Text Messaging: One of the Most Powerful Conference Technologies You’re Probably Not Using

Copyright: Gilles Lambert via Unsplash

Text Messaging: One of the Most Powerful Conference Technologies You’re Probably Not Using

The statistics about text messaging are staggering: 23 billion texts are sent each day worldwide; 97% of Americans send at least one text a day; the average adult spends 23 hours a week texting. With texting growing more popular each year it’s surprising that this leading communication tool has not been embraced as a priority for conference technologies. Yet, there are many reasons for conference designers to include a text messaging system as a conference tool.

Text messaging is a versatile tool.

It’s passive applications are well known such as sending out reminders, or providing important details and directions for large meetings. Recent text-to-screen innovations have expanded the usefulness of text messaging for conferences. For example, a text messaging applications allows conference leaders on stage to receive text from the audience and then display the text in real time on the large stage screens.

The use of text to screen apps makes conferences and large corporate meetings truly interactive.

Attendees can send questions via text messages to podium speakers, who can then modify presentations in real time to meet the needs and interests of the audience. This interactive connection can greatly enhance the conference value. Education specialists have long known the value of interactivity. Harvard physics professor Eric Mazur, a self-described “confirmed lecturer, became discouraged that his lectures were putting students asleep. In desperation one day, Mazur had his students discuss a question he had just asked.

He was surprised when the class had solved the problem in two minutes. He decided then and there to change his teaching style—from lecturer to interactive teacher. He has been amazed with the results. ““What I was able to show is that I doubled the learning gains. In fact, it tripled once I got better questions to ask in class and also much longer retention,” Mazur added, “I’ve never looked back.”

The use of a text messaging system allows for “gamification” of activities during the conference.

Gamification is an approach to increase learning and retention of information through the use of games. With text-to-screen capability conference organizers can establish games for the delegates that use text messaging, even as simple as trivia questions which conference attenders can answer by texts to the podium. Organizers can use these games to increase audience engagement, to drive traffic, or promote products during the conference.

Text messaging allows widespread involvement during question answer times and panel discussions.

The old method of passing around a microphone limited the number of questions and was very inefficient. With text-to-screen the amount of questions received and answer is greatly increased. As 20 Bedford Way event center blog states, “There is no need anymore for an assistant to run around with a mic, leaving awkward pauses.”

SMS allows for more complete and honest feedback.

This is especially important during corporate town hall type meetings, where business leaders need to interact with employees about serious issues. The use of text-to-screen apps helps to improve communication between employees and corporate leaders in two ways. First, it removes the fear public speaking that hinders many people.

As Preston Ni writes for Psychology Today, “Did you know that according to the Wall Street Journal, public speaking is the number one fear in America? The fear of death is ranked number two!” Second, the use of anonymous means to ask questions allows for more honesty and openness. For a business this is especially important for employee morale. “In employee attitude surveys, communication from management is almost always ranked low by employees…When employees feel “in the know”, they have a greater satisfaction level about the workplace,” writes William Hubbartt.

Though text messaging certainly has become such an important part of everyday life, there are still many new areas to pioneer in its application to modern life—especially as a tool in conference technologies.

For more information about live audience polling or event survey software, visit: http://www.mosio.com/events
Image Copyright: Gilles Lambert via Unsplash

Why Text Messaging is Still One of the Best Conference Technologies

Hey! This is 2014, the decade of numerous advancements in technology to help make our lives and businesses easier to manage and more comfortable. With recent advancements in science and technology, conferences are becoming more productive and more engaging than ever before. New technologies are being used in conferences to help boost audience engagement and collect feedback. However, even with all the technological advances none have come close to beating out text messaging as one of the best conference technologies.

Why is that? The answer is simple. Text messaging is easy to use, affordable, doesn’t require extra instruction for people to use it, and doesn’t require any additional equipment.

You will see there are a number of different conference technologies to choose from when planning a business conference. You may even be tempted to use some different technologies instead of text messaging. However, these newer technologies have some drawbacks. Your audience may not be familiar with the technology and will need some additional help to use it, resulting in lost time, or lost feedback. However, almost everyone and their brother knows how to write a text. So, nobody will have any issue in asking a question, or supplying feedback.

98% of people have a cellphone. They are pretty much universal, and most people never leave home without one. This is a huge benefit above using another audience response systems as you won’t need to rent any equipment or pay people to install it. Everyone brings their own. Also, some audience response systems rely on using microphones, and for that people need to wait their turn to use it. With texting, everyone can submit their feedback or question, whenever they want.

