That one burning question…

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It’s exactly one year ago that the ‘Education of the Heart Symposium’ took place at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The symposium was centered around innovative education in which the focus is placed on stimulating the heart and talents of children versus the mind or intellect.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was present to share his view on educating the heart. The Sendsteps Sidekick helped over 500 education professionals ask their questions. They ranged from how to motivate children to live from the heart, to whether he ever makes selfies.

Having such a high-profile speaker at your event can make people nervous when it comes to asking questions. This is where the Sidekick comes in. Sendsteps doesn’t only make audience interaction easy by facilitating (anonymous) reactions and questions. But the Sidekick also scans incoming questions on the spot, filters them, and selects which ones are most appropriate. Whether critical comments relevant to the topic, controversial questions to spice things up or mind-expanding insights for both speaker and audience; the Sidekick is always neutral and knows to make the right call.

Got any events with high-profiled speakers planned? Politicians, CEO’s or celebrities? The Sidekick might just make the difference in offering your audience a voice to ask their questions.


 

Updated Dashboard | Sendsteps made even easier!

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One swipe. That’s all you need to add the reactions from the audience to your presentation screen. We like to make audience interaction easy for chairmen, discussion leaders and organisations. That’s why you can now find this feature on the updated Sendsteps Dashboard. It’s the place where you create your interactive sessions and follow live reactions. And afterwards you can review all results.

The Sendsteps Dashboard has a completely new look & feel. That’s why we’d like to take a minute to highlight some of its features! If you have an account, you can login to the Sendsteps Dashboard straight away. Otherwhise, you can also create a free account.

Before the sessions

BeforeDecide how the audience can interact before the sessions starts. React or ask questions via Web, Twitter and/or SMS? Take your pick. Simply adjust the response settings via the Dashboard. Anonimity often provokes more reactions. Don’t want to anonymise the audience? Then select your audience identification option. Ask questions such as “What is your name?” or “What is your job title?”. After the session you’ll then have a practical overview of who gave which reaction during the session.

As you can see, you can easily personalize features via the Dashboard. It’s also a great way to turn your response website into one big interactive platform. How?

  •  Share voting results: Received striking voting results on your challenging questions? With just one click your audience can share the results on Facebook and Twitter, or send them to co-workers or others who are interested.
  • #Hashtags: Optimally use Twitter by pointing out hashtags before the event. It’s a convenient way for the audience to follow tweets concerning your presentation or event.

During the session

DuringDid you make your presentation a little breezier by adding a quiz? Announce the winner onsite by checking the individual responses per attendee. Having access to all results is also helpful if you’d like to follow up with certain respondents. Follow all other audience responses live on the Dashboard via moderator and select provoking reactions to add to your presentation screen instantly.

After the session

AfterInteractive presentations create movement. That’s why many like to take a look at the presentation results afterwards and evaluate. Via the Dashboard you can see an overview of voting results, answers to (multiple choice) questions and open reactions. The survey results are also always available and easily accessible online.

We’re curious to hear which features you’ll be using during your next presentation. Have any feedback regarding the new look & feel? Let us know! For now good luck with the new Sendsteps Dashboard!


 

How it looks during a real life event

Have a look at the video and see how Sendsteps contributes in making conferences more interactive. The conference that you’ll see in the video, took place at the NBC Congress Center. An example of an organization that caters to frequent in-house interactive meetings. They apply the tool independently and on a frequent basis via an annual Sendsteps Licence. Here’s why;

  • Efficiency: Next to issues that can be discussed live and in person, attendees can also participate by giving digital feedback during an interactive session. When time is limited and you don’t have the possibility to let everyone share their thought, you can still have everyone’s comments after the session.
  • Strategy: Some issues are more delicate, than other issues. Think off a major strategy change, the cooperation and relation between departments or work satisfaction. By allowing anonymous responses, you can instantly get to the essence of the matter.
  • Fun: Sometimes it helps to see serious matters from a certain distance. By playing a quiz with your audience, you can transform an intensive conference into a delightful and entertaining moment for your audience. It’s energizing too – especially after a lunch break!

Next to the NBC Congres Center, there are also law firms, banks, NGO’s, consultancies and many other organizations that have increased the productivity of their meetings with help of Sendsteps.

