How delegate interaction devices are used at conference and live events

Mercian Events explains how delegate interaction devices, such as iPads, are now used at conferences and other live events

iPad Event Solutions Overview

It is only to be expected with such an innovative, flexible and highly popular item as the Apple iPad, which has now established itself in both the commercial and domestic markets that we are constantly asked how this amazing piece of kit can be used at a conference. All too frequently delegates at a conference sit and listen rather than participate in a constructive way. By using an iPad intelligently there are plenty of ways that delegates can be involved, thus enhancing the many benefit gain from bring people together and justifying the costs involved.

In order to assist our clients understanding of how iPads can be used we have prepared the following summary of its possible uses.
Proven Track Record

A nimble approach and customisation are key elements to our solution’s success. Our approach is to fully understand the purpose and messaging of an event and build a solution that reinforces this.

Using technology for technologies sake is not our approach. We have testimonials and references are available on request.

Types of Implementation
Our iPad event solutions are used in a variety of meeting formats such as each delegate receives an individual iPads to a cabaret style format where the iPad is shared amongst delegates. Our solution takes both formats into consideration and we work with our client to plan the various types of interaction and identify how this technology can add value to the meeting.

Stream Microsoft PowerPoint
PowerPoint can be streamed live to delegate iPads, this is very useful where detailed information is contained within slides, to aid viewing, and to engage delegates to the contents. The system also has the ability to stream other Microsoft Office documents live. There is also the added ability to stream PowerPoint in different languages simultaneously.
ipadsView previously presented PowerPoints
The default option and an alternative to streaming enables delegates to view presented PowerPoint only after each live presentation has finished. The ability to enable access can be controlled throughout the day. The benefit of this approach is that it helps keep the delegates engaged with the speaker and stage.

Ask a Question
From each iPad this function gives each delegate the option to ask questions either throughout the day or specifically during a Q&A session. Questions can be general or addressed to a specific topic or speaker.

Post a Comment
From each iPad delegates are able to post comments throughout the day. This is a great mechanism to get instant feedback and suggestions from the delegation.

, How delegate interaction devices are used at conference and live events

Interactive Voting
Keep a conference energised and gain useful insight with Interactive voting and polling. Options include multiple choice and 1-10 rating. iPad voting is a superior offering to traditional handset solutions.

Voting results
As voting takes place the results are dynamically displayed onto each iPad and can also be displayed onto the main event screen.

View Agenda
The event schedule will be available throughout the day via the iPads.

View Table Plan
Where do I sit? Delegates will be able to see where their table is.

Note taking
Delegates will have the ability to take notes during the event. Post event these notes are then given to the client to forward to the delegate alongside any other relevant material.

Desktop Branding
The iPad’s desktop is changed to reflex the theme of the conference. We will incorporate the client’s logo or event logo into the iPad’s eco system.

Icon Branding
As with desktop branding all solution icons are changed to reflect event branding. Delegates will certainly know that the iPad belongs to the event.

External Branding
Additional branding can be affixed to the back of the iPad for a custom finish. This can be used to reinforce corporate messaging and with this added space sponsors could also be included.

Event Material
Other events material can be included within the iPad solution such as sales hand outs, case studies, promotional videos etc. This can be integrated into breakout sessions for example.

Speaker biographies and photo can be included onto the solution.

Pre & Post Event Questionnaire & Feedback
The iPad is a fantastic way to capture information both pre and post event. As part of our solution we can help build a questionnaire to gauge opinion and solicit permissions.

Extended Event Eco-System
An extended easy to use navigation system can also be created for additional event material with client branding.

Comments Wall
Delegates throughout the day can post comments. Our system enables those comments to feed into a twitter style wall which can be displayed on the main event screen or dedicated LED/Plasma screens

Question Wall
Delegates are often encouraged to ask questions throughout the day. Our system enables those questions to feed onto a delegated question wall which can be displayed during Q&A sessions.

All posted questions and comments can be moderated by the client.

Wi Fi Setup
The iPads are connected to the solution via a dedicated wireless network. Our engineers create a network that will support its usage. An onsite audit ensures that the configuration will not be affected by other Wi Fi networks deployed.

Load Tested
Our solution has been load tested to give our clients the peace of mind that their event is run on a robust system. Every change made in development is then load tested to ensure continuous quality of service.

Onsite Support
Full onsite support is provided. We work directly with the client and wider events team to ensure we are familiarised with the running order both front of house and technically.

Project Management
All solutions begin with project management. This ensures a rich exchange of information, sound board suggestions, and crucially de-risking the event by asking and probing all possibilities to ensure a seamless and successful conference.

Onsite support and our nimble solution enable our clients to request some changes before and during an event. This is usually minimised due to robust project management.

Offline Solution
This solution does not require an internet connection in order to function. Everything is stored locally on the event solution server. This ensures confidentially, compliance and brand security. Internet connections can be unreliable and thus our solution mitigates this risk.

Chairman Chat
Communicating to front of house during an event usually involves using radio mics however utilising this iPad solution enables robust communication combined with content.

We work alongside our clients to incorporate competition where applicable such as a tally of most questions asked.

Breakout Planning
Through our consultative approach we work alongside our clients to create engaging breakout sessions and where appropriate the iPads are used.

After each event we feedback to the client all the comments made, the questions asked and the results from any voting sessions.

QR Code Reader App
The iPads can include a QR code reader which can be used to link to specific messages to reinforce the message during breakouts for instance.

Airplay & Clicker Use
We can incorporate airplay to enable presenters to directly send imaged PowerPoint slides onto a screen. Although this isn’t usually used for the main event, it’s often been deployed by sales promoters or breakout sessions for micro-presentations. An iPad can also be used as a PowerPoint clicker / advancer should a presenter wish to have an iPad on stage.

iPad Floor Stands & Accessories
Although the majority of deployed iPads will be with delegates we can also include a number of accessories such as iPad floor stands. This can be used for delegate registration / check-in or for the display of event material, feedback and questionnaires.

iPad Collage Wall
iPads can be assembled together before or event an event to form a collage which reinforces the event message.

Minimum Disruption
Keyboard clicks, camera audio and other settings are muted for minimum disruption during the event.

Photo and Video Capture
The iPads have a built in camera which can be used by delegates to take photos and videos throughout the day. This can then be uploaded onto our server for use during or post event.

Rich App Integration
As part of an overall event solution it will be possible to enable delegates to use iPad Apps and the internet during the non-formal element of an event such as during the evening and weekend social time. This could include online newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. This falls outside of the formal element of a conference solution but is a consideration.

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, How delegate interaction devices are used at conference and live events
, How delegate interaction devices are used at conference and live events