6 Ways to Boost Live Interaction & Engagement At Your Next Event

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Event Poll_25 Reasons_Q&A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the old days when events and conferences were just great places to learn new things and meet awesome people? Well, these days networking and learning are still super important, but there’s a new kid on the block opening up countless possibilities to do new/exciting/interactive things, and redefine the way old things were done. That new kid is technology.

One of the things we’re always excited about at PheedLoop is live interaction and engagement as a way to enhance the learning experience, but also entertain attendees and liven up the entire atmosphere at the event itself. We’ll focus on a couple of ways you can supercharge live interaction and engagement at your own event using affordable and reliable technology available today.

1. Live polling and questioning

Imagine you’re a speaker at your event – what’s your main concern? You’re wondering (and hoping) if people understand what you’re saying, find it interesting, and are awake. Now imagine you’re an attendee sitting among hundreds of other attendees (each of whom has likely spent quite a bit to be there) and you’ve got a burning question, or want to express your opinion … but can’t. Too many people to get a chance to be heard, too afraid your question may be considered silly, too hard to organize accurate and elaborate polls, etc. Live polling and questioning has redefined the way attendees and speakers interact, making it seamless, simple, and real-time. We have seen live polling in action and highly recommend implementing it at your next event. There are countless great services out there (including our own) which you can use. For example, Sli.do and PollEverywhere are great options if you’re looking for polling only.

2. Social media chatter

Allow us to take this opportunity to raise an often overlooked point – engaging people live doesn’t necessarily mean doing so for those physically present at the event. You probably have a large following of people who couldn’t make it for one reason or another but wish they could, and are intently waiting for the hottest and newest updates streaming in live from the event. This includes updates from you, the event organizer, attendees, speakers, etc. That’s why it is important for you to be active on major social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram at the very least), and making sure your attendees know how to interact correctly with your event. This entails ensuring your attendees are aware of your usernames and hashtags, so that they mention you when sharing messages and media. What will make your social media presence powerful will not be the occasional post, but making your attendees social media advocates. Some of your attendees may be quite influential on social media, so getting them to talk about you and leveraging their social reach could be very valuable. Check out Klout to analyze how influential you really are – and maybe even select attendees to target?

 

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3. Live media streaming

Along the same lines as point two above, why not start live streaming your event? Or at least small tidbits of it, considering just how easy it is today. You could stream portions of a talk, short interviews, or just clips of attendees frolicking about your venue. A couple of options include UStream and LiveStream, but a very cool new app that all the new kids are using (especially big kids like you) is Periscope. With a single tap on your phone, you can start live streaming and broadcasting anything you want.

 

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4. Incentivizing attendees

Everyone likes free stuff, everyone. Raffling off prizes is a great way to engage people, but also to potentially promote your sponsors by distributing their swag. We’re not suggesting you hand each of your speakers t-shirt cannons, but definitely incentivize attendees in exchange for something. At PheedLoop, we have always been advocates of offering raffles in exchange for feedback and engagement. Of course, you don’t have to use a technological solution to run raffles, but it’s nice when technology does the work for you.

5. Local interaction with attendee smartphones

One of the most exciting things about modern smartphones and electronics in general is their ability to interact with the outside world around them. Two new interfaces which you may or may not be aware of are NFC (Near Field Communication) and iBeacon. Both technologies, roughly speaking, allow smartphones to interact with other smartphones and various types of devices (not necessarily smartphones) in their vicinity. This opens up a huge number of possibilities as you can use such technology for everything from live games (think scavenger hunts where people simply tap their phones or enter certain areas) to gathering live event data (which booths were most popular, where people tended to hang around most, etc.). We are currently experimenting with NFC ourselves, by allowing attendees to tap their phones at the registration desk to instantly sign in to the event and automatically be forwarded to the PheedLoop event app web page.

