As the newest producer on the P&MM Live team I was invited to a seminar for the new IML connector. Now I’ve played ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ more times than I care to mention since the launch of such event technology so I desperately hoped that this handset would bring something new to the table.
On arrival I was issued with a name badge before grabbing a cup of tea and settling into my seat where the IML Connector was waiting for me. Based on a blackberry handset (although slightly larger with a keypad you can actually see) the look and feel is certainly premium. Following a short introduction we were directed to the agenda loaded onto the handsets including links to presenter photos, biogs and a synopsis for each seminar – a chance to get your head round the functionality before the seminar had even begun.
Our name badges were actually the smart card which is inserted into the top, a great way to assign smart cards to delegates. You can however, remove it if you want to partake anonymously.
The most impressive function of this handset for me was the inbuilt microphone. This essentially gives each delegate a handheld microphone for Q&A sessions and debates. Gone are the days of producers running around with handheld mics, squeezing your backside between seats so a delegate can ask a question. The audio runs straight from the PA desk and is in my opinion really good quality. This same function can also be used for simultaneous translation offering a maximum of 2 channels (increasing to 8 by 2012) so there’s no need for a separate sim tran kit (less kit is finally more).
Other great little features include the buzzer function, large colour LED screen and temperature check capability (delegates can respond by raising their handsets in the air and the IML connector will calculate the number of responses). The speaker management tool also allows the chairman to view a queue of questions and any pledges made during the session can be emailed directly to delegates. These are tools I’ve seen before but it’s impressive to see this handset pack so many features into one unit.
There are a few downsides, for all the features listed above, there is no video function at the moment. The other potential issue is that content must be loaded pre event and is unable to be edited whilst the show is live. This means that double and triple checking is a must as mistakes matter. We were assured these issues are being worked on for future models.
Granted this isn’t the cheapest handset on the market but this is a great piece of technology and it truly opens up the options for us when planning an event with clients. I must say that throughout the two hour seminar I was fully engaged and left feeling confident about the product and its capabilities. This must be a positive, about the product. For me, if a product can grip your attention and make a delegate focus then surely that is a beneficial thing. All I kept thinking was if it had such a great impact on me; imagine how well it would be received by the delegates of our events. Definitely one to consider if you want to create an impact/lasting impression!