Technology has changed a number of areas in our lives, not only at home, but also in the office. This can often be for the better, although it can also create some difficulties, which should be addressed and minimised.
One area that technology has definitely changed is how our meetings and seminars run. A few years ago, meeting and conference attendees would sit around a table with a pen and notepad, whilst a PowerPoint presentation or paper flipcharts were used to provide information. You may even have had an overhead projector (OHP) with transparencies!
However, if you look to the present day, the scene is very different. People are often still sitting around the table, though there is no paper. Instead, it is replaced by tablets and smartphones with new software, which makes note taking, presenting and sharing information much easier. The meeting and seminar “experience” has therefore become very different. The question now is has that experience improved and how has this changed the way a meeting is organised?
In this article, we take a look at some of the business technology that is available for meetings and seminars, the pros and cons, as well as what needs to be considered when organising a meeting in modern, technology orientated times.
Technology for meetings and seminars
It’s undoubtedly an exciting time. With technology change at such a rapid pace, we no longer rely on pen and paper, but the thousands of new devices, pieces of software and apps that are being developed. This has completely changed the face of meetings and seminars for participants, hosts and planners, helping them to do their job even better. Some of the key technology developments include:
- Smartphones and tablets – You can now simply take notes on your device and quickly share them with your colleagues. These devices can also be used as a presentation tool themselves, whether they’re hand-held for small groups, or connected to a projector for a larger meeting.
- Apps/Software Programs – There are a whole host of easy to use apps to download, which are perfect for meetings and seminars. For note taking, Evernote and Microsoft OneNote are great tools, and notes can even be stored in the cloud. To create presentations, try Keynote, PowerPoint or Prezi. For a video call, so you can have meetings with people around the world via Skype and Google Hangouts. Sharing is also important, so sites such as SlideShare are worth trying for your next event.
- Smart boards and touch screen monitors – These exciting new technologies allow meetings and seminars to be much more interactive, with attendees getting involved by brainstorming and creating mind maps on the smart board, which can be instantly sent out to everyone’s devices.
Technology is constantly changing and there will inevitably be more and more exciting ways to enhance our meetings and seminars in the future. Keep an eye out for new programs and technologies to make your meetings more effective, engaging and informative.
Pros and cons of using more technology
Although for many, technology can make work easier, it can also sometimes create new areas for concern. Below, we take a look at some of the pros and cons of using technology and relying on it so heavily for meetings and seminars.
- Technology makes it easier for presenters to be more engaging, with interesting visual elements, a mix of media and more interactivity.
- Technology makes it easier to connect with participants who are in other locations, using video tools.
- Using technology means your notes can be instantly clear as they are typed up, rather than having to try and decipher what you have written later.
- Your notes can be easily shared with colleagues via email or the cloud. This is perfect for those that could not attend the meeting or seminar.
- The presentation slides themselves can be easily and securely shared afterwards so people can review again after the meeting.
- You don’t need to carry heavy equipment, such as a laptop to display a PowerPoint presentation, as this can be shown via a small Smartphone or tablet.
- Meeting attendees can become distracted if they have their laptops, smartphones and tablets in front of them during a meeting, especially if emails are coming through.
- Meetings can be disrupted by technical issues, such as poor internet connections and batteries running out.
Technology Considerations for Meeting Room and Seminar Room
Because we are now so reliant on technology to get through a presentation, there are a number of additional points to consider when organising a meeting or seminar. This doesn’t just mean backing your presentation up on a USB stick in case something goes wrong with your device, but making sure that your meeting venue is reliable, so your meeting or seminar can achieve its maximum potential. For example:
- Wi-Fi – You may need this to pull your presentation from the cloud, play a video during your presentation, or to look things up during your meeting.
- Power Cables – Are there enough to go around, so the presenters and participants devices don’t die mid-meeting?
- Smart boards or touch screens – Will you require participation? Brainstorming? Make sure your venue has smart boards or touch screen technology for extra interactivity and a more dynamic meeting.
- IT support – If you’re at a venue, make sure there is IT support available to help if any problems occur, so delays and interruptions are avoided.
At Saxons, we are one of Australia’s leading business training facilities. With years of experience, we provide everything you need for a successful meeting or seminar. We have state-of-the-art equipment, secure networks, and fibre optic internet, as well as an on-site, enterprise grade technical support team.