Matrix Management

Make your big meetings more interactive

As part of the preparation for the launch of our new book Kill Bad Meetings we visited The Meetings Show in London to see what was new in the field of large corporate meetings.

As you would expect there were lots of venue providers and several technology providers who had automated the traditional administration tasks such as registration and badge generation – pretty traditional stuff.

We were hoping to see what new technology was available to improve engagement and participation. You would think that having flown potentially hundreds of people to the same location, Companies would be desperate to produce an engaging participant experience. Instead the big events industry seems most concerned with hotels and administration.

There were a couple of organisations looking at audience response – where you can ask questions via apps or other hardware and get real time feedback. We have used a simple app called Kahoot to do this successfully. This can add novelty and get people doing something but in many cases standing up or a show of hands could provide a similar level of feedback and at least get people doing something active.

One exhibitor told us about a company called Kilk who have a wristband product that offered a nice functionality where people get points for interacting with another individual, this looks like a good way to encourage networking.

We didn’t see anyone focusing on creating higher levels of human interaction, except in the evenings.

We often attend large corporate events where it appears that more money has been spent on the branding and decor than on creating engagement. The focus is often on the presenter and large groups make it difficult to interact. In these meetings app based questions may help with the boredom but a better question would be how do we create real engagement in the meetings.

It seems crazy to fly people to one location and then the main opportunity to interact we offer is via an app!

Instead we should be looking to create conversations and networking opportunities, cut out formal presentations in favour of trade shows and smaller group interactions.

People often tell us that big events are often boring and full of presentations – but it is worth going for the breaks and evenings! If the breaks and evening are so valuable – why don’t we do that during the day?¬†These are incredibly expensive events and can have a great impact on attendees. Today they are often run for the benefit of the presenters.

To find out more about how to run really engaging large events, why not get in touch.

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