The use of technology during events is an ever-growing and changing trend. Event planners are finding more and more ways to incorporate it into their meetings, promotion, and registration. Some planning apps even cover most of the process for you. Unfortunately, there is also a large trend in technology distracting guests. This is where heads-down technology comes into play.
The difference between heads-up and heads-down technology is literally the angle to which attendees’ heads are pointing. Yes, I’m talking about looking up at the screen versus down at the smartphone. Some technology trends actually do use smartphones, but only as a means of controller and not a distraction. It is meant to help get people participating more in a setting that is better suited to their comfort zone. Some ways to get those heads up include large-scale interactive games and polls, as well as more engaging on-screen content. Basically, whatever gets them to look up at the subject they are paying to see, instead of checking to see what is trending on Twitter.
It's funny, though. Guests are paying to hear what you have to say, and yet may spend the entire time in their own (online) world. Why is it your job to keep their attention? It’s their time and money they are wasting. While technology has made numerous things easier, it has also provided a shift in society. Everyone wants to know what they can get out of the experience. This puts more pressure on planners to compete for the attention of guests. Oddly enough, the heads-down effect can be just as distracting as talking. Even though guests aren’t doing anything to specifically disturb the presentation/meeting, it can be one of the most glaring distractions of all. The best cure is to take a more active approach. Make guests participate, not just listen.