 

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6. Intelligent networking tools

Networking and meeting new people at large conferences used to be really hard. Imagine your conference hosting thousands of people, with each person having a specific type of person they want to connect with in mind. It would be pretty hard to make sure you spend your limited and precious time talking to the right people, unless you already know who you want to meet, and have scheduled a specific time and location to chat. If only that was possible … Well it is! Not only that, some applications these days (including PheedLoop’s) actually recommend who you should connect with based on advanced matching algorithms, and allow attendees to start sending each other private messages too.


We’ll leave you with a final thought: without a doubt all the ideas above are bound to enhance the overall event experience for your attendees. Why not find ways to integrate some of them with each other to make things really exciting? Tweet powered live polls that trigger a raffling t-shirt cannon streamed live on Periscope, anyone?

Those are our tips! Let us know what we missed, and hope you find ways to significantly improve live interaction and engagement at your events.

 

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Top 4 Companies That Make Event Organizer Lives Easier

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Overloaded? Too much to plan? Want to save time?
Check out PheedLoop’s list of 4 companies that will make your event planning life easier.

1. Finding Hotels/Venues

Check out Helmsbriscoe, they find hotels and venues for you for FREE! That’s right, seems too good to be true right? But the way it works is that hotels and venues pay Helmsbriscoe to get them customers (event organizers). It’s a win-win-win situation for you, Helmsbriscoe, and the hotels/venues. They operate worldwide and get the best rates with their huge purchasing power for the event organizer!

 

  Helmsbriscoe

 

2. Getting Reliable Internet Connectivity (WiFi)

WiFi is one of the major headaches for an event organizer. Although many attendees now have data plans on their phones, many venues do not have ideal coverage or are in dead zones. Second, WiFi is very costly when it’s offered by the venue or hotel. So how do you get over setup headaches and high costs for a service that is essential to the success of your event? You look to Turnstyle Solutions  and monetize the WiFi you are providing. Your event sponsors will love the service because when your attendees log onto to the WiFi they are greeted with a sponsor message. Sponsors will be more than willing to help out with dishing out some cash for this solution. We’ve used it, and loved it!

 

TurnStyle  

 

3. Arranging Healthy Snacks That People Will Love

As awesome event organizers, we are sure that you already have your go-to catering services and many hotels also offer catering services. However, what about all those snacks and coffee break foods? We don’t know about you, but we get pretty tired of just eating cookies and crackers as snacks – not to mention, they go straight to the waist line … But Mindful Snacks is doing something about having delicious, tasty, and super healthy snacks at events. In fact, PheedLoop was recently at Toronto’s #MarketersUnbound meetup where Mindful Snacks was providing the refreshments. In particular, the healthy waffle snacks (Rip van Wafels) they provided were to die for! 

 

mindful

 

4. Arranging Cheap and Quick Transportation

Another common concern for event organizer is: how will their attendees get to their event? This is especially important if your event venue does not offer accommodations. Needless to say, there is always reason for concern of how to get your attendees – let’s say from the airport to the event venue. Luckily, Uber offers awesome discounts when you partner with them to provide transportation services to and from your event venue. There have been countless partnerships between Uber and Events/Conferences. For example, at the 2014 Massachusetts Conference For Women, Uber offered a promotional discount of $20 for conference participants who downloaded the app (source: PCMA)


uber


 

That’s our list, and we hope it helps spark some ideas! Let us know if we missed anything, and we’ll be sure to add it in. Keep PheedLoop-ing!

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The importance and evolution of conferencing – the backpacker’s guide

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A quick Google search will find you find lots of information about the how-to’s and what-to’s of conferences through the lens of an attendee. Try, however, to find insight from the perspective of conference organizers, and you’ll come up relatively short. As a result, conferencing (physical events) hasn’t fundamentally changed in a long time. This is ironic, considering a conference was conceived as a platform for debate around new ideas and concepts.

In this post we answer the question “why conference?” as it was first conceptualized and look at some ways and means by which the art of conferencing could be improved. The scope of this particular post is only to begin a debate on the topic, as we analyze the various conference formats and tease out the most effective ways to conduct a conference depending on context and technological advances.

