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The Growing Importance of Interactivity in the Digital Space

The Growing Importance of Interactivity in the Digital Space

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Interactivity is a major influence on the events industry, providing unique benefits to attendees and organizers alike. Visitors gain a new dimension of connection by engaging with touch screens and interactive projections. Social media allows visitors to more directly participate in events without the disruption that can easily come with more verbal expressions, especially during structured events like speeches and panels.

These are new elements of attending a conference that are both unique and exciting for many. Meanwhile, organizers can capture a variety of additional data dimensions. That means learning more about attendees, both to develop more effective outreach strategies and to provide the audience with a more active and attractive experience. There are plenty of technologies and methods available to creative producers. Let’s review some examples and how they can benefit the presentation and execution of an event:

“Interactivity is a major influence on the events industry.”

Touch screen monitors and LED screens

The technology behind touch screen monitors and LED screens are significantly different in terms of technical execution, but they offer a similar experience to attendees. Direct physical interaction with screens is already familiar to the vast majority, thanks to mobile devices. That’s a major benefit to creative producers, as they don’t need to worry about teaching visitors how to interact with a new system. Instead, they can safely assume a significant majority already understand the basics of such interaction. Instead, producers can focus on developing enticing and engaging displays with connections to the convention’s theme and the intent of the organizations involved.

Digital Interactivity

One example of creating a strong, relevant connection between an event and the touch screens deployed at it comes from the Daytime Emmy Awards. A series of screens set up at a pre-show cocktail party gave guests access to extended clips of the nominated programs, as audiovisual industry association InfoComm pointed out. Engaging attendees by letting them review the shows up for awards later that night keeps them focused on the event in an entertaining and relevant way, while also sharing valuable information.

Of course, this is just one of many strategies for using touch screens in the events space. Beyond use with attendees at large, they can also be used on stage by presenters in appropriate contexts – such as highlighting questions gathered on social media during a Q&A session.

There are more applications to consider when it comes to social media as well. Mashable highlighted social media as a tool to direct and highlight certain areas of an event. Producers can use a prize – even a small one – placed in a specific location and share a photo of it on social media. Attendees will flock to the area – one chosen by event organizers for its location near or inside an important facet of the conference – looking for the reward. Effective social media utilization is, of course, also an opportunity to gather further information about guests. This also plays into the concept of gamification, an important element to engage attendees.

“Social networks are an advantage to conferences and events.”

Social media and interactivity

Social networks are an advantage to conferences because they allow for effective communication during presentations and panel discussions – even though they can also distract attendees. Along with gathering questions and comments from social media, there are other applications as well. Mashable discussed how South by Southwest utilizes social media to select panelists for discussion groups. One notable statistic for such a large conglomeration of conferences and events is roughly 30 percent of all panelists are selected in this way, giving the audience significant power through this form of interactivity.

Interactive projection

Interactive projection is a new technology emerging that can create unique experiences for visitors, allowing them to physically interact with projections. The novelty of the remarkable visual effects involved in interactive projection are attractive on their own, but there’s more to the technology than just catching the eye of attendees. They create a level of engagement that’s not possible through a variety of other means, making the people interacting with the projections part of the action and encouraging follow-up conversations about both the technology itself and the product or service it’s tied to. Visual displays, games – in this case, an application of gamification to an already interactive technology – and social uses to bring attendees together are all possible, meaning once this tech becomes more widely available it will be a versatile one.

Bringing it all together

The array of interactive technologies available to event producers would be almost unthinkable a generation ago. Judicious use of technology – not only for its own sake or without a clear plan – is an important factor to consider. However, as long as producers determine the intent and purpose of each element of interactivity when planning an event, they can connect more strongly with attendees and craft a more immersive experience.

 

 

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