Meetings can be a lot of things -- educational, entertaining, inspirational or even humorous. Sometimes, however, the only word a meeting attendee can come up with to describe a meeting is "noisy." Because in a crowded exhibit hall or a boisterous ballroom, that's all some attendees can hear: noise.
Fortunately, new technology has delivered a fresh solution, according to Meetings & Conventions technology editor Michael J. Shapiro.
"Headsets that broadcast live presentations via radio channels still can be a very effective way to deliver clear audio in a cacophonous exhibition environment. But mobile apps just might kill the radio star," Shapiro writes in an article for Northstar Meetings Group. "A number of apps promise convenience -- with no need to rent proprietary headsets to hear broadcast sessions or simultaneous translation -- saving organizers thousands in rental fees. Attendees can listen on their own devices with their own headphones or earbuds. And, crucially, app developers have made great strides in solving issues of latency (audio delay) or poor WiFi networks."
One such app, according to Shapiro, is Interactio, which delivers real-time audio to attendees' devices using WiFi or a cellular network.
"What's more, the mobile app is easily integrated into the general event app -- as it was for the IBTM World conference in Barcelona last November," Shapiro notes. "Attendees could navigate via the app to the desired session and listen to crystal-clear audio -- whether they were in the room, elsewhere in the convention center or even off-site."
It's an elegant solution to a common meeting problem. And what planner can't use that?
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