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How Your Event App is Failing You (And What You Can Do About it)

John Santaferraro
on 08/31/17 04:57 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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Did you realize that only 54% of attendees download event apps? I call that missed opportunity.

Did you know that the average event app user will spend 11 minutes of every hour using their smart phone for non-meeting related activities? I call that a direct drain on event impact.

What about the percentage of the people who come to your meeting with their batteries on low? I call that an accessory malfunction.

And don’t forget the number of hotels and convention centers that can’t handle the bandwidth for even 100 people to run an event app concurrently. I call that a complete disconnect.

What about the 50% of the people who stop using their event app in a live meeting because it is too cumbersome to view slides? I call that failure.

If you are going to spend money on meeting technology, start with a plan that sets you up for success. Instead of an event app, invest in a complete second screen engagement solution.

Second Screen Audience Engagement and Preparedness

When Educational Measures first launched EM Array™ five years ago, we took the time to think through every possible point of failure. We planned for success.



Before anyone arrives at your meeting, there is a fully-charged iPad set at every seat. Since all iPad settings are controlled from a central server, the brightness is preset and there is no worry of running out of power. The EM Array audience engagement application is the only thing on the iPad, leaving no room for digital distraction. 100% of the attendees have the application. The iPad is connected to a private network, so no one needs to worry about bandwidth issues and there is no way to surf the internet. The iPad screen is the perfect size for viewing slides and engaging with both content and presenter.

I call that success.

It is our design thinking that entices 96% of all attendees to pick up their iPad and engage. It is 14 years of audience engagement experience that helps our clients garner a 93% response rate when they poll the audience. It is not rocket science. It is a carefully thought out strategy.

Second Screen Audience Engagement and Participation

Not only is second screen technology effective in overcoming event app shortcomings, it invites extreme engagement.

Once the meeting begins, so does the fun. As soon as an attendee signs on, a survey pops up and the meeting organizers capture three main demographic facts about every person present. When the speaker stands up, she asks an amusing polling question to get the audience engaged. Halfway through the presentation, emoticons show up in the upper right-hand corner of the iPad screen. Later, meeting stakeholders will see exactly how the audience felt about the presenter and content. At the end of the session, an evaluation pops up. While the session is fresh in the mind of every participant, they can rate the presenter, the content and the overall event.

Free Consultation with John Santaferraro

Second Screen Audience Engagement and Data

The right device in the hands of every attendee will produce a significant amount of data every time. Nothing is more valuable than the data you collect at your event. Nothing is more meaningful than obtaining feedback from the entire audience instead of just a fraction.

If you’re goal is to engage your audience and turn them into participants, then second screen technology will meet your needs without forcing you to compromise on features. EM Array second screen technology was built for live meetings. If your goal is to collect valuable data from engagement and polling, Educational Measures will put that data in your hands at the touch of a button, right at the end of your session. 


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