Second-Screen Engagement at Conferences Invites Participation

With people being very busy and attention is power, with every extra lead a promoter gains making all the difference, conferences and seminars are always looking for new and exciting ways to keep hold of their audiences. 

Second-screen technology, particularly within the conference market, is a ground breaking tool that has emerged to enable what was once just a passive audience now participate in the event. There is a very good account of what the experience is like from an actual attendee highlight the transformational effect of introducing second-screen engagement though conference apps. This articles covers the many benefits of this technology and how it changes the way people interact with an audience and, subsequently, how they learn.

a close-up of an individual attendee engaging with a second screen at a conference

Benefits of second-screen engagement

There are several advantages that come from second-screen engagement. The first major advantage is that a two-way interaction is possible between the speaker and the audience. What differentiates conferences from classrooms is the interaction between the speaker and the audience. The traditional conferences are set up as a monologue where the speaker delivers his piece in front of the audience. The attendants, therefore, act as the receiver of this piece. This kind of learning about lack of interactive the audience only receives what is being offered thus make the learning passive. However, the second-screen kills this passivity by enabling the audience to interact with the presentation in real time. This is especially possible with features such live polls, questions and answers sessions, quizzes and importantly the availability of course materials.

Conferences utilizing second-screen technology report a 30-50% increase in audience participation rates. Interactive elements like polls, Q&A sessions, and quizzes significantly contribute to this boost, as they encourage attendees to engage actively with the content being presented.

Another added benefit to second screen technology is the personalized experience it can create. Since everyone learns in a different way, second screens offer an excellent opportunity to cater to all of the conference attendees’ learning preferences. Having a conference app enables participants to access additional resources, go further in depth on certain topics, and control the speed at which they learn; thus, allowing each participant to create their own experience at the conference fit for their unique and individual needs, making sure the topics being discussed are applicable to their daily lives.

Immediate Feedback and Analytics

The immediate feedback loop created by second-screen engagement is invaluable for both speakers and organizers.  Speakers get real-time insights into how well their audience is understanding and following along with their presentation, and can accordingly adapt their delivery and content on the fly.  Organizers, on the other hand, get a wealth of data from the interactions (poll responses, question themes, engagement levels) that highlights audience behavior and preferences, all of which can be used to make continual improvements to the event next time round.

Another way second-screen technology can be beneficial and useful is how that it can be used to build a community and network with others who are participating in the same conference. Often times conference apps will have features that allow you to connect with other people who are at the same conference who maybe you have never seen or met before, this could lead to make better connection with people to work with or just someone to bounce ideas off of in the future.

Example of second screen engagement at a conference

In an era where hybrid and virtual events are becoming the norm, second-screen engagement breaks down the constraints of physical space. Remotely attending participants experience the event just as those in the audience do— breaking down the barriers of distance, and extending the conference reach—providing insightful knowledge and networking opportunities for many who would otherwise be excluded.

Predictions for Second-Screen Technology Moving Forward

  1. Integration of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): The future of second-screen technology at conferences will likely see a deeper integration with AR and VR. This evolution will transform the attendee experience from simple screen interaction to immersive environments, allowing for even more engaging and impactful presentations.

  2. Artificial Intelligence-Powered Personalization: As AI technology continues to advance, second-screen applications will become increasingly adept at offering personalized content and recommendations to attendees based on their behavior, preferences, and engagement levels. This shift will make conferences more tailored to individual learning and networking needs, significantly enhancing the value and effectiveness of the event for each participant.

The advent of second-screen engagement at conferences, a way for attendees to interact with sessions and presenters through their mobile devices, represents a dramatic shift in how knowledge is shared and consumed at professional gatherings. When placed in the hands of attendees, ubiquitous mobile technologies transform participants from passive listeners into engaged learners. Introduced at high-profile events like SxSW, more and more conference-goers have come to expect presenters to implement audience-response systems, mobile-friendly web applications, and more recently, second-screen tools – all which allow speakers to gauge, and respond to, their crowd’s questions and interests. The adoption of second-screen engagement tools will likely continue to rise as more and more conference organizers recognize the need to keep the focus of their events on learning and networking in the digital age.

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