Why conference?

Today, most business conferences serve as hubs for people to meet potential customers, media, and other businesses.  It allows them to present cutting edge research, concepts and newly developed products. The knowledge gained and partnerships established in conferences result in significant economic value addition. Hence, the number of conferences across the globe are exponentially increasing. A US based study commissioned by the Convention Industry Council and Research by PwC indicates that the meetings industry directly contributes $280.4 to the American GDP. The number of conference participants jumped by 10% between 2009 and 2012, stimulating job growth by 8.3% and providing jobs for more than 1.7 million Americans.

What a conference should accomplish?

According to us there are two main goals a conference must achieve for its attendees: (1) Exchange information (2) Establish networks.

Conveying information accurately

In order to achieve these goals, the organizers need to firstly ensure that they provide sufficient information to the attendees so that they can develop some context before the speaker session. Building context within minutes, if not seconds, will definitely be a big challenge. Using the attendee information captured during registration, specific and targeted information, akin to cheat sheets, could be mailed just before a session.

Organizing and scheduling time

Next, event organizers need to think about how the attendees would prefer to spend their time at the conference. Instead of having only a series of speaker events, organizers should also consider organizing parallel gatherings for like-minded people who might not be interested in a particular speaker session. This calls for using tools to build customized calendars for the attendees based on their individual interests instead of providing them with a common event schedule.

Promoting interaction, discourse, and feedback loops

Speaker sessions are increasingly moving away from being plain monologues towards more interactive ones. Tools are quickly being adopted by organizers to facilitate such interactive sessions, including live feedback/question services. Connecting with the speaker and other attendees is important because the time slot available during the conference to have insightful conversations is limited. Online discussion forums for each speaker session would be a great platform to carry the discussion forward.

After the speaker event, the number of people who go back to access the presentation material are far and few. Therefore, just as the pre-reading material, organizers should start thinking about synthesizing relevant information based on the attendee’s interests and present it in a short format accessible at a later date.

Building a brand and fostering networks

Being at a conference today has become a matter of prestige. Using social media to attach his or her name with the conference is a great branding strategy. Therefore, it is extremely crucial for event organizers to have a diverse social media presence. When attendees at the conference tweet using a conference hashtag provides immense visibility for the conference.

From a networking perspective, based on the registration information, attendees could be provided with a shortlist of other attendees they might be interested to have meetings with. This could potentially ensure that the attendee’s time is used most efficiently at the conference. Having said that, we believe that most of the key connections made at the conference are circumstantial and therefore organizers should still retain the traditional post conference mix and mingle events. Tracking the attendees that connected during the conference and prompting them with reminders to follow up with these connections is useful and provides a creative way for lead generation.

Keep an eye on our blog for more in-depth analyses of conferences.

 

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5 Exciting New Tech For Conferences & Events

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Spacing

It was suggested by a recent study on the future of event planning by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) that event organizers must “monitor both the digital space and the competitive in-person space…[to] deliver a unique experience their own attendee universe will want to have.” (2015,PCMA).

With the advent of the ever growing portfolio of event technology, we’ve sifted through new and future technologies for you and picked out our list of 5 Exciting New Tech for Conferences & Events:

1. Loopd

Loopd

Use the LoopdBadge & LoopdApp to measure how many attendees visit your event in real time. Understand the number of connections made between your attendees. Accurately determine how much time attendees spent at your event.

2. INXPO

INXPO

Hold Virtual And Hybrid events on this award-winning event platform. Expand event reach, monetize content and socially engage your attendees. Get data analytics on event attendees to see event effectiveness and engagement.

3. Realfiction 3D Holograms

Realfiction

The days of dreaming about when Stars Wars-like Holograms will become a reality are over. These 3D hologram displays by Realfiction are huge attention grabbers at events and promoting the availability of this type of technology at your events is sure to sell tickets fast!

