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.

The atmosphere at relaxed Avondale neighborhood eatery Pisolino may remind you of a charming, laid-back European bistro—and for good reason.

Chef and co-owner James De Marte spent over a decade cooking his way through Italy to craft and hone the skills on full display at the cozy restaurant today. “The restaurant is truly his dream-turned-reality and a showcase of his love for Italian cuisine,” says co-owner Rachel De Marte.

 

There’s no better way to build team spirit than with a can of spray paint and a blank canvas. Native 312 Events gives groups a chance to foster community and creativity while learning about one of Chicago’s most widely seen forms of art: graffiti.

Javier Dominguez and Adam Dittman founded Native 312 Events nearly two years ago after working together on events for more than eight years. They now provide Urban Art Workshops to a variety of clientele, including collegiate groups and corporate teams.

 

For professional speakers, engaging with an audience can begin months before stepping out onto the stage. 

Their first audience interaction might come through a teaser video in an event promotion email, says professional speaker and author David Fisher. Or they might also begin cross promoting the event on social media, according to Rich Gibbons, president of SpeakInc., a company that books event speakers and headline entertainers.