Do you remember those days (maybe 15 years ago) when attending meetings was a drag. The means to present the program were limited, almost exclusively tied to overhead use. The room amenities were not much better – a pitcher of water, small note pads and a hotel pen, which was sure to run and ruin a shirt or suit pocket. Of course, not all attendees were engaged either, spending their time aimlessly watching the ceiling or an attractive member of the opposite sex. We had also been through some tough years, the ‘90’s, where companies cut back with meetings and conventions, the first order of business to have budgeted monies reduced. It was tough back then. How have we bounced back, using new tools and involving everyone in the conversation? Welcome to the new blended age! So, planners and participants hold on dearly to those name tags and meeting colaterals, as we see what has changed.
The latest issue of Successful Meetings with author David Kung has laid out the new conference/meeting landscape quite capably with several observations:
- Think movie multi-plex. That’s right – no longer just one screen, but rather multi high definition screens covering several walls. This is a real opportunity for your visual artists to make a statement which will engage the audience.
- Facilitate your meeting flow. Wireless technology allows everyone to contribute with their contribution shown on the main screen. “The conversation, content and collaboration can adapt as new ideas are introduced in real time.”
- Consider the elastic canvas. With these multiple screens, you can move from an agenda, for example, posted on one wall to others, as the discussion points and content drive the conversation, captured on those other screens. This gives you “…the flexibility to grow and expand, depending upon the needs of the team”.
- One work station which many share. New technology has allowed just that, where you are connecting applications, participants and locations to a shared platform. You “…may pull in a cloud-based server application, an Excel spreadsheet, and real time date from the web, all into a common digital workplace”.
- Bring some “pop” to your Power Point presentation. Consider “…if you could resize, layer and move multiple pieces of content from multiple sources to help you tell your story more dynamically”. Your audience will be better engaged and for a longer period of time. Remember attention span.
- Make informed decisions faster. In these settings you have multiple parties assessing data and content quickly and cooperatively in real time, therefore, better driving decisions and priorities. This of course starts with how you share information (refer back to bullet number 1 and scroll down). Technology has also allowed meeting content to be captured and saved for the next gathering, too.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog, focusing on anything and everything about customer experience. LRA Worldwide is the leading global provider of Customer Experience Measurement services for multinational companies with complex customer interactions. For over 30 years, LRA’s innovative brand standards audits, quality assurance inspections, mystery shopping programs, research, and consulting services have helped ensure our clients deliver consistent, memorable, and differentiated experiences to their customers. Many of the world's preeminent global hospitality brands, as well as companies in the gaming, dining, healthcare, sports and entertainment, real estate, retail and travel industries choose LRA to help them measure and improve the customer experience. For more information, visit www.LRAWorldwide.com.
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