Audience Engagement: Strategies That Work – 1 of 3

Here’s a great article from one of my go-to resources for Live Events, Social tables. They focus on “Connecting the hospitality industry through effortless group management solutions that create successful face-to-face events.”

If you’re in the world of Live Events and Even Technology and haven’t visited this site, do yourself a favor and check it out today.

I’m going to break this article into a three-part series because the 15 steps are too much information to absorb in a single sitting. I found it easier to digest in chunks. Below is round one of three. Also, what’s below are excerpts from the actual article. If you want to experience the full paper, please head over to socialtables.com to read 15 Audience Engagement Strategies That Actually Work.

Introduction:

Audience engagement plays a significant role in the success of any event. Whether in-person or online, event organizers want attendees to pay attention and participate. In fact, more than 80% of marketing professionals believe that audience engagement is a key indicator of an event’s success. Expert event planners and organizers understand that choosing the right audience engagement strategies can make or break an event. 

1. Understand your audience.

Surprise, surprise: Getting to know event attendees is one of the most helpful audience engagement strategies event organizers can utilize. Having a thorough understanding of your audience — who they are and what they care about — can help event planners anticipate audience needs and create an event catered to their interests. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that attendees are excited about the event’s content, which can lead to increased engagement…

2. Determine which metrics you will use to measure engagement. 

Before an event, determine which audience engagement strategies you’ll employ and which metrics you’ll use to measure success. Put the proper measurement protocols and procedures in place ahead of time to accurately track audience engagement throughout the event. 

There are a variety of KPIs event planners can use to measure audience engagement before, during, and after an event. These include:

  • Live participation. Pay attention to how the audience is responding in real-time at in-person events. Planners can also use live chats or polling to measure engagement at in-person, virtual, or hybrid events. 
  • Audience retention. Track retention levels to see how many audience members attend virtual and hybrid events… Retention measures how long individuals are viewing your content or are active in your virtual event room. A sudden decline in audience retention could indicate that attendees disliked event content…

3. Incorporate the use of a mobile event app. 

Beneficial for both event planners and audience members, mobile apps can be used to streamline communication, provide valuable insights, and promote event engagement. Choose a mobile event app that allows organizers to easily communicate with event attendees quickly… Invite attendees to opt-in for push notifications to receive agenda updates, session reminders, parking alerts, or other pertinent information. 

4. Encourage attendees to “choose their own adventure!”

Customizable session paths give your audience the choice to attend the sessions they’re interested in and skip the ones they’re not. This event style can also help promote engagement by encouraging participants to choose event sessions and topics they’re passionate about and eliminating the fear of missing out on back-to-back events…

5. Choose the right speakers. 

Pacing, enunciation, tone, and cadence are just as important as substance, so look for confident and experienced speakers and presenters. Find a keynote speaker who is enthusiastic, charismatic, and credible. They should be viewed as reliable experts on the topic of discussion and should excel when interacting with a crowd…

7 Inexpensive Video Switchers For Streaming

Recently, a client asked me to review a few inexpensive portable video switcher solutions for live streaming. The requirements are under $1,000, easy to use, and standalone, meaning no additional equipment is necessary for features like video playback and generating graphics.

There are plenty of these solutions on the market, but I found this article from VideStream contains most of the information I need.

It’s packed with details about 7 systems that I wanted to share with my audience.

“Live streaming gives brands the power to connect with the masses. Studies have shown that more people actively engage with live video than most other content formats.”

“One of the best ways to improve the overall quality of your stream is with a video switcher. In this post, we’ll cover the best video switchers for live streaming and reveal why this simple tool is so important for live streaming success.”

More High Impact Displays For 2022

In part one we talked about the latest offerings from Planar, LG, and Séura. In part two of this series, we’ll continue our view of advancements in displays being released into the Luxury Residential market in 2022. Products include Samsung’s NEO QLED, Hisense Certified WiSA, and Sony Cognitive Intelligence TVs.


New 4K and 8K Displays From Samsung

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced new sizes for its Neo QLED 4K and Lifestyle TVs, as well as a new version of The Wall.

Samsung’s Neo QLED QN90A 4K display will now be available in new 43″, 50″, and 98″ sizes. These new screens join the existing lineup of 55″, 65″, 75″, and 85″ models. Samsung’s Lifestyle portfolio is also expanding with an 85″ model of The Frame and a 65″ Terrace Full Sun for outdoor. 

Samsung has further developed The Wall (IWA Series). Samsung says it’s “the industry’s first 8K resolution with a 120 Hz refresh rate and simple 8K playback.” The Wall can be configured to be over 1000 inches — or about a quarter of the length of a football field. That’s impressive!


