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October 1, 2008

Hackney Homes uses event technology for digital votes

Hackney Homes, a non profit organisation managing council homes in the London borough of Hackney, recently employed LiveInteractive’s audience engagement technologies at its three day staff conference.

By Jason Stamper

Three hundred staff attended the event each day for three days. Individuals were split into thirty groups of ten, each sharing a table with one digital engagement tablet. Full free text feedback can be entered into the tablet, which can also be used for internet access or viewing digital documents and multimedia files.

All staff were also given a handheld voting ‘palmlet’. This enabled ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses to multiple choice questions. Having the widest range of tools made full qualitative and quantitative audience engagement possible during the conference, according to LiveInteractive.

The main objectives of the event were to prepare for an Audit Commission Inspection in November and to efficiently communicate the business direction for 2008/2009. Hackney Homes wanted to comprehensively capture all feedback, ideas and questions.

The event facilitator used the digital tablets to run group exercises, distribute pictures, instructions and examples. The groups were then able to upload answers in free text immediately via a touch screen keyboard on the tablet. This allowed responses to be used for instant discussion and debate.

The digital tablets were also used as a communication channel, where delegates could ask questions instantly and anonymously. These were then compiled by the on-site LiveInteractive team and directed to the facilitator as a subject for discussion.

The ‘palmlets’ were also employed as a feedback tool. Questions were displayed at the front of the venue and then voted on in multiple choice format using the ‘palmlets’.

“The audience engagement tools gave the staff more confidence to get involved, resulting in a decent amount of feedback which we used to ensure the event was relevant and informative,” said Chloe Goddard, head of communications at Hackney Homes. “The tablets and palmlets were easy and entertaining to use, helping to break up the day and heighten interest levels.”

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“The technology enabled us to feed back immediately to staff and tailor the programme accordingly and consolidated all the notes after the event into a manageable document,” said Goddard.

The LiveInteractive technology captures information instantly. Previously note pads and flip charts were used to record the data, making it necessary for someone to read and transcribe into an electronic document. The digital tablets did this automatically and a full electronic report was delivered within twenty four hours of the end of the event. The report is now said to be referred to on a regular basis as a best practice document.

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