This post is part of a series about interactivity in meetings ‘When Everybody Contributes, You Get Awesome Results: Boost Interactivity In Your Meetings, Trainings and Events!’. The introduction is here.
Attendees will use their smartphones, tablets, or laptops to interact (bulky specialized devices are costly, outdated, and have far less capabilities). Internet access is therefore crucial for good interactivity.
For small meetings, 3G/4G is enough, but as soon as you exceed ten attendees, you should provide wifi access. What are the characteristics to take into account?
Bandwidth is usually not an issue: texting and even photos require quite little. Providers can easily filter Youtube and social networks if needed. However the number of simultaneous connections is the point to focus on.
Count 2 devices per guest on average (laptop/tablet, plus smartphone). A bandwidth of 20 Kb/s per attendee for the interactive app is typically good enough.
CLOUD or LOCAL?
Should you choose a local infrastructure with equipment in the venue, or a cloud-based solution connected to the Internet, to create interactivity? Local solutions turn out to be more risky and more costly:
– costly since it requires a dedicated onsite technician
– if attendees’ devices switch from wifi to 3G, they can’t interact anymore
– relying on a local server, that can break down or get stolen, can be weaker than the Internet connection.
I definitely recommend the Cloud model: light and easy, it provides seamless experience. Attendees will use the same tool before / during / after the event, may they be inside or outside the venue.
APP or WEB? OFFLINE CAPABLE?
You need all! Native apps and web-based, to cover all the kind of mobile devices while delivering the best experience.
With offline capability, your service will be robust to short network outages, and you will not even notice them.
Being offline capable is more efficient, more robust, and faster. This is a must-have for real-life events where people may need info at their hotel or in the elevator!
If you need special hardware or special A/V, it will limit the solution to high-budget events, and just to the main room. To be able to have all your break-out sessions served and all your rooms equipped, you need some solution very easy to setup, running on the PC/Mac that are already connected to the screens.
This is typically what we provide with ConnexMe TV: pure software to install on the presenter’s PC/Mac, that both captures the content and displays the result of the interactivity. ConnexMe TV does not require any special hardware, and integrates with any setup!