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August 25, 2008

National School of Government pulls off first interactive and multi-venue event

The National School of Government has successfully executed a multiple venue event delivering sustainability and interactivity benefits to the organisers and participants.

The one-day conference was held in traditional style at the QEII Conference Centre in London and also simultaneously attended by regional delegates in Nottingham and Plymouth via remote event technologies. Delegates outside of these areas could also join in via webcast facilities.

The event was organised by event management company Live Group, which used its audience participation software to create an engaging atmosphere and give delegates the opportunity to share ideas and opinions. Regardless of location, all delegates could interact in workshops or question and answer sessions using PCs, laptops and digital tablets to input answers in multiple choice and free text format. This ensured that the networking philosophy of a live event was not lost, whilst considerable travel and efficiency savings were gained.

In addition to full participation in engagement exercises, delegates at The National School of Government event had everything they would normally expect from a traditional conference - full view of speeches, PowerPoint presentations, videos and facilitator involvement.

“This conference broke new ground for the National School and we were delighted at the success of the event,” said Eleanor Goodison, deputy director, professions development at National School of Government. “Apparently the group in Nottingham enjoyed it so much they carried on even after everyone in London had left!”

Toby Lewis, managing director of The Live Group, added: “The idea of video conference and other remotely powered events proffer sustainability advantages such as reducing travel and time out of the office for delegates. However, the greatest fear has been that events of this style would lose the benefits of sharing ideas, opinions and feedback. This can now be successfully overcome with specialist engagement software. Delegates can ask questions at any time via the software and participate in interactive sessions in just the same way they would on site. This has been an exciting and pioneering development for the industry.

“This multi-venue event has been a huge success and has set a new benchmark for sustainable practice and audience interaction,” continued Lewis. “Live events will continue to evolve further, utilising the Internet, social networking, virtual worlds and other technological advances.”

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