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Going to TV for a Fresh Perspective

Why Television?

We all know that TV is a passive form of entertainment. People sit on the couch and watch others do things on a screen. In fact, people that watch TV all the time are called couch potatoes.

I think a similar phenomenon occurs at most meetings and conferences. Participants sit passively and listen to the speaker talk.  Except, the whole experience takes place on the 21st century’s version of a medieval torture device — the standard-issue-conference-chair.

How is Television Evolving?

TV is taking steps to become more social and interactive. I don’t mean interactive in the sense of “American Idol” or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” I mean interactive in a way that they engage YOU in the event of watching a particular show at a particular time with various social and collaborative activities.

In the video below, Kevin Slavin talks about creating interactive games that “pushed you back out into the world and changed the ways you experience it.” Then, he shows several examples of how this is being done today.  The video takes about 27 minutes to watch. It is worth watching.


What Does this Mean For Events?

These TV programs are bringing together millions of people to create community, be social and interact in a fun way – digitally.  As these interactive digital experiences become part of regular life, participants will demand similar experiences from meetings, conferences and events. I am sure some clients will say – If it can be done for millions, how hard can it be to do the same for 1000 at an event?

So, you keep your eye on the digital tools that are available to you. While you may not be using everything available to you today, in a few years that story will be quite different.

What do you think?

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is the Managing Director of Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC. He wakes up every morning to save the world from stuffing attendees in chairs for hours on end at events. Oh, and he has small children who usually want some breakfast.