Interactive meetings have been the buzz for decades. However, most attempts fall short of delivery. They fail because delivering by the mere definition of interactive meetings is near impossible to do. Didactic presentations with a few Questions and Answer sessions hardly touch on the concept.
True interaction requires an active engagement with the audience, an interaction that often borders on collaborations, meetings in which the presenters have an opportunity to know that their message is being conveyed and more important than anything else understood. We’ve been producing meetings for decades and we seldom see anything that remotely meets these criteria for a truly interactive meeting.
However, the one technique that never fails is using Audience Response System (ARS) . Having the opportunity to quiz your audience about the understanding of your presentation, to get their feed-back, to explore their insights – this is what true interactivity it about.
We have clients the create games in which their audience participate. Region competing against other regions works well because people are naturally competitive. Awarding prizes encourages interactivity. And they don’t have to be big, expensive prizes. How about a seat at the dinner table with the president of the company? Using your imagination can create some fun and excitement.
Beyond ARS there are team building exercises. Events that put people together in a way that encourages meeting new people, collaborations and an exchange of ideas.
I don’t think I have ever met anyone who prefers to be sitting in a darkened room listening to one boring Death-by-PowerPoint presentation after another without some sort of break. Use interactivity to promote collaborations, networking and to entertain.
When you think about interactive meetings and events consider what truly is interactive. Let us make some recommendations. Let us help you organize events that will enhance your meetings.
*Footnote: What are Audience Response Systems and how do they work?
Audience Response Systems (commonly referred to ARS) come in many different forms. Using a key pad to enter information that is collected and analyzed immediately is a popular method. However, there are many other options such as TurningPoint – which uses key pads and Smart Phone, Slido with which you use a smartphone, Tablet Arrays that use computer tables like iPads. One of my clients uses a collection of 8”x10” cards with a different number on each. The audience is then asked to vote on an option by holding up a card with the number that corresponds to their choice. Staffers then do a count and record the information. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, yet it is an effective way of introducing interactivity to an event.