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February 22, 2011 / jasonpinto

When the Power Shifts to the Attendee

Up until about 3 years ago (maybe even 2 or sooner in some cases!), the first few lines delivered by a presenter at a conference usually served to politely remind the attendees to shut off their cell phones.

I mean, how on earth could a presenter read to you the 6 bullet points that were listed on their slide if your “My Humps” ringtone was playing? 🙂

Yes, keeping your phone on vibrate certainly is a courtesy that should be extended. But as social media continues to grow in importance across all industries, speakers have now changed their tune.

Rather than shutting your phones off, they are encouraging people to pull them out and use them during the presentation. They are reminding the attendees what the hashtag for the event is, and they are providing their Twitter handle on their intro slide.

This is a good thing.

Speakers want attendees to tell the world what they have learned. Yes, smartphones and social media are good for business 🙂

The Attendees of Dscoop 6

I recently attended Dscoop 6 (a.k.a. the best conference ever). While a fair amount of people tweeted content during the show, I am confident that a much higher number will share in that activity when Dscoop 7 rolls into DC.

I noticed one other trend that intrigued me. If they weren’t taking notes or tweeting, a lot of the attendees used their phones to take pictures of slides that intrigued them. This certainly is a practical action, especially if the slide contains charts or workflows that seek to explain fairly involved processes. It’s also a reasonable action to take if the slide is simply “awesome”.

Yes, the speaker is no longer the only person making “noise” when it comes to presentations. The attendee has been granted more power than ever before, and I think that is quite a good thing for all.

Photo Credit


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