4. Apple Watch

Apple Watch

With the Apple Watch, event organizers should look for apps such as feedback collection and scheduling tools coming up in the near future (PheedLoop is also playing around with watch applications). For event organizers the Apple Watch and others like it  also presents another way of collecting insightful data on event attendee behaviour and will be another channel for communication between event organizers and attendees – especially as more people start to adopt the use of smart watches in their lives.

5. Microsoft Hololens

Looking a little further down the line, event organizers and exhibitors may use the Microsoft HoloLens to display high-definition holograms that seamlessly integrate with physical places, spaces, and things. It will be a great way to promote sponsors and new products at events.

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Top 10 conference websites, and how to make yours stand out

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One of the perks that comes with innovating in the events and conferences space is that we get to learn about hundreds of new conferences happening around the world every single week. Each one amuses, impresses, or excites us in one way or another. A conference’s website is really the first point of contact for us, and anyone else these days trying to learn more about it. Some planners and organizers clearly do a better job at presenting their event online (and rightly so), so we felt it would be nice to write a quick post to appreciate their efforts and hopefully inspire others. Before we list just some of our favourite websites, we’ll take a minute to mention some factors which we feel contribute to making the “A” list of conference websites. Some are obvious, some maybe not so much. This however, is certainly not an exhaustive list.

 

  1. Nice user interface and logical layout: We are living in a world where the expectations for flawless design are very high, browse around the net for inspiration, or use a template. Feel free to run your ideas by us!
  2. Obvious ways to connect and contact: One of the most frustrating things is when there is no way to contact the event organizers directly. Putting a face to your event and who’s behind it is key, and make sure you let people know how they can get in touch.
  3. Clear call to action: You want potential attendees to sign up! Make sure it’s obvious how they can do so. Don’t just add a tiny hard to find “register” in some corner.
  4. Mobile compatible: This one’s way too obvious, but so necessary. Invest in responsive design, everyone’s on mobile platforms these days.
  5. Well positioned sponsor logos: Sponsors are hard to get, and it’s important they are represented well. It will keep them happy, shows that you have strong support behind your conference, and attracts them as sponsors for future events.
  6. Information about previous conference: Conferences are unfortunately very ephemeral. They happen, and people forget about them. Convince potential attendees and sponsors that your last conference was amazing, and the one coming up will be even better. Show pictures, videos, testimonials, and most importantly, stats.
  7. Invite people to a newsletter: This does two things. It keeps people who registered up to date and excited about your event, and helps those who are not sure and haven’t registered yet (but are still interested) in the loop and also regularly reminded.
  8. Template approval letter: Tickets are sometimes expensive, and more often than not the attendees aren’t actually paying – their bosses are. A template letter a prospective attendee can use to convince their boss to let them attend will help a lot.

 

Social Fresh 2015

A bright page, with a great mobile responsive design. We love how there is a clear line of communication with the organizing team, and the video on the page adds a lot of value. Discount and incentive information is definitely a bonus, everyone likes that kind of stuff!

fresh

 

Unbounce Road Trip

This website might just be our favourite, it’s almost like they read our tips ahead of time! It’s one of the few websites we’ve come across that actually invite people to a mailing list, and we really like how they integrate speaker details and pictures in their schedule time lines. Oh yeah, the road trip is stopping by Toronto!

unbounce

 

Podcast Movement

The coolest thing about this website, aside from the wicked logo, is the fact they actually shared a video from their 2014 conference. We had a lot of fun scrolling through their speaker page, filled with every single speaker to expect alongside high res photographs which make it look great. We like how they included speaker pictures in their schedule linking back to the speaker’s bio page (also awesome), but it would have been nice to see a little tag-line in the schedule too quickly mentioning who they are.

podcast

 

PolyConf 2015

Great example of a clean, no clutter minimalistic design. They chose one main colour, and stuck with it. We also really like how their schedule is presented and the fact that there are testimonials is awesome.

