- How did they do that (at the Olympic Opening Ceremony)?
- Live Dr. Who Experience
- Did you know? Events Edition
- THE Event of 2012
- Suffolk’s School Games 2012
The Wisdom of Crowds (Is there a case for less structure at conferences?)26 April 2012
On 2nd April at 7.30pm Bang Goes the Theory (BBC1) covered the subject “can crowds cooperate?” When random members of the crowd on the street were asked to predict the number of buses in London the outcome was accurate to within 5% despite the extremes at either end of the guesses. With such a random puzzle it is unlikely that anyone knew the answer outside of a statistician at London Transport.
This is not a new idea; The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki is a fascinating book which explores a simple idea. The premise is that large groups of people are often smarter than the smartest people among them. There are some rules though – not all crowds are wise. Think of the crazed investors in a stock market rush. But if there is diversity of opinion, some independence of thinking and people are able to draw on their own special or local knowledge a crowd can be remarkably wise and accurate.
So how can we translate this into planning a meaningful conversation with an audience?
Open Space Technology (OST) is an idea from America which works well to achieve creative solutions to challenging problems. People attend a meeting where an overarching theme has been decided in advance, then form their own agenda, addressing the issues which are of most interest or are the most pressing so that they get talked about and hopefully resolved.
Audience response systems such as interactive voting can instantly gauge opinions, ask for feedback and make people feel that there is a two way conversation going on.
Creating a buzz does take planning but a dynamic and inspiring event is so much more memorable and likely to have a lasting impact with everyone taking part.
So, do we trust our audiences enough to let them make a positive contribution rather than bore them with the latest PowerPoint or industry expert?
And do we have the skills to start the conversation and to make it into something valuable for everyone involved?
AV Unit Provides Creative Support to Gulf Conference19 April 2012
AV Unit, the Ipswich-based Creative Solutions Company, has just completed a project in support of the Gulf Environment Forum in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Organisers of the Forum, BME Global Limited, employed AV Unit to undertake filming and post production editing of the event to produce a number of short, focused videos. After filming in Jeddah over the three days of the event, from 25th to 27th March, the company has just completed editing the films back in their Ipswich studios. Adam Clark, AV Unit's managing director, said: "It was great to be involved in this important international conference and to be selected for our creative input."
The company was tasked to produce a DVD record of the complete event along with a series of testimonials from key attendees. Adam Clark continues: "We were very clear that our production was not just to be used as a record of the conference but as a means of extending the life of the event. Here at AV Unit we are passionate about providing the means for our clients to engage with their audiences and to help continue discussion long after an event has finished."
AV Unit is a multi-disciplined audio visual production company based in Ipswich, Suffolk, with offices in London. Specialising in delivering creative solutions that engage audiences and provide a return on investment, AV Unit provides professional services across a wide range of business communication areas.
The Gulf Environment Forum (GEF), now in its third year, is positioned as the strategic conference for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) for the exchange and development of progressive policies to create an environmentally sustainable future. GEF attracts royal and ministerial attendees, as well as exhibitors representing 23 countries from around the world.
Commenting on AV Unit’s involvement, Managing Director of BME Global, Alain Marhic, said: "Since launching the event in 2010, our strategy this year was to build on the successful platform and prolong the life of the event using the medium of video. We wanted an organisation that could deliver high quality creative work that would be relevant across the globe. AV Unit has proved to be an excellent partner."
BME Global Limited, headquartered in London and with branches in Cairo and Jeddah, is an international events company with extensive experience in operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, covering key industries such as petrochemicals, water, power, environmental, finance and construction.
Who do you trust? The Edelman Trust Barometer04 April 2012
I've just come across The Edelman Trust Barometer which i thought raised an interesting question. The Edelman Trust Barometer is a study that examines trust in various institutions - government, business, media and NGOS. The study is in its twelfth year and shows some interesting trends that are not surprising. According to the new study trust in "CEO's", "government officials" and "regulators" has fallen. Whilst "regular employees" and "people like yourself" have seen the greatest rise.
This left me thinking who is the right person to use for a company to communicate with it's audience - is it the CEO or is it everyone in the company. According to the report your audience are more likely to trust regular employees than the person at the top. So should companies give their employees permission for freer communication to the company's audience. Certainly there are some success stories of companies letting employees communicate on twitter on behalf of the company. Of course there are just as many where it has gone wrong, so a careful decision and a strong policy on how employees communicate through media (especially social media) is needed.
If you want to understand how people are deciding to trust others i'd recommend a look into the study.