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Google Waves Hello to Events

Sunday evening, Twitter was buzzing about Google Wave being used at the recent EComm Conference in Amsterdam. The Fresh Networks Blog did a nice job of recapping the power of Google Wave in Google Wave vs. Twitter at Conferences.

To me, this event demonstrated how you can tap into the energy and brainpower of the attendees to share, communicate and collaborate at events.

Here are some of the ways that the attendees used Google Wave at the EComm Conference:

  • Send messages
  • Share notes
  • Build group summaries of the sessions.
  • Provide feedback on sessions, etc.

If you are new to Google Wave – I suggest that you watch this simple video that explains the concept:

Mass Collaboration At Events

The thing that caught my attention was the use of Google Wave for mass collaboration at an event. It almost seemed like wikis+twitter on steroids. It made me consider the following scenario:

What if you brainstormed a bunch of ideas in a plenary session through Google Wave and prioritized them on the spot. Then, you could assign one or two topics to each break-out session. Ask the teams to expand on the ideas and make recommendations for next steps.

It they used Google Wave, they could end up with a summary document and action plan. In this scenario, you would avoid the flip charts, the massive amounts of handwritten notes, the situation where notes were left in the conference room, etc. Everything would already be “digitized” and ready-to-share. So, when attendees return to the office, they can maintain the momentum of the event and start making change happen.

Sounds like a good idea to me. What about you?

(Note: I know that some of you already do something similar with other technology solutions.)

A Word of Caution

Before we get too excited we probably need to keep the following four things in mind:

  1. Google Wave is still on a limited release.
  2. Wifi access/connectivity in many venues is still questionable.
  3. If you have a room full of laptops, netbooks, etc – then you need to provide power strips and tables.
  4. We still need to learn more about using the tool and how to best apply it for collaboration.

Bottom Line

I think Google Wave has demonstrated that it can be a powerful accessory to engage the audience, create interaction and enhance collaboration at events.  Once it rolls out, it may be something to consider for your events.

What do you think? Do you want your attendees doing the wave and engaging in mass collaboration?

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Very cool ideas. I just got an invitation to Google Wave so I’m looking forward to trying it out.

    I suppose it depends on the meeting, but I can see this technology could improve meetings and add value to guests’ experience.

    November 10, 2009
  2. Sam, great article and thanks for starting the buzz about Google Wave. I am really excited… just got my invitation yesterday and already the wheels are spinning about how this tool could be used.

    Your point above about a brainstorm session is absolutely well taken… that could be a really cool and powerful way to harness some creative brainpower quickly!!!

    I am going to write down some ideas and reference your blog article as well and create some more discussion about this topic on McCurry’s corner as well.

    Let the conversation continue!

    Thanks for being so forward thinking!


    November 10, 2009
  3. Great post! And thanks for the personal DM service (sorry, inside joke).
    It’s like Google captured the dream I’ve had for years of bringing Google Docs, Doodle, various wiki’s, Google Groups, etc. together under one tidy roof.
    Gotta love it.
    Best regards Samuel, you’re a technology powerhouse my friend!
    Midori Connolly, Chief AVGirl

    November 10, 2009
  4. @Buzz – Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that this tool will not be a great fit for all events. Just like any technology tool – you need to select the tool that will best help you achieve your objective.

    @Mike – Thanks for your comment. I look forward to hearing more about your Google Wave experience and reading your upcoming post. For my money, Mass Collaboration is the “holy grail” but I think that we will so other less intense levels of interaction first.

    Also, Google Wave has a “network effect” meaning that the more people that are on it – the more valuable it is to each person. I think it will be interesting to see how the tool is adopted. I imagine that the early adopters will be collaborative work teams and then fan out from there (though I could be way wrong here).

    @Midori – The DM service is my pleasure! I, too, am excited to see what is happening with Google Wave and the integration of Google Tools. I think that we are in for an interesting next 12 months! Thanks for your comment!

    November 10, 2009

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