polyconf

 

HybridConf 2015

Unlike PolyConf, the HybridConf team did a great job applying multiple colours in a flat design, and their “convincer” is bound to be very helpful. They also did a great job displaying their speakers in a coherent way, and their little design touch in the sponsors section really makes thinga streamlined.

hybrid

 

Big Data Innovation Summit

We’re not surprised at all by their website – it’s jam packed with nothing other than … data! We’ll admit that it looks a little cluttered in some places, but what’s great is that every bit of information someone would need is right there, and well organized. The fact that they also have a brochure you can download is awesome.

datawest

 

PyCon 2015

PyCon 2015 is over, sadly, but there’s something about its website that just makes us smile – probably the nice and bright design thanks to the vivid colour choice. Their responsive mobile design is perfect, and unlike some of the other pages with lots of scrolling which can get tiring, they have a handy navigation bar leading to all the info you need.

pycon

 

Tech Leadership Conference 2015

There are two things we really like about this website. All speakers are listed, and it’s easy to learn more about them by clicking to read their full bio. Knowing as much as possible about the speakers at a conference is key for potential attendees. Second, the registration options are listed on the main page too, so no need to hunt around for details! We would like to see more social media links and contact details though.

communitech

 

UX Strategies Summit

Our favourite aspect of this website is the “What You’ll Learn” and “Who You’ll Meet” sections. Clearly demonstrating the value an attendee will receive from their conference is very convincing. After all, that’s why they’re registering!

ux_strat

 

Full Stack Toronto

Back to Toronto! Our favourite aspect of this website is just the simplicity. Most of the other websites we have shown you are packed with information in the same place, which is fine, but here there’s a lot less scrolling, and information is separated nicely. Switching to mobile view for FSTO shows why this is convenient. Scrolling forever in mobile views is no fun, so we appreciate the ease of navigation via their menu.

fsto

 

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10 Tips to Combat Technical Presentation Problems

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You’ve rehearsed and prepared for that incredibly important presentation tomorrow, and you’re more confident than ever that it’s going to rock! And you know what? It probably will. But what if some unforeseen problem brings you close to tears while you stand there helplessly on the stage, and realize that something isn’t right? You’re sweating bullets, because you’re up in 5 minutes, and either your file is corrupt, your internet connection isn’t working, you have the wrong version of your presentation, the projector won’t respond, your media won’t play, the speakers don’t work … we’ve all seen it happen. Technology plays a huge role in presentation delivery today, and although its potential promises a dynamic and awe inspiring experience for your audience (when used correctly), relying on it without understanding it and realizing you need a Plan B is a fatal mistake. We’ll cover 10 techniques which we have found extremely effective to create a nearly impenetrable shield of redundancy, so that you can stay cool in the hot spot, and give the awesome presentation you prepared for.

1. Arrive early, and test your setup

It really depends on how much you are relying on your host. You may simply be bringing your presentation on a flash drive to someone’s laptop and projector, you may be bringing your laptop to connect to someone’s projector, or perhaps you are bringing everything! Point is, issues with the projector, internet, incompatible file types, and sound system are bound to occur, and your best defence is to arrive early and make sure everything works. After all, you spent so much time preparing your presentation, why not a bit more making sure that it’ll actually work?

2. Save a PDF copy

A PDF copy is your best bet to stay afloat in spite of any possible file compatibility issue. Almost every device can display PDF files, and the great thing is that a PDF will always look exactly the same on all of them – no formatting nightmares. Presenting PDFs is actually preferred by many people. Sure, it lacks fancy effects and all, but it’s robust and reliable. All popular software (Office, Keynote, Prezi, etc.) can easily export to PDF, so even if you don’t plan on presenting a PDF, have a copy saved just in case.

3. Have at least two devices available

If you will be supplying the device which will be used to run your presentation, have at least one more device which can also hook up to a projector. Most phones and tablets these days can connect with a special USB cable to any HDMI display, so toss one of those into your bag. Also, if you know someone else attending your presentation, ask them if they don’t mind bringing their computer too, just in case. Ideally, it should run a different operating system – mobile or desktop, doesn’t matter.

