August 23, 2017
meeting technology

Geek Speak: What to Ask When Buying Meeting Technology

This post was originally published August 22, 2017 on MeetingsNet by Hannah Kinnersley
Educational Measures’ "Meeting Technology Buyer’s Guide" helps meeting planners to decide what products they need, and the questions to ask vendors before signing up.
Have you ever been at a conference and looked down at your smart phone to participate in a survey during the presentation, only to see a text you need to answer or a bunch of new emails that put you in a panic? By the time you’ve figured out it isn’t the office or the babysitter, you’ve lost the thread of the presentation and missed the results of the survey you thought was important enough to answer.

Technology is a double-edged sword for the meetings industry. It can be an opportunity to engage your audience and gather crucial information, but it can also break the spell of a face-to-face event by sending attendees to their personal devices where one Facebook notification can distract them from the rest of the session. 

A new ebook from Educational Measures  covers the questions to ask when looking for event technology, whether you are trying to create a dialogue between audience and speaker, or figure out what information you want to capture for your technology budget ROI.

The book is a quick read, a desirable characteristic for a subject that needs to be updated regularly as technology changes. Each section contains questions to ask for a particular scenario you need covered, from “How Do I Keep Participants Awake?” to “Branding and Customizations: How Creative Can I Be?” Questions for vendors on data and analytics are critical to make sure your event captures the kind of information that can help other departments in your company, and is provided in a usable format. Probably the most important questions for potential vendors are on security and privacy: If you can’t keep your attendees’ data safe now, they may push back on sharing it in the future, or worse.

Although the Meeting Technology Buyer’s Guide is framed as a checklist for planners making decisions about vendors and products, it also contains useful tips on managing your choices once you’ve made them. As a planner you might want every bell and whistle on offer, but if your software or hardware is configured in a way that takes more than 90 seconds to explain to attendees they won’t use it.