Hisense Certified WiSA Ready

WiSA LLC has announced a global collaboration with TV brand Hisense. Their premier TV models have been certified WiSA Ready to connect to all WiSA USB transmitters and certified speakers to create immersive home cinema systems. Hisense joins LG, Skyworth, and Bang & Olufsen brands in integrating wireless technology into their product lines and launches.

“We are very excited to announce the WiSA Ready Certification of these amazing TVs from Hisense,” said Tony Ostrom, President of WiSA. “As the smart TV continues to solidify itself as the center of the home entertainment experience, it is critical for these multifunctional devices to own the front end of great audio performances. WiSA Ready TVs can be seamlessly connected to transmitters and speakers to create immersive sound with direct control from the TV. This is a huge step forward in simplifying the pursuit of bringing outstanding cinema quality entertainment into the home.”

Hisense is the fifth leading TV brand in the U.S. and the fastest-growing among the top five TV brands in the U.S. by units. Hisense is building on its products by bringing even more options to the market in 2021 for consumers to have a premium viewing experience.


Sony Cognitive Intelligence Displays

In 2021, Sony Electronics announced the new BRAVIA XR televisions, including MASTER Series Z9J 8K LED, MASTER Series A90J and A80J OLED, X95J, and X90J 4K LED. What it calls “the world’s first cognitive intelligence televisions.” 

Powered by the Cognitive Processor XR, the brain of the new BRAVIA XR use a completely new processing strategy designed to replicate the ways humans see and hear. Cognitive Processor XR, powered by cognitive intelligence, divides the screen into numerous zones and detects the “focal point” in the picture. The new processor can cross-analyze various elements at once, just as our brains do. By doing so, each component adjusts to its best outcome, in conjunction with each other, so everything is synchronized and lifelike — something conventional AI cannot achieve.

Cognitive Processor XR can also analyze sound position in the signal, so the sound matches precisely with what’s on the screen. In addition, it upconverts any sound to 3D surround sound. It learns, analyzes data, and intelligently optimizes the most lifelike picture and sound Sony has ever delivered.

High Impact Displays For 2022.

In this two-part series, we’ll go over advancements in displays being released into the Luxury Residential market in 2022. Products include 100″ 4K Direct-lit LED LCD to Cognitive Intelligence TVs, to budget-friendly yet WiSA certified models.


Planar Lifestyle Displays – 100-inch Model added in 2022

The Planar Luxe UltraRes X 100 is the latest in the Planar Lifestyle family. The Planar Luxe UltraRes X 100 features 700-nit brightness, a wide color gamut for HDR content, and advanced video processing capabilities.

Planar Luxe UltraRes X 100 installs simply with the ultra-thin Planar Profile Mounting System keeping the display close to the wall while remaining completely front-serviceable. In addition, picture-in-picture is available in dual, triple, or quad layouts using the built-in Planar MediaPlex Plus processing.

Planar Luxe UltraRes X 100 LCD displays include a three-year warranty and optional Planar Luxe UltraRes X 100 Service Plan, which includes on-site service performed by Planar’s Technical Services to add another level of assurance.


LG DVLED Wall-Sized Display Line

The LG DVLED Extreme Home Cinema uses 2 million to 33 million individual diodes (depending on resolution) to deliver high performance, exceptional brightness, wide viewing angles, and very high color, even in rooms with high ambient light. Direct-View LED technology is visibly different from “LED TVs.” Direct-View LED technology images to provide high contrast ratio and exceptional brightness.

LG Extreme Home Cinema offers seamless 16:9 displays in sizes from 81 inches to 325 inches diagonal, as well as video wall-style installations that deliver a seamless 32:9. A great solution for multiple video feeds such as live sports.

LG DVLED displays are only available through a new custom installation dealer program. Consumers cannot purchase the Extreme Home Cinema line at stores.

Installations include integrator training and customer support from an LG field engineer during installation, twice-yearly LG on-site “health checks”, LG integrator remotely monitoring, and a five-year limited warranty on every display.


Séura 2000-Nit Full-Sun Televisions

Séura Full Sun Series televisions with narrow bezels and a sleek profile provide a striking addition to outdoor home décor.
The Full Sun Series is built to bask in direct sunlight and is fully sealed to keep out rain, snow, ice, and dust. Designed with Extreme Temperature Protection, it automatically heats and cools for temperatures between –40 degrees F to 140 degrees F. Blackout and UV protection prevents the summer sun from frying the display. That’s impressive.
The Full Sun Series outdoor televisions are ready to connect and store your devices within the roomy, weather-tight media box. Including one of Séura’s front-facing weatherproof soundbars will nicely complement the system. Séura also includes a 2-year warranty.

