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5 Minute Guide to Second Screen Event Technology

Tyler Nelson
Posted byTyler Nelson
on 10/3/18 02:33 PM

Tyler Nelson is a Product Manager at Educational Measures, LLC with 15 years of meeting and event technology experience. An expert in communication and design with demonstrated experience in web and video technologies, business processes, and project management, Tyler is constantly assessing EM’s products for new opportunities in an environment of ever-changing client and market needs. Driven by creativity and analytics, he engages with cross-functional teams and maintains a user-centered approach in effectively guiding complex initiatives from inception to market.

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This quick guide will help you learn about second screen technology in record time.

The best part? 

Everything here applies to meeting and events you are planning now and in the future. 

So without further ado, let's get started.

What Exactly is Second Screen Technology?

If you want a plain-English answer, second screen technology is making use of a second screen to better connect with your audience. In a live meeting, the first screen is the big screen where your presenter's content appears. The second screen is a device placed in your participants' hands.  It mirrors the presenter's content and has many other interactive features.

Ready to learn what kinds of devices are used? 

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What Kind of Devices Are Used as a Second Screen?

By and large, second screen devices are mobile devices. This includes both smartphones and tablets like iPads. And you know what? Both are being used widely in planning meetings and events. The real question to ask yourself is "What kind of device will best help me accomplish my event goals?" Your goal might be to increase engagement, combat digital distraction, or even get valuable data to improve your events. Because, believe it or not, the kind of device you choose matters. Next up, I'm going to tell you some of the pluses and minuses of each kind of second-screen device.

The Pros and Cons of Smartphones and Tablets


Let's talk smartphones. A huge pro is that almost everyone has one. US adults spend an average of 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices this year so far. That's fantastic news!

So what's the catch?

Using smartphones as a second screen device requires reliable wi-fi in the meeting room. It also requires your participants to download an event app. Remarkably, only about 54% of your attendees will download an event app. Beware! This means you could be leaving out almost half of your audience if you choose a smartphone.  One more thing....a large majority of people with smartphones spend their time on social media. Which means they are probably not engaging with your content. Bottom line, if you are going to use a smart phone and event app, that app better be uber simple and easy to use. 


How is a tablet any different? What we are really talking about here is a device used for interaction vs. distraction. More often than not, audience engagement applications like Array™ are the only thing on the iPad. This mean less room for digital distraction plus 100% of the attendees have the application.  But there's something even more compelling.  According to 14 years of audience engagement data (consisting of thousands of participants), a whopping, 96% of all attendees will pick up their iPad.  Now, that's a huge first step towards engagement! 

And isn’t engagement what you want? It gets better.

With a system like Array™, event iPads are connected to a private network, so no one has to worry about bandwidth issues. Or running out of power. Or difficulty with navigation. Need I say more?

How Can Second Screen Technology Help You Improve Your Meetings?

I'm going to give you 3 solid reasons to adopt second screen technology in all of your future meetings.

1) Engagement

If transforming passive attendees into active participants is your goal, then second screen is a no-brainer. This article will hook you up with some of the best ways to utilize second screen to increase engagement. 

2) Better Decisions = Better Data + Better Insights

No, it's not a real equation. But it is time to stop basing meeting improvements on what you think your audience cares about. Instead, use engagement data to learn out what they actually care about. Check out this resource to learn you everything you need to know to get started with live meeting analytics. 

3) Increase Attendance at Your Events

Do you want to increase attendance at your future events? Then you need to make your live meetings fun and interactive. It's simple: If your audience thinks your meeting is great, they are going to tell their friends and colleagues. They are going to take more photos and share more on social. Their friends and colleagues think they missed out and they sign up for next year's event. Rinse and repeat. Check out some fun games to engage your audience in our guide to gamification in meetings

To sum things up, second screen event technology provides opportunities to dramatically increase engagement. It also gives you multiple ways to improve your events with real data to back up your decisions.  Now, it's your turn. Connect with a second screen expert to learn more about the possibilities for your next event.  


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