Leveraging second screen for meetings and events

IMG_20150306_091110Are you a second screener?

If you are, according to a recent Nielsen study, you’re part of the 84% of smart phone and tablet wielders using these devices while simultaneously watching television.

Naturally, Ad companies and broadcasters were the first to leverage this behavior out of necessity because of the shift of audience attention away from traditional media to mobile devices and social media.

So what is the significance of this typical Gen X, Gen Y tendency to multitask and what is second screening? Fact checking during a live sports event or award ceremony to check a player stat or artist’s discography is a form of second screening. The rush of corroborating information or filling in the blanks while taking in ‘linear’ live info specifically is one of the key empowering components of the trend from an audience point of view and one of the reasons why it has such significance in the content crazy landscape in which we all now navigate.

Second screening then, can be described as using these mobile devices to add an interactive, real time element to the traditional linear flow of content such as television, live events and yes, meetings. With examples of broadcasters using second screen technology during events like this year’s Superbowl, a similar trend is developing rapidly in the live events and meetings space.

Mobile technology that supports meetings is no longer limited to note taking and making processes paperless. It is becoming widely accepted that mobile has the potential to improve overall effectiveness of communication, information sharing and two-way learning in meetings, a complete paradigm shift compared to previous attitudes toward use of mobile devices in these settings only a few years ago.

What does second screen technology have to offer?

For starters, events and meetings organizers can get more out of their audience and attendees by requesting real-time feedback that can be input into smartphones and tablets. For example, live polls can eliminate guesswork in gauging an audience’s interest when speakers or meeting leaders invite participation but are met with awkward silence and a smattering of responses from only a few gregarious members. This typically overzealous bunch will no doubt dominate the discussion and very likely misrepresent the opinions of the group. Live polls can elicit more accurate, honest responses from members of a meeting or conference than a survey filled out after the meeting is over. Interaction in this way opens the door for more in-depth analytics that can help organizers measure with accuracy, the relevance of certain topics, approaches and delivery of content.

Second screen empowers apathetic audiences who are constantly tethered to their phones and tablets to take part in conversations, share information and engage each other or a speaker around an event or meeting.

Apps like Glisser (from the French ‘to slide’) are taking hold of the trend with a service that allows users to beam slides, engage each other on social media and participate in live polls etc.