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What if You Could Google the Minds of Your Attendees

What if you could ask 500 attendees a question and receive relevant, prioritized responses in a matter of seconds? Just like on Google.

What would you ask?

Would you ask attendees your most pressing questions? Would you ask them for ideas? Would you ask them to help you prioritize objectives? Would you ask them to help you solve problems? Would you show them your vision for the future and ask them to poke holes in it? Would you ask them to help you make decisions? Would you ask them what they learned? Would you ask them to calculate ROI?

@samueljsmith twitter follwers

How would it work?

I see it working like this: You give attendees a problem, then in a mili-second they give you thousands of relevant, categorized and useful responses. Sometimes this will be based on life experiences. Other times it could be from company knowledge.

We can get a similar result when we use group collaboration technology and large group methods at meetings. You present a question, situation or problem to the audience. They reflect on it for a few moments and discuss in small groups. Then attendees enter their ideas, comments or opinions into a computer or mobile device. In some cases, a small group may categorize the responses. In other cases, the audience will do this step, too. Then,  the audience will rank and prioritize the categorized results. At the end, there is a massive list of useful ideas (or whatever you are seeking) that is categorized and prioritized.

A Word of Caution

Being able to google your attendees will not mean that you get perfect results. I imagine that you would still have some of the same challenges that you face with the Google search engine today:

  1. You may still need to be wary of advertisements that are disguised as meaningful results.
  2. You may still have to ask the same question several different ways to get the best results.
  3. You will still need to learn which keywords trigger the best results and which don’t.

Bottom Line

If you could google the minds of your attendees would you do it?  What would you ask?  How would attendees be able to help you that are unimaginable today?

Image Credit: Samuel J. Smith & profile pictures of his Twitter followers

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.