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How to Beat Digital Distraction with Live Meeting Engagement

John Santaferraro
on 02/18/17 11:00 PM

John Santaferraro has 20 years of experience as a big data analytics imagineer, he is responsible for driving the next-generation of meeting and event analytics. Previously, he was the interim CMO at Diyotta and vice president of marketing at ParAccel until it was purchased by Actian, where he stayed in that position to help guide the transition. He began his career in technology as the co-founder of a data warehouse software startup that eventually sold to Teradata. Along the way he has held executive big data marketing positions in top tech companies including Tandem, Compaq, and HP. When he’s not hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing in the Colorado Rockies, John loves to cook gourmet, collect fine wine, and brew craft beer.

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In this technology-driven world, digital distractions reign. A ringing phone, an email that just landed in your inbox, a chat message from a friend, photos of furry cats or dogs that can be sent to colleagues in just a click. 

The list of digital distractions never ends.

Extreme audience engagement is the only way to combat digital distraction in live meetings. Compelling content and great speaking will win every time, but not every presenter starts with that greatness.

The Competition is Fierce

Let the games begin. Whether it’s an investigator meeting for a clinical trial or a financial services conference for potential customers, meeting planners compete for the attention of their audience. If the audience would rather be elsewhere during your event, the competition gets tougher. Since 95% of your audience owns a cell phone of some kind, it’s game on!

How to Beat the Competition

The competition for audience attention is stiff, but leading organizations and meeting professionals are already winning the game. Keeping live meetings fun, smooth, and engaging is the key. Second screen engagement technology delivers meaningful interaction so engagement levels stay high throughout every meeting.

You can make these 5 smart moves to beat the competition every time.

  1. From Audience Response Systems (ARS) to Second Screen Interaction

    Holding an audience response system keypad in your hand is like reverting back to the flip phone of the 1990’s. It may feel retro, but it severely limits the extent of user interaction. To engage today’s audience and turn them into participants, make the move to second screen technology. Compared to a limited number of actions you can take with ARS, think about the 25 ways you can engage people with second screen technology. As the millennial population grows in number and influence, the opportunity for engagement moves from optional to required.

  2. From Graphics to Gaming

    A picture is worth a thousand words, but in the digital age a great graphic in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation is no longer enough. Project a leaderboard on a second screen in the room and watch engagement soar. Executive, sales and professional audiences quickly move from boredom to excitement. We have seen engagement multiply up to 5 times based on gaming and competition.

  3. From Mass Communication to Personalization

    Every participant will engage to the degree that they sense the content is relevant. With the use of live meeting technology, you can profile your audience through a series of polling questions. By discovering their unique preferences, you will be able to personalize the presentations to audience segments. Leading meeting professionals are already designing new courses and tracks to address the learning styles of their audience.

  4. From Knowledge Transfer to Knowledge Retention

    Not all information is created equal, and not everyone retains information the same way. How you retain and process information is probably different from the person sitting next to you. Some take copious notes, and some tie the information to a story. Whatever strategy is ultimately employed, one thing is certain: people absorb information better when it’s structured in a way that they can digest based on their preferences. The goal for meetings now is to go beyond just conveying information to behavior-changing retention.

  5. From Reporting to Analytics
    What do you do with the myriad of data being collected at your live meetings and events? Begin by understanding what actually happened in your live meeting. What level of engagement did you achieve? What content and speakers were the most popular? Which meeting received the highest ratings over the past six months? But don’t stop there. With advanced analytics you can predict what is going to happen at your next event and uncover the secret to keeping your audience engaged in ever-increasing ways.

From Cost Center to Return on Investment

Ultimately, an engaged audience will be a profitable audience. Considering the time, manpower and financial resources involved in conference execution, it is vital to demonstrate results against your predefined goals. Return on investment can be measured in dollar amounts, but it can also be measured in other ways. Every industry has a different way to gauge their ROI, for example:
  • Financial organizations drive revenue by using technology to inform potential clients and guide them toward a purchase.
  • Pharmaceutical companies stake the success of their clinical trials on shaping the behavior of their site leads.
  • Educational organizations measure outcomes in terms of knowledge transfer, behavioral change and learner satisfaction. 

Are you ready to beat digital distraction at your event? Let ROI be your motivation and extreme engagement be your path forward.


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