“Technology is so much fun but the fog of information can drive out knowledge.”

Which of the following would you be most happy to receive as feedback after an event?

"The technology was brilliant, asking a question was so much easier and it was fun to participate in the voting."
"There were so many things going on -
I'm not sure where to begin!"
"Today has really inspired me, and the collaboration really helped me understand the vision for the future."
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"The technology was brilliant, asking a question was so much easier and it was fun to participate in the voting."
"There were so many things going on - I'm not sure where to begin!"
"Today has really inspired me, and the collaboration really helped me understand the vision for the future."
Previous
Next

The title is actually a quote from Daniel Boorstin regarding the computerisation of libraries is from the New York Times in July 1983. Over 35 years later, it is probably even more relevant now than it was then.

The demand by attendees to be active participants during events has led to an increase in the use of technology. And when integrated well, technology can have an incredibly positive impact on the outcome of the event and the experiences of the attendees. However, there are also many pitfalls along the way that can have the opposite effect.

Just as Dr Boorstin said, ‘technology is so much fun’, and we are so curious! If you give us something we can ‘play’ with, we will! This is where a careful balance has to be found between incorporating technology into what you are doing to enhance engagement but not detract from what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes less is more.

The key message from this article is this – always remain focused on the objectives of the event. For those of you that know us well, you will be all too familiar with us asking you about the event objectives! These are the reasons you are having the event in the first place and its success should be judged against these objectives alone.

This means that whatever technology you decide to incorporate needs to add value and enhance the outcomes. It will need to adapt and fit with the event and not the other way around.

It is easy to get carried away with technology as there are so many options and features available to provide information. But this ‘fog of information’, as the quote states, ‘can drive out knowledge’.

Technology can give us a vast amount of information at the push of a button.

But can we get lost in the data? And do we run the risk of information overload?

Information overload for attendees is a concern and you should ensure that only the information needed is incorporated within the technology used. If there is too much information, attendee engagement will reduce as they will either be paying more attention to the technology than the speakers themselves, or not bothering to utilise the technology at all. Remember, you want interaction, not distraction…

This is why it is beneficial to select your technology partner early in the process and work with them to find the best solution for your event. Make sure that they listen to your needs and truly understand what outcomes you are trying to achieve. Ask them for recommendations and see if their suggestions fit with the event objectives. This will help you determine whether they will be best placed to help you meet, and hopefully exceed, these objectives.

At the beginning of this article were three pieces of feedback and we asked which one you thought the best.

  • “The technology was brilliant, asking a question was so much easier and it was fun to participate in the voting.”
  • “There were so many things going on – I’m not sure where to begin!”
  • “Today has really inspired me, and the collaboration really helped me understand the vision for the future.”
We hope you agree with us in choosing the last one, as this shows that the technology really helped in the process and didn’t distract from the meeting objectives. The focus remained on the messages and not the medium and were presented in a clear and comprehensible way.

 

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