What kind of meetings do you organize? Do you have ideas to further increase audience interaction? Ask us or, even better, ask one of our customers!


 

How your audience can engage home stayers

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During events we tend to only focus on the audience right in front of us. But what about the people who couldn’t make it? Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep them updated on what’s going on too? We already know live streams; A great way to enable people to follow the event live from home or from the office. Tweets also give you a good hint of how people experience the event. Sendsteps adds another interesting dimension.

Via the Sendsteps Dashboard you can activate the “Results tab” on your audience’s response website. Your audience will here find live screenshots of all vote rounds that have taken place during the event. This doesn’t only allow easy access to the voting results, but also offers your audience the option to share these results via social media. Because with just one single click you can publish the results:

  •    via Facebook
  •    via Twitter
  •    per E-mail

Don’t forget to now formulate triggering questions. The more controversial the voting results, the more newsworthy the social media content will be. This will also increase the chance of content being shared. Finally, also make sure to introduce your online community manager to this functionality. As such, he or she has easy access to interesting content to immediately share via your own channels.

It’s that simple. By sharing your results with those who couldn’t attend, you’ll extend your reach and keep a broader audience engaged!


 

Signal, ask and act throughout organisational changes

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Many companies are currently dealing with reorganisation. Transparent communication throughout such complex phases is essential. Sendsteps has successfully contributed to several organisational changes and culture sessions. Let’s take a look at what could help you through times of change:

  •      Keep employees updated on the planned changes
  •      Signal and listen to potential concerns
  •      Answer questions and take away uncertainties
  •      Ask for feedback
  •      Create overall transparency on the situation

How does Sendsteps support this process?

Schedule one or more sessions to highlight the planned internal changes and to communicate made decisions. You can use the Sendsteps tool to:

  • Deal with live questions: Offer the opportunity for employees to anonymously ask questions about the situation. As such you don’t have to confront individuals, but you can discuss matters in a more neutral context.
  • Ask for feedback: Asking for feedback in times of change can help you signal concerns. This doesn’t mean that you have to give a direct reply to every concern raised. A follow-up meeting or a mailing can be a good contact moment to further discuss and process the output.
  • Act! Staying in touch and in dialogue with your employees won’t only create transparency, but also give you needed information on what your next step should be regarding communication. Make sure to always follow up with an action after every interactive session.

Why not also take a look at one of our 10 interactive concepts; examples of diverse organisations that have used Sendsteps throughout organisational changes. By letting your employees become involved in the reorganisation ahead, you’ll find that change will follow more easily!


 

Preparations of the International Talent Event Amsterdam

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The International Talent Event Amsterdam [ITEA] will take place on April 17th. This initiative is organised for the second time by the Amsterdam Economic Board, Amsterdam inbusiness, the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, InHolland and the VU University Amsterdam. The goal is to attract international students to the labor market of the metropolitan region. About 40 international oriented employers will offer the international talents internships, dissertation projects, traineeships and jobs during the job fair at ITEA2015. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that supply and demand come together  and that the event will attract the right students. That’s why, already in an early stage, ITEA decided to use Sendsteps. During the kick-off meeting for employers, the following question was raised to evaluate which students the companies like to get in touch with:

“Of which disciplines would you especially like to meet students during the ITEA?” The answer options contained 8 categories, of which one could be picked.

Based on the results, professors and deans are now being approached to really step up and promote the event with their students. The right preparation, inclusive targeted promotion, can really make a difference. Another smart and easy way to use Sendsteps already before your event!


 

High response rate on post-event questionnaires

 

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We often send out questionnaires after meetings. But we’re rarely happy with the response as it’s usually minimal. The day after an event, visitors easily pick up their daily routine. This can make for frustrations since so much time has been spend on both the event and the questionnaire. Sendsteps can help you to approach this differently. How?

  • Formulate a questionnaire before your event
  • Publish the questionnaire live on the Sendsteps response website
  • Reserve 3 minutes of your program for the questionnaire right there, on the spot
  • Ask your audience a few questions and get instant feedback

This way you won’t have the hassle of sending out e-mails, but will still easily get an 80% response rate! The results won’t appear on the presentation screen, but only you’ll have access to the data online or in a PDF or Excel file. Please click here to see an example. If you’re inspired to conduct your questionnaire in the same way, then please let us know.


