Financial and insurance firms were among the first companies to go digital. The entire banking and investment industry has been remade with digital at its core. Following suit, financial services has been leading the way to digital face-to-face meetings and conferences. It is now common place to see meetings using iPad technology to generate buzz and excitement. But what happens when the "wow" of an iPad in the hands of every participant wears off? There is more to second screen success than the “shiny object syndrome.”
Three Stages of Digital Transformation
Every technology transition goes through three stages: inception, exploration and transformation.
During the inception of the internet, most developers took old media and put it into this new framework. In the 1990’s, the worldwide web didn’t do much more than display information. In the early 2000’s, more innovative companies began exploring ways to use the internet for commerce, multi-media, video and applications of every kind. By 2010, the internet was completely transformed and became the primary place for apps, software-as-a-service, all media and global commerce.
Digital Transformation Meets Live Meetings
We are now experiencing the same evolution with digital meetings. The first stage of audience engagement technology was primarily informational, mirroring slides from old projection technology and pushing them to individual iPads. The current stage includes exploration with polling, sentiment, gamification, simulations, transactions and all media. Because internet and mobile technology adoption paved the way, the complete transformation of digital meetings is fast approaching.
Digital leaders are already making full use of audience engagement technology and changing the way we do live meetings. It is from these leaders that we glean the “5 Secrets to Success” with second screen technology.
1. Understand your audience.
“Know thy customer” is at the forefront of event success. The degree to which you understand your audience will single-handedly determine the fate of your meeting. The more you know, the more you will succeed with your digital strategy. If you have an audience full of millennials, expect them to jump in and use the technology without coaxing. An iPad for slide sharing will not be enough to satisfy their digital curiosity. If you have an older audience, you may need more instruction or reminders to get them to fully engage, save slides, take notes, or ask questions.
Think of the iPad as an extension of your digital strategy to live meetings. To get stakeholder buy-in for your digital meetings, use your second screen technology to move beyond what you know about your audience to what you can learn about them. Ask your sales and marketing team to identify the top ten demographic or psychographic questions you should have participants answer during meetings. Based on recent event data, a participant seated in a session is 10X more likely to answer your questions, than when they are walking around with a mobile app.
2. Keep your audience energized and engaged.
We already know that continuous PowerPoint slides will put your audience to sleep faster than Ambien. Utilize the flexibility of live meeting engagement technology to provide a variety of interactive experiences for participants. Surveys and polling are a good start, but even multiple-choice questions can become monotonous after a while. Mix up your polling types to include open text, ranking, rating and matrix questions.
To wake up the creative side of your audience’s brain, introduce gaming and simulations. What finance professional doesn’t like healthy competition? Start by projecting a leader board for engagement, then move to games like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy. Some financial meeting planners are also using simulations to demonstrate stress testing and visualize historical performance data. Ultimately, you can utilize more active engagement to identify investment preferences and risk profiles for your audience.
3. Measure knowledge and sentiment all throughout the meeting or conference.
If members of your audience are going to do business with you, they need to understand and believe in your products. Pre-testing and post-testing will help you know if participants caught the most critical and most compelling aspects of your financial products.
To deepen your insight, ask questions about confidence levels; framed like the examples below:
- How confident are you in your understanding of Product A?
- How confident in your ability to explain Product A to your clients?
- How confident are you in the viability of Product A?
Audience sentiment is best captured using emoticons that pop up in the corner of the technology interface, without interrupting the live presentation. Every decision is an emotional decision. Understanding how the audience feels about your products can eventually become an indicator of purchase intent once you have a significant amount of data.
4. Use your meeting to capture valuable insight on every aspect about your meeting.
The intelligence captured by meeting engagement technology is more valuable than the technology itself. For senior executive meetings or industry round tables, voting remains a top use case. In addition, consider the value of capturing conversations, ideas, sentiment and perspectives from any gathering of high-value participants.
For a sales meeting, measuring knowledge transfer and retention will have a direct impact on your team’s ability to recommend and sell products. A well-educated sales force will be a well-motivated sales force.
For customer-facing meetings, the most important clicks, comments and demographics can be immediately loaded into your CRM system and be available to the marketing and sales teams during or immediately after the event. A well-equipped sales force will be a highly-performing sales force.
For the financial or insurance meeting organizations, evaluate everything and evaluate consistently across all of your meetings. Over time, you will see trends across your full meeting portfolio. Ultimately, you will identify data-driven best practices and leverage points to increase the overall effectiveness of your meetings.
5. Become a storyteller and an artisan.
Audience engagement will transform the meeting experience. Data and analytics will transform your business. But data in a spreadsheet or table rarely transforms anything. As event professionals, you don’t need to become a data scientist to understand the data. All you need is a picture and a story.
Beyond the bar chart, modern visualization makes information more understandable to meeting professionals and event stakeholders. For example, the “Engagement to Deals Closed” chart below shows a comparison of six meetings. The visualization shows how audience engagement can drive an increase in revenue.
A picture of is worth a thousand words, but there is more to the story than a picture. Communicating new discoveries in data requires some storytelling skills.
To make sense of this example (left), you would need to do some investigative work to find out what happened in Meeting #1 compared to Meeting #4. The story emerges as you dig into the details of each meeting and interview the meeting planners responsible for each event. When you understand the context, then you can tell the story behind the visual.
Check out the visualization below and think about evaluations across these four meetings. What trends do you see? What questions do you need to ask to better tell the story? What conversations might you have with event stakeholders?
Go Digital, Or Go Home
The iPads you rent are far more than a shiny object; they are the gateway to audience engagement and improved return on investment. Digital transformation has already changed the way finance and insurance companies do business and engage their clients. Why not be the one to bring the same transformation to your conference. Don’t think of meeting engagement technology as just a second screen; think of it as an extension of your digital strategy to live meetings.
Chief Analytics Officer