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Interaction doesn’t have to be complex

I was recently training a new member of staff on the benefits of interaction at company conferences. During one of our induction sessions they asked me a simple question,

“What is the single best use of interaction technology you’ve ever seen?

I imagine they expected me to come up with a multifaceted system we devised that tracked CPD points, involved gamification, demographic splits, microphone queueing and complex option ranking. While all of these have in the past led to tremendous amount of engagement my answer couldn’t have been further removed.

I once worked on a conference for one of the big four Australian banks. In the lead up to the event I repeatedly asked the client for content or questions and when nothing came through I asked if they needed me to suggest any ideas. “No” they said “just bring along the keypads.” I did as they asked and setup the technology with nothing prepared for the first session of the day. At 9 am the CEO got up on stage and said “I’ve prepared nothing; no slides, no videos, no motivational speeches. What I want you to do now is pick up your keypads and over the next 15 minutes type in any question you would never ask me face to face.”

I’ve never seen such an engaged audience; the idea that the CEO wanted to hear what they really thought and that they might get their question answered had every single person on the edge of their seat. And it wasn’t just the staff that benefitted. The CEO came to thank the crew at the end of the meeting and commented that he was blown away by the questions and comments that came through; honest, vitally important feedback that he noted he wouldn’t have been able to get any other way. 

Oliver Bampfield, Managing Director of Lumi Australia  

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