Poken, SpotMe, IML,…: Just gadgets or useful interaction devices for events?

I have been writing a lot about event apps on my blog, but obviously they are not the only technical aids that a conference planner can consider for their event.

There is a plethora of devices out there that can be used to interact with the audience at an event, to allow interaction and networking between the delegates, voting, polling, and a lot more functions.

Having used some of them at different events, I was asking myself what are the benefits of using audience response systems at a conference? Nowadays, a lot of people carry their smartphone or tablet computer at an event, and many organizers offer dedicated event apps for their conference or trade shows.

So, what is the point of having yet another device when you can use your shiny and expensive app for that? Or maybe completely different tools, like the old-school show of hands, red/green voting cards?

When I started writing this post, I soon became aware that a blog post is maybe not the right format to shed light on all the different aspects what technical tools can or cannot do for your event. So I decided to start a Wikimap, listing

  • the different areas of implementation
  • the pros and cons
  • and an overview of the vendors that offer technical devices and software for your meetings.

A Wikimap is published on the web, and it is editable by everyone (you need a free Mindmeister account to do that), it can be shared, embedded and appears on search results.

Feel free to click on the map below to view, contribute and comment on this overview of audience response systems. Look forward to your comments!

The Meeting Support Institute and the Project Meeting Architecture are dedicated to turn good meetings into great ones, by exploring ways to improve the learning, networking and motivational aspects of meetings. Technical devices and event technology are part of their research, but it goes way beyond that. I can fully recommend the work of this project group.

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