|Message in a bottle?|
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Engaging all senses – virtually
Hybrid visitors, virtual participans, online attendees… is seems that more and more events are in need of connecting their audiences in other ways than classic face to face encounters.
A new kind of events in need of a new kind of meeting perception?
Not in the least because an online attendee has a different experience of an event: some of the senses that “make” the event are lost. What about smell, taste, touch? Is a virtual attendee resticted to vision and hearing? Are we missing out?
Some days ago I participated in a brainstorm about the senses for virtual attendees. A brainstorm that was mainly virtual in itself: we used Google Hangouts to connect event professionals from different countries .The summary is on youtube and blogs, but there was one discussion in particular that sparked my imagination.
We were talking about the loss of some senses for virtual attendees and came up with the “Virtual Handshake”. A way to make you feel welcome in the event. Anyone used someting like that before? A toolkit with components of all senses, partly send to you via oldfashioned mail, to give you an extra “feel”of an event?
Just imagine. You are attending an event online, and you have your “Virtual handshake”. The kit has a pen of the venue, napkin, USB, maybe some Catalist Ranch style goodies or so, all stuff that an attendee uses at the venue.
And then the kit has an online part as well; including an instruction how to get the screen the way you want it, how to give speakers a virtual handshake (would love to see some alternatives to the smileys ), how to engage with the other attendees (explain Hangouts!!), choice of break music, suggestions for snacks and drinks…… all sent to you well before the event starts.
How would that change your participation? Feel more included and make you stay online longer? Give a sense of belonging? Have a better experience? Engage all senses?
Would love to try it one out some time!