Home/interaction ideas/Google Waves Hello to Events

Google Waves Hello to Events

Sunday evening, Twitter was buzzing about Google Wave being used at the recent EComm Conference in Amsterdam. The Fresh Networks Blog did a nice job of recapping the power of Google Wave in Google Wave vs. Twitter at Conferences.

To me, this event demonstrated how you can tap into the energy and brainpower of the attendees to share, communicate and collaborate at events.

Here are some of the ways that the attendees used Google Wave at the EComm Conference:

  • Send messages
  • Share notes
  • Build group summaries of the sessions.
  • Provide feedback on sessions, etc.

If you are new to Google Wave – I suggest that you watch this simple video that explains the concept:


Mass Collaboration At Events

The thing that caught my attention was the use of Google Wave for mass collaboration at an event. It almost seemed like wikis+twitter on steroids. It made me consider the following scenario:

What if you brainstormed a bunch of ideas in a plenary session through Google Wave and prioritized them on the spot. Then, you could assign one or two topics to each break-out session. Ask the teams to expand on the ideas and make recommendations for next steps.

It they used Google Wave, they could end up with a summary document and action plan. In this scenario, you would avoid the flip charts, the massive amounts of handwritten notes, the situation where notes were left in the conference room, etc. Everything would already be “digitized” and ready-to-share. So, when attendees return to the office, they can maintain the momentum of the event and start making change happen.

Sounds like a good idea to me. What about you?

(Note: I know that some of you already do something similar with other technology solutions.)

A Word of Caution

Before we get too excited we probably need to keep the following four things in mind:

  1. Google Wave is still on a limited release.
  2. Wifi access/connectivity in many venues is still questionable.
  3. If you have a room full of laptops, netbooks, etc – then you need to provide power strips and tables.
  4. We still need to learn more about using the tool and how to best apply it for collaboration.

Bottom Line

I think Google Wave has demonstrated that it can be a powerful accessory to engage the audience, create interaction and enhance collaboration at events.  Once it rolls out, it may be something to consider for your events.

What do you think? Do you want your attendees doing the wave and engaging in mass collaboration?

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.