We live in a multi sensory environment but many of our events are still one dimensional. Too many events focus all of their efforts on what’s happening on stage and forget about the increasingly important role of the second screen. The second screen is there, in the hands of the majority of your attendees so we suggest making the most of it!
The second screen is vital in supporting your event so here’s why it is crucial that you develop a second screen strategy at your event to make sure you engage with that interloper in our events: the second screen.
Developing a second screen strategy at your event
So firstly we need to deal with the situation on the ground: as it actually is at this moment in time. The idea that any attendee just sits staring at the large screen or the people on stage is a thing of the past. Now with the rich feed that is available through our second screen – be that our smart phones or tablets – we have so much to see. Just looking at the stage is like just looking at the upper bodies of Irish dancers mastering the “River Dance”: you are missing out on all the other action!
Engage with the second screen or face dis-engagement from your audience
I remember the edition of the BBC’s Question Time when the formidable presenter David Dimblebay first uncomfortably announced the #BBCQT “hashtag” to the TV audience. He was like a Victorian School Master who had been asked to Rap; he had no idea of what even the word “hashtag” meant! Watch QT now and you’ll see David announcing how many tweets and whether or not the hashtag trended the previous week. What a turn around!
Continuing the very relevant TV example (as Question Time is nothing if not a Hybrid Event) I want to make the point that the BBC decided not to have tweets appear or roll across the TV screen – what was the point they must have thought – let those who want to have a second screen have one! I have always agreed with the stance and that’s why I’ve never had a twitter wall at any of my events: if you want to read Tweets, then, read Tweets.
If you don’t use the second screen you are doing your attendees a mis service
Without engaging in the use of a second screen there are many things your attendees, and you as an organiser, simply can’t do. The second screen opens up another layer to your event. Perhaps for most event planners the use of the second screen is best demonstrated by the now almost ubiquitous Mobile Event App.
These apps allows:
– us to communicate directly with attendees and we can do that in a personal way that is impossible in any other traditional medium used by organisers to communicate with their audience
– our attendees to communicate with the organisers, speakers, exhibitors, each other and their wider networks through a multitude of apps
The second screen as the vehicle for a whole host of event apps (not just your official event app) is adding a lot to the visuals of our events: it’s like the Riverdancers adding “Jazz Hands”
Our events are becoming more and more reliant on event technology and we must embrace that technology. So learn to love the second screen and make sure you are developing a second screen strategy at your next event. And of course the best way to stay on top of all the developments in event technology is to get yourself along to Tech Fest 2015 – Hey! Good Looking
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