4. Don’t rely on an internet connection

The bottom line here is that you shouldn’t ever need (or at least rely on) an internet connection for your presentation unless, for example, you’re pitching some sort of a service in which you absolutely need a public internet connection for demonstration purposes (but you can always demonstrate such projects on a local server too with a dummy database). Anything that needs an internet connection should be saved for offline presentation. Images, videos, and audio in particular. In a pinch, if you have a phone with a data connection and the local wifi network doesn’t work for you, make sure you have a tethering setup ready to go so that you can share your phone’s internet connection with your computer. Lots of apps can do this for you.

5. Save your presentation in 3 places

Save your presentation files in at least 3 places. Two physical locations which you can hang on to (say a USB flash drive and your hard drive), and one cloud based (for example, Dropbox or your personal e-mail account). If you’re feeling adventurous, give SlideShark a try too. It’s an awesome tool that allows you to broadcast presentations from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod (if you’re an Apple fan, that is)!

6. Have a set of portable speakers on hand

Nothing’s worse than a presentation where the speaker system doesn’t work, and your audience has to huddle around your laptop and listen to the tinny sounds of the media you’re trying to play – and that’s the best case. Invest in a simple portable speaker set, often times they can fit in your pocket but still pack a punch. Here’s a great list by TechRadar.

7. Have a microphone on hand

If you’re presenting to a large audience, and your microphone setup doesn’t work, things can get difficult. If you have a loud voice, you may manage, otherwise you’ll need a solution – fast. The answer is any ordinary microphone that you connect to your computer. Assuming the room’s speaker system works with your setup, you can actually route the input from your microphone to your computer’s speaker system, and voila, your voice will resonate through the room as you envisioned. If you’re on Windows, for example, all you have to do is go to your microphone’s recording settings, and click “Listen to this Device”. More details here.

8. Keep a wireless mouse with you

For just a couple of dollars, you can pick up a wireless mouse which just may save you when your fancy clicker malfunctions. The thing with wireless mice is that all mice follow a protocol known to every computer in existence (called HID). Almost always, your wireless mouse will never require custom drivers or any additional software, you can just plug one in, and go! A wireless mouse will do the same thing as a clicker, and is great to have around just in case.

9. Charge your device(s) the night before

Don’t rely on a power outlet being accessible, or even available in the presentation room. It’s a simple tip, but often overlooked. Just set your laptop or tablet to charge the night before to ensure it will last you the duration of the presentation. The last thing you want to be doing is getting a low battery notification half way through your otherwise awesome presentation.

10. Don’t draw attention to your mistakes

Everyone will experience a glitch with their presentation at some point – it’s unfortunate, but true. The trick is to not draw attention to your mistakes or glitches. Assuming they aren’t critical, the funny thing is that you will likely be the only person in the room who would even know that something went wrong, if you don’t draw attention to it. That means, don’t say “oh no”, “that wasn’t supposed to happen”, “I’m really sorry about this”, etc. if the problem isn’t instrumental to your presentation. Just move on. If it’s something serious, a sincere apology is definitely in order.

Final thoughts

Accept that technical glitches in presentations are not uncommon, they happen to everyone, and your best bet is to prepare for them well in advance. Making a professional impression every time you take the stage is incredibly important, and nothing shows professionalism more than preparedness. In fact, simply knowing that you are prepared for any eventuality will allow you to deliver a much more focused and organized presentation, because you know you are ready!

 

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Feedback Loops and the Story of PheedLoop

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The beginning

This is a historic moment for our team – our very first blog post! We’d like to start by thanking our early adopters for their fantastic support, feedback, and encouragement! We felt it would be fitting to kick off our foray into the blogosphere by writing about our name: PheedLoop. As engineering students by day (and PheedLoop developers by night), we are immersed in what we call “feedback loops” – hence our name.

