webmasterJune 2, 2015June 2, 2015“We have come a long way baby.” That was the genius line from a 1970’s ad for the now defunct cigarette company Virginia Slims depicting the rise in women’s liberation. That tagline could easily describe how technology in the workplace has had a similar transformation over the last several years. Technology has transformed everything we do as professionals. It is everywhere — staff meetings, trade shows, peers reviews and litigation support – and it is going to continue to be more pervasive with the growth of wearables and who-knows-what in the future. Technology Use – A Look Back According to the Pew Research Center, in the year 2000: Roughly 50% of U.S. adults were online using a desktop computer for access and Only 3% of American households had broadband (most were dial-up) Contrast this to the year 2015: 97% of U.S. Adults ages 18-29 use the Internet 87% of all U.S. Adults are online (an increase of 37%) and 68% go online primarily with mobile devices Role of Meeting Participant Due to this shift in technological presence and rise of social channels, the attendee is no longer a passive participant in a meeting. The Internet and use of social has set them free to learn, digest and comment on the materials being presented. They now have an active voice; even if they never say a word in the meeting. Role of Mobile Devices and 7 Ways to Improve Engagement According to PCMA and Virtual Edge Institute, an attendee who is mobile-enabled, will do the following in a typical meeting: 81% will check email 53% will text, tweet or instant message someone – purely out of boredom 48% will take a phone call and 28% will surf the web So, how do trainers, facilitators and presenters combat this distraction issue? Here are a few ways to do so: Rather than having the participants use their own devices, utilize iPad or tablet rentals that are preloaded with the apps needed for this session. By doing this, you have allowed the attendee to remain connected to the session, but because the mobile devices are not their own, it cuts down on the urge to check emails or take calls. Make the content compelling and deliver it in a short, focused way. Take your cue from the TED talks. It doesn’t matter who it is or what they have to say, the presenter must deliver their message in 18 minutes or less. No exceptions. Encourage social posting. Rather than discouraging this activity, give participants your meeting’s hashtag and the trainer’s handle. Rather than traditional teaching methods, ditch the big screen and embrace second screen. Allowing your meeting participants to view the presenter and presentation right on their tablet and take notes in the process, allows for a new level of connectivity. Poll often. Survey participants as you go along to see if they understand your message (here are some of our favorite audience response apps). The best speakers can “move like the wind” and take their message right to where the participants need to be. In addition, polling immediately after the meeting allows for feedback that won’t be influenced by other factors such as problems at the office or a terrible check-out situation at the hotel. Make sure the Wi-Fi is enough. Sometimes the office and/or venue Wi-Fi is enough and other times it will not be. Consider a hotspot rental for your meeting to ensure fast, secure Wi-Fi access. Look to the Cloud. The ability to collaborate with other team members on a real-time basis helps bring productivity and engagement to a whole new level. Explore a cloud computing rental option to give you dedicated and secure access. Hartford Technology Rental is Your Premier Technology Provider Whatever your technology needs, whether it be to rent a laptop or a whole slew of copier rentals, Hartford Technology Rental is your complete audio visual and computer rental company. Give us a call today at 888.520.5667 to talk to one of our experienced technology sales representatives.