Case Study: Effective Audience Engagement.

Whether you onboard new employees, consult with executives or plan thousand person conferences, effectively  engaging audiences is critical to job success; regardless of position or industry. With the help of 450 students from The University of Massachusetts, we've gathered 67 interviews and 150+ surveys to analyzed the results in the following case study.

5 minute read

WHY WE MEET

Humans are social animals. We need other people to learn, grow, and feel connected. There's a reason why the worst punishments we have is solitary confinement. If you want your people to perform as a team and not simply a group, it is critical to ensure the right kind of interactions happen and outcomes achieved.  Everyone remembers a meeting that felt like a total waste of time, along with one that felt productive, fulfilling and energizing. So what's the difference? From our research, we've found that the best meetings and events are : 

Action Oriented

Participants feel the topic relates to them, there's an immediate application and next steps are understood.

Influence Behaviour

People are inspired and a mindset shift occurs. Design an experience that evokes feelings and "learning" over "education".

Accomplish the Goal

Participants feel comfortable and welcomed, lasting relationships are reinforced, event was within budget and stress free.

Engage first, then educate.

Engagement was the top ranked priority for a meeting. Then comes education with the least important being entertainment.

There was a considerable amount of variability with these rankings. Education was least important for 24% of respondents with and a good report of the experience being the #1 priority for 21% of you. This demonstrates the importance of agreeing on objectives with other stakeholders early on. 

Getting clear on the intended outcome is the first step, and with this done you'll be better equipped to handle these common challenges. 

Challenges with audience engagement :

ATTENTION SPAM

Touching principally the younger generations. Fast minds seeking stimulation at any time and  often from a screens.

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT

Values, backgrounds and learning styles. All affect how someone absorbs your message.  What do you do with a diverse audience?

BREAKING DOWN WALLS

It's easy to interact with your friends, but innovation and insights rarely happen in these  "comfort groups".

INFO ➡️ KNOWLEDGE

With information everywhere, how can you get through to your audience so your words become more than just information?

A wild digital nomad appears

TOOLS THAT INSPIRE ACTION

We put all the tools you shared in a word cloud, to see what's popular.

Video + PowerPoint were the most used and are here to last, but what stood out from the other responses - many were verbs

With challenges involving attention and learning, it makes sense that activities like group discussion, asking questions and role playing were all being used.

If you want to lear more about the different audience engagement tools that your peers are using, we made a separate blog post with a more complete list for you.

IN CONCLUSION

Meetings and events are the most important element holding a team together. Humans evolved into the most successful animal the world has ever seen because of our ability to coordinate and collaborate with others. Connecting is in our nature, and meetings and events facilitate these connections when done right. But every meeting is different, so getting clear about the intended outcome before planning anything is critical, but some things like an agenda, bias towards action and engagement can elevate every interaction. 

Why did we collect this data?

We are curious, creative developers using tech to bring people together.

We are a resourceful, agile team and wanted to know if we were on the right track with the software we're building, which is why we teamed up with UMass students and build this case study.

If you're curious like we are, you can check out the video (on the right) and try out the platform for free. We also just opened up our early adopters program to 100 of you. 

The internet has changed the way we work and meet forever. Corporations are competing for the best talent by adapting flexible work schedules. Nowadays, there IS such thing as free lunch, and it's helping to get employees into the office, to stay and interact with each other.

Remote work is exploding in popularity; with it, cities with low rent and fast internet are becoming more attractive to professionals redefining "work" and "life" into one homogenous mix. 

This makes our job even more important. Meetings and events function as the glue that holds an organization together. Without cohesion, your team becomes a group, and potentially their unique collective intelligence and problem solving abilities could go wasted.

So if you're the one bringing people together at your organization, rest easy.

Your job is becoming even more important, and difficult. 

But you're not in it alone.

Read on to see some of the most popular tools your peers are using to help them out.