Meetings

Friday Buzz: Tracking the Emotions of Meeting Attendees

By / Jun 9, 2017 (Creative-Touch/Thinkstock)

In the near future, technology may help you gauge your attendees’ emotions right in the moment. Also: Why you should stop micromanaging and learn to delegate.

We all want our meeting attendees to be happy, but it’s difficult to know how they are feeling in the moment . There may be pain points in your conferences that you aren’t aware of, but if you could track your attendees’ faces, you could tell a lot about how they’re feeling during a keynote speech, in a registration line, or during a breakout learning session.

Currently, event professionals don’t have facial-tracking technology. But, as Event Manager Blog points out, a recent patent granted to Facebook for emotion-tracking technology via analyzing a person’s face or via keyboard input may be a sign of things to come.

This tracking technology from Facebook would respond to a user’s emotions by adjusting the type of content that appears in his or her newsfeed, formatting text and font size, and matching a user’s expression to an emoji.

What could that mean for meetings? “The new Facebook patent poses another possible way to get emotional feedback from event attendees in real time,” says the post. “Instead of quite invasively scanning attendees’ faces, emotional cues can also be picked up from a wide range of sensors on their mobile devices, including the keyboard, touchscreen, and movement.”

Would attendees allow you to do this? Privacy concerns (and no small amount of creepiness) probably mean that many would opt out. But as this type of tech becomes more pervasive, people may start to feel more comfortable.

Loosen the Reigns

Leaders take on a lot of responsibility, so it’s hard to blame them for keeping a close eye on their staffers to make sure everything is done correctly. But a micromanaging style may be hurting your team.

Inc. shares a few ways to become a better leader by being a better delegator. Start by determining if you are a micromanager.

If you are, then you need to recognize why it’s an awful leadership strategy. “Micromanaging shows you mistrust your team,” writes Andy Molinsky, a professor of management and psychology at Brandeis University. “It takes away time from what you should be doing as a leader, which is thinking more big picture, setting the strategy and direction, equipping your team with the information and access they need to execute on this vision  …  and then getting out of the way.”

Break the habit by building a strong team environment and creating a culture where people are rewarded for their accomplishments.

Other Links of Note

It’s unfortunate when a board member doesn’t live up to expectations. Network for Good reveals strategies for having a difficult conversation with a volunteer leader.

Are you performing all of the essential marketing to-dos? EventMobi shares an association marketing checklist for you to follow.

Fundraising is vital to your organization. Engaging Volunteers reveals how to build a terrific fundraising committee to organize your next event.

Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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