It’s a familiar sight in presidential debates: Through a simple turn of the Nielsen dial, a panel of citizens share their impressions of the candidates’ remarks in real time. Have you ever wished you could have the same type of instant response capabilities for your own meetings? Well, enter Microsoft’s Bing Pulse, a real-time consumer engagement tool launched in November 2014 that can capture the sentiment of groups at meetings, conferences and trade shows. 

Using tablets, smartphones or laptops, your attendees can download a free app, log in and begin providing instant feedback—or pulses—to your speakers. You can even create yes/no and multiple choice questions on the spot and send them out to the crowd. The technology allows users to respond to the presentation every five seconds, and a graph will reveal how their own reactions compare to those of other audience members.

Josh Gottheimer, general manager for advertising and strategy at Microsoft, says that 80 percent of people use some sort of second screen experience while they are performing activities such as watching television. Bing Pulse helps planners and speakers engage their audience in the presentation and then use that feedback to assess the effectiveness of how the intended message was delivered.

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 

 

Whether dabbling with an augmented reality app, getting up to speed on the complexities of 5G service or employing cocktail-mixing robots, planners are no strangers to emerging technology. As meetings and events become increasingly tech-driven affairs, we’ve checked in with top event production pros for their takes on the latest event tech trends and what’s to come in the year ahead.