May 28, 2016: News & Views Roundup For Events Wranglers

This May 28, 2016, post is excerpts from recent items relevant to events wrangling. If they sound like something you want to know more about, click the headline links and read the source articles.

Participatory voting at events: Part 2—Low-tech versus high-tech solutions

vote“…There is no shortage of high-tech systems that can poll an audience. Commonly known as ARSs, Student Response Systems (SRSs), or “clickers,” these systems combine an audience voting method—a custom handheld device, personal cell phone/smartphone, personal computer, etc.—with a matched receiver and software that processes and displays responses. Here are three reasons why high-tech ARSs may not be the best choice for participatory voting:

  • ARSs necessitate expense and/or time to set up for a group. No-tech and low-tech approaches are low or no cost and require little or no preparation.
  • Most ARS votes are anonymous; no one knows who has voted for what. When you are using voting to acquire information about participant preferences and opinions, as opposed to deciding between conflicting alternatives, anonymous voting is rarely necessary. (An exception is if people are being asked potentially embarrassing questions.) When a group of people can see who is voting for what (and, with some techniques, even the extent of individual agreement/disagreement), it’s easy to go deeper into an issue via discussion or debate.
  • Participatory voting techniques involve more movement than pushing a button on an ARS device. This is important, because physical movement improves learning. Some techniques include participant interaction, which also improves learning…”

Worthwhile read if your event includes participatory voting, or if you want to be prepared for an unexpected call for voting at an event. The low-tech solutions cost less and are less likely to disrupt your event.

25 Ways Speakers Can Help Promote Your Events Before, During, and After

25 speaker promo tips

Have speakers help promote events

A speaker is responsible for more than just being fabulous at your event. As busy meeting professionals you can—and should—expect more from your speakers. There are many zero-budget ways speakers can add value to your next event…Before the event, ask your speakers to:

1. Add the event details and a link to your event’s agenda on their website…

3. Promote your event on their social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TripIt…

7. Include information about your event in their blog posts, including a profile of the event with links to registration.

8. Post regular status updates on Facebook, including a link for more information…

16. Request that their publicists or social media teams create press releases and social media posts to share with contacts…

20. Be available to speak with and record videos for press during the event…

23. Blog about the success of your event, and publish the post to their site and social media platforms.

24. Create a video that summarizes the event, along with a few points from their keynote, that you can share in followup marketing activities…

The list of possible promotional activities is endless; use your imagination! And next time you book your speaker, include this question: “How can you help us promote this event?”…”

Depending on who the speakers, participants or attendees are, having them do some or all of these 25 promotional items could give a big boost to your next event!

How to Plan for Attendees with Special Diets

healthy food 2Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Nut Allergy… it seems everyone has a special dietary requirement these days!…It seems more and more often our attendees are speaking up about their dietary needs and restrictions. Food allergies are becoming increasingly common, guests are becoming more health conscious and standing strong in their religious or personal beliefs on how food should be prepared. This can become a major headache for eventprofs trying to plan a menu for a large group of attendees…

When you are hosting an event the customer service you provide will have a significant impact on your attendees. Long after the food is served and the party favors are forgotten, your guests will always remember how your event made them feel…Sometimes we see dietary choices as a personal option but most of the time they are very important and should be taken seriously. Dietary restrictions should not be taken lightly everyone should know that they can pose a safety hazard if someone is served the wrong ingredient.

What are some of the special diets you might encounter? Nut Free…Gluten and Wheat Free…Paleo…Kosher…Halal…Lacto-ovo-vegetarians…Lacto-vegetarians…Ovo-vegetarians…Pescatarian…Vegan…Other Considerations…Pregnancy…Drinks…”

This article did quite a thorough job of listing different types of special diets. Pescatarian?? Enough to make a person’s head spin when you think about trying to accommodate everyone’s diet need or preference. Once upon a time, events served the same meal to everyone, and if your dietary situation meant you couldn’t or didn’t want to eat it, you were out of luck.

How Audio Tones Are Changing Event Communication

LisnrThe ability for planners and hosts to communicate with guests is a vital part of all sorts of event, from conventions and trade shows to music festivals and fund-raisers. And in recent years, new technology coupled with the ubiquity of connected devices has created a variety of ways to send notifications and offers right into the hands of event guests, as solutions such as N.F.C., iBeacons, and Bluetooth become more common. Now another option is gaining traction. In the past year Lisnr’s “Smart Tones” technology has been used at events such as Budweiser’s Made in America festival, the Grammy awards…

Lisnr’s Smart Tones can be added to existing media—for example music playing during an opening ceremony—or transmitted on their own. Unlike other communication options that may require hardware such as transmitters, wristbands, or scanners, the tones can be played over the speakers already being used at the event. To recognize the tones, guests must be using an app that has the Lisnr API embedded in it, and then they have to enable the microphone on their device…“We have the ability to push data through the tone itself. That means I don’t have to be connected to the Internet. I don’t have to have Bluetooth turned on or G.P.S. or location services on. I don’t even have to have cellular service,” says Lisnr co-founder Chris Ostoich…”

As a tech enthusiast, I find the Lisnr’s Smart Tones an intriguing new tool for events. I’m not sure how I’d want to use it at an event, but it would be fun to experiment with it. However, as an events wrangler, I wouldn’t want to be the one trying to get event goers to install the app, turn on their microphone, then shut down the app. Too much work for them. For now it would have to be a compelling use case to be worth trying this as a valuable component of an event.

*****

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