 

Full swing audience interaction in Poland

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In the first weekend of February, our Sidekick was present at the European Meetings & Events Conference [EMEC]. An annual conference organised by Meeting Professionals International [MPI], an international platform for event professionals. The programming invited participants to grow and think in new ways. The broad range of subjects gave participants the chance to develop personally, while at the same time offering insight in the impact of the events industry.

For three days, BBC presenter Dave Sharpe interviewed guests, lead panel discussions and participants could take part in expert sessions. During these activities, audience interaction was of great importance. And Sendsteps aligns perfectly with this. Not only did speakers work independently with our software during the subsessions, but our Sidekick was present too. During all plenary sessions he gave live feedback from the audience to the speakers on stage. This feedback made for inspiring discussions and encouraged the audience to be actively engaged.

Or as the chairman told us afterwards: “It was great to have his support and the insights provided through the audience engagement software added a valuable new dimension to the conference sessions!”. Just as the MPI EMEC organisation intended!


 

From feedback to action!

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Managers are becoming redundant. A bold statement, that is slowly but surely getting more support. It’s an approach I believe in. And since late last year, I’ve been working towards this more and more within Sendsteps. In my previous blog I already indicated how we use personal empowerment to enhance employees’ happiness, and create clarity regarding everybody’s responsibilities. When focussing on these points, three things are very important: A good relationship with your co-workers, the right workload and the level of challenge. To support this, I’ve introduced the following:

Feedback from the whole team: Everybody fills out this feedback form on their co-workers. This includes tips and tops, and an overall appreciation. Everybody does this for seven co-workers, and shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes. It’s fantastic to see how this produces clear feedback. For an easy overview, all of the feedback is put in one document and is sent to the entire team.

We took time on a Friday afternoon to go through it all and to receive further clarifications. It was great; the perfect way to grow as an individual and as a team. And what a wonderful contribution to our job satisfaction!

Goals per category: Finally, we all set quarterly goals, divided in four categories:

  • Personal goal
  • Customer oriented goal
  • Team goal
  • Organisation goal: Sales / IT / Marketing / Finance

All these goals are discussed with me for consistency. And also so I can function as a sounding board and find out what everybody’s ambitions are. At the end of every quarter, all goals will be reflected on to see if they were obtained. I made 50% of the distribution of profit dependant on this. That way, there’s a balance between working for your own personal goals, and those for the company. This is what we do to keep ourselves sharp. And I’m very happy to see that this contributes to how fantastically we’re growing as a team!


 

Speech is silver, feedback is gold

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For a big, worldwide operating company, Sendsteps is the way to acquire feedback on its management teams and (corporate) culture clashes. This company sends out one of its employees to travel across the globe and facilitate internal workshops for its international offices. Everywhere he goes, he asks the same questions about the management teams, internal processes, bottlenecks, and miscommunications. What are the benefits of such workshops, and how does Sendsteps support them?

Benefits:

  • Exposing bottlenecks: Unclear what the problem is? In that case, it’s going to be hard to find a solution. Let employees expose bottlenecks and issues. That way you can take timely action to steer your business in the right direction.
  • Map out differences: Processes and rules on interaction in the workplace may differ per culture. Not only on an international level, but even per office. Clarity about this may improve collaboration and processes.
  • Prevention is better than cure: By actively asking for feedback, management will stay in touch with what’s happening in the workplace. This way, bottlenecks can be prevented, which makes for content employees.


How does Sendsteps support this process?

  • Anonymity creates freedom: Hand a mic to the audience, and chances are you won’t get a lot of feedback. But let your audience send in feedback anonymously, and who know you’ll get some valuable information.
  • Schematic conclusions: We can create graphs from the answers of any number of (multiple choice) questions. These can offer schematic overviews of strengths, insights, chances and risks for your company.
  • From interaction to action: So, anonymity can create more feedback and interaction, which then can be schematically mapped out. These results can directly lead to positive action and change in the workplace.

    Asking for, and offering honest feedback takes guts and vulnerability. Both for the giver and the receiver. But however confronting, it may be gold for your company. And Sendsteps would happily help you in this process.