End part 1. Come back for part two where we discuss Samsung NEO QLED, Hisense Certified WiSA, and Sony Cognitive Intelligence TVs.

Retail Is Blurring The Line Between Physical And Digital

When done right, the retail experience can be just as engaging as a well-done live event. Retailers are moving away from marketing posters and mannequins into the “phygital” arena.

Many merchants are now using large LED screens as part of the in-store experience, creating a “wow factor” that drives people into a store. They’re the equivalent of window displays of days past.

Along with AR technology, we’re talking shopping like we’ve never seen before.

As fascinating as the technology is, however, retailers should always remember that content is king. Thus, carefully considering how the content is going to be delivered, how it’s going to be produced, etc. for retail displays.

“You can’t create a customer experience on a website, at least, not the immersive customer experience you can create in a retail environment. And digital is the way to do it—posters don’t cut it.”

Bruce Wyrwitzke, director of sales, PPDS

Game Changer: LG Transparent Displays For Commercial Facilities

Many applications came to mind after reading this article about LG’s new Transparent OLED Displays on MyTechDecisions.com. Too many to list, but here are a few examples from LG.

LG Display unveiled its first proprietary Transparent OLED back in 2019. Since then the company’s Transparent displays have been used in mixed spaces outside the home such as malls, museums, and subways.

“According to a recent study by leading global consulting firm the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the global transparent OLED display market is predicted to expand continuously at a compound annual growth rate of 116% over this decade, reaching a total value of around $2.7 billion by 2025 and $10 billion by 2030.”

Those are big numbers!

IT leaders need to invest in platform-agnostic UC systems

I’ve been touting platform-agnostic systems since 2018. It seems Zachary Comeau at mytechdecisions.com feels the same way. Here’s a blurb from the full article.

Look for platform-agnostic systems

… Videoconferencing and collaboration markets are flooded with software from several providers like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Google Meet, Bluejeans, Slack, RingCentral and many more.

There have been calls for these companies to get along and provide more interoperability and integrations, but that has largely failed to materialize as the collaboration software industry suddenly became extremely lucrative and competitive.

According to collaboration industry experts, using multiple software vendors isn’t all that rare. Some companies use one app to communicate externally and another to communicate with their team. If organizations work in small teams, the software of choice can vary among groups.

“I don’t know about you, but my home system needs to be agnostic and open to the ability to be bouncing around from a Teams meeting to a Zoom meeting to a PowerPoint,” Corey says.

IT directors need to prepare for this as optimistic news about effective vaccines is getting people thinking about the return to the office.

“If you’re an IT director and planned to have a single platform in all of your offices and you have no concept of work-from-home in that platform, you’re in deep trouble,” Corey says. “At any given time, the agnostic part lets you ebb and flow with the business.”

Bridging the gap between shopping online and in-store at Beautycounter

Elizabeth Segran at Fast Company wrote a great article about why BEAUTYCOUNTER, the socially conscious cosmetic company, is live-streaming everything inside its new store.

“Outside the store on Abbot Kinney, there’s a large sign that lights up when a live recording is happening, much like an old-fashion radio studio. Inside, the front part of the store is traditional retail, but in the back, there’s a stage equipped with professional lighting and audio equipment. Throughout the day, Beautycounter’s employees will live-stream themselves on a platform called Bambuser, which will be broadcast on Beautycounter’s website. If a customer sees a product they like, they’ll be able to click to see the product page.”

This is brilliant. You can read the full article over at Fast Company.

Expert Tips Planning a Virtual Event on a Tight Timeline

Claire Hoffman at BizBash lays out tips on how to execute a virtual event on a tight deadline.

“Let’s face it: We don’t always have the time—or the budget—to build the virtual event of our dreams. But that’s no reason to throw in the towel! Here, event pros across the country discuss how to plan an effective virtual event on a tight time frame, sharing what’s most important (and what can be sacrificed), how to be honest with clients, turnkey technology that can help, and much more.”

Some items she goes into are…

  • Identify your event’s main goal. 
  • Find elements to cut.
  • Keep the tech simple.

Get all of the facts at BizBash.com.

Is this the future of Hybrid Meetings?

I love everything about this “technically comfortable” space. The audience and virtual attendees get to experience the event in a more relaxed, yet formal setting. This is how I envision post-COVID Hybrid Events going forward. Minus the masked staff, of course.

From MeetingNet.com.

“[Marriott Hotels] used an in-person format that it thinks can be a model for other hybrid meetings. The event showcased Marriott’s revised approaches to meeting-room and prefunction-area setups that maintain social distancing, products and staff behaviors that maintain cleanliness of surfaces throughout the spaces, and virtual-event technologies that bring in remote participants.”