively interaction. Who doesn’t want to have fun tossing around a bright, foamy box that (wait for it ….) is also a microphone! The box includes a receiver which can be connected to any sound system. And no worries, you won’t catch any unwanted sounds along the way, as it senses motion and switches off when it’s being thrown or dropped. With just three simple components – the cube, the capsule and the receiver – set-up takes a matter of seconds. To achieve the best signal, use with audiences of 100 people, minimize any obstacles, and keep the distance between the box and its receiver by 100 feet.
Catchbox is affordable at $549 in comparison to other mics upwards of $2000.
LCD Graffiti Wall
3-D projection mapping is still crazy new and super cool but what about interactive walls? Yup, Tangible Interaction has taken engagement to the next level with their LCD Graffiti Wall. Recently released at SXSW, this digital graffiti screen comes with two spray cans for attendees to go wild. Planners can brand the walls to include logos, colors, stencils and more! And of course, once they complete their artwork, they can share via social media. Get a sneak peek of the tagging in action from SXSW.
This product is still quite new & Tangible must be contact directly for rental fees.
If you know of any other awesome even tech tools or gadgets, please be sure to share!