What are feedback loops?

Conceptually, feedback loops are really simple. They are composed of three main parts: a reference, sensor, and controller. The reference is where you want to be, the sensor tells you where you currently are, and the controller allows you to fine tune your location. The process of sensing, tuning, and comparing is repeated in a loop as many times as necessary until there is no difference between your current location (which could be any goal you might have) and your initially set reference. This process, is called a feedback loop – or in our case, a PheedLoop!

Our challenge

The thing is, feedback loops are extremely easy to implement in engineering settings. For example, when we write code for PheedLoop and if we write something silly, the computer screams at us in a fairly unfriendly way – but the message is very clear, and we know exactly what we need to fix. The problem with feedback when humans are the ones delivering it is that humans are simply too nice (especially Canadians). Imagine if your audience yelled at you every single time you did something wrong in a presentation. It wouldn’t feel too great. Our motivation to bring feedback loops to the world of professional communication was a challenge we found exciting and interesting – because nothing is more important, or scarce for that matter, to a presenter than useful feedback.

The crux of our project’s inception was the realization that useful feedback is so hard to get, simply because it’s so hard to give. PheedLoop was designed from the ground up, and is constantly being redesigned, to make useful feedback easier to give. The basis of our idea is anonymizing feedback. Oscar Wilde once said: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” By default, all feedback given through PheedLoop is anonymous, but we support several features to allow the audience to take off their mask and converse with the presenter also.

Why feedback loops are awesome

The benefits of feedback loops are inherently apparent – primary of which is the fact that it is a simple no-nonsense approach to becoming really good at something really fast. In general, and especially with PheedLoop in mind, we think feedback loops are incredibly important for three main reasons:

  1. Creating a feedback loop allows you to set a destination; a goal. You keep iterating with laser-like focus until you reach that very specific goal. Your goal as a presenter may be to minimize repeating yourself, improve your visuals, or stick to a time budget more effectively.
  2. Creating a feedback loop makes your progress trackable. By setting your destination, each iteration in the “sense, tune, compare” process either brings you closer or moves you further from your destination – provided your sensor is of high quality. With a clear understanding of whether you are moving north or south, you’ll arrive at your destination far more quickly.
  3. Feedback loops are interactive. You’re not blindly making changes to your system; you get to understand exactly what could be done better and why.
  4. Feedback loops are simple. The beauty of feedback loops is that you can black-box your sensor, and look at only the output, and tune your input accordingly. Again, this is assuming your sensor rocks. You may interpret your sensor data in non-objective ways, but you’ll always be able to make at least a rough intuitive judgment about whether the direction you’re heading in is positive, or negative.

How to start your own feedback loop

If you’re a presenter, use PheedLoop! But in all seriousness, you can implement little feedback loops in all aspects of your life quite easily. Try following these steps

  1. Choose something you want to improve. It could be anything, say eating fewer cookies.
  2. Decide on a definition of success. It may simply be eating a maximum of two cookies per day.
  3. Find a way to measure your progress regularly. So, for example, you could count the number of cookies left in the jar every day.
  4. Practice strategies to minimize the gap in your current situation, and destination. For example, you could put the cookie jar in an increasingly inaccessible place, put alternative foods near it, etc.

Just repeat steps 2 – 4 until you stop munching on more than two cookies a day!

Final thoughts

We started developing PheedLoop back in October of 2013, and wrote most of it during our commutes to school, in classes, and at night. We launched it by accident when it was not even finished, but it was the best thing that ever happened as it probably wouldn’t be online today otherwise. We have had conference presenters, companies, teachers, students, and professors use PheedLoop, and give us amazing feedback (yup, we love feedback). There’s a lot more work to do, but we are really excited about what the future holds for PheedLoop and we will keep working hard to make you an amazing presenter! We’ll wrap up with a quote by one of the coolest people ever:

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” – Elon Musk

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