Your company can not only save a lot of money by not needing to rent any additional equipment, but it’s also more aesthetically pleasing as you don’t have a bunch of wires running all over the place.

Text messaging is also very affordable, and many people have a texting plan with their carrier. Also, besides the fact that an attendee can provide their feedback or ask their question anytime they want, they can also do so anonymously. Organizers of the conference can also send out any important announcements regarding times, venues or special alerts via text message as well.

For all the above reasons and more, text messaging is still at the top of the list when it comes to conference technologies to help improve audience engagement and participation. Be sure to check out text messaging for your next conference, before thinking about an expensive audience response system.

Text 2 Screen | 5 Reasons Why Text Messaging for Polls and Audience Response Works

Text 2 screen polls and audience response are two of the easiest ways to get the people in the crowd involved in what’s going on with your event. Using text messaging, available on 99% of all mobile phones, makes that kind of participation available to everyone in the audience.

A business colleague of mine came back from a conference the other day, raving about how innovative it was that he and other attendees could “tweet” messages with a conference #hashtag to get their tweet to show up on a screen. I couldn’t argue with his excitement- it’s fun to see something you write end up in front of people, and it’s rewarding to feel like your opinion matters at an event where there are hundreds of people from your industry. I’ve been at conferences where you can do just that, and it is a rush to see my message appear before the crowd. I’ve even had moderators offer to ask questions that people tweeted the same hashtag.

But if the goal is truly to get more people involved, I wonder why event organizers don’t use Text 2 Screen, empowering anyone with a text plan to participate (over 95% of mobile phone owners), rather than the much smaller sliver with smartphones (just 28% of mobile phone owners).

Text 2 Screen is a way to get the attendees involved at your next event or conference. By inviting virtually everyone at the event or conference to be part of the voice of the event, you create more ways to engage the entire audience.

Here are 5 Reasons Why Text 2 Screen Text Messaging Polls and Audience Response Works…

1. Text 2 Screen Polls:
These polls encourage audience participation during speaker sessions or workshops. We’ve all looked up from our own laptops during a session to see half the room… on their laptop. Taking polls to keep audience members thinking and responding is a great way to hold attention.

2. Text 2 Screen Questions:
Empowering attendees to text questions to displays during speaker sessions or around your event gives a voice to people who may not bring them up otherwise- and every question starts a conversation that your attendees will go home thinking and talking about.

3. Text 2 Screen Photos:
What do people love more than taking pictures? Showing their pictures to other people. Designating a number and a screen where conference attendees can display their photos encourages participation, and it also means more people will be taking photos. That means they’ll share more, not just at the conference, but when they leave and head home. That means more exposure for your event.

4. Text 2 Screen Audience Response:
Whether you’re asking the question to gauge audience sentiment, or counting feedback for attendees choice awards voting, soliciting audience response adds an important interactive dimension.

5. Text 2 Screen Moderation:
As the event organizer, you can set up your text 2 screen system so that answers to polls or streams of audience feedback can be moderated before they appear on the public feed, allowing you recourse in case anything doesn’t go smoothly.

Image credit: marketing.org

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SMS Alerts + Announcements for Conferences and Events

Engage Attendees via Mobile Messaging

  • 4.1 Billion text messages are sent in the U.S. every day.
  • 72% of U.S. adults regularly send and receive text messages.
  • 94% of all mobile phone owners have text messaging included in their monthly plans.

90% of text messages are read by recipients.

Text Message Alerts and Announcements keep attendees up-to-date with the latest information before, during and after your event.

Mosio’s mobile solutions for events and conferences enable event organizers to build a text messaging subscriber list through a number of ways, including web widgets, phone number batch uploading or keyword self-registration so you can begin sending them important messages as soon as possible.

As a perfect add-on to our other mobile services, SMS alerts and announcements give your event a longer tail by letting you continue communicating with attendees after your event has ended, providing you with additional opportunities to

“Mosio’s texting service has become a standard for our annual conference.”
– Ryan Schniederjan, Information & Technology Committee Chair, AAPA

Contact Mosio – We’ll put together a quick and competitive mobile technology services quote for your next conference, event, trade show or meeting.

Our Experience:
We’ve worked with organizers and managers of all size events, from 50 attendees to 25,000. Our enterprise grade mobile messaging platform is able to handle large message volume, ensuring your messages get to your audience on-time, when it counts.

What about Mobile Apps?
We love them and think they’re great, but they’re not ubiquitous and in fact, 30-40% of conference attendees don’t have smart phones. Nearly 100% of your attendees are able to send/receive text messages on their mobile phones making it the perfect medium for event communications.