Pros and Cons to Online Engagement During Live Events

    With the advent of smart phones and social media outlets such as Twitter, it is extremely easy and quite widespread for audiences of live events to engage and participate via the internet. Like with many things related to the internet, this has a good side and a bad side. Luckily for you, we have outlined the pros and cons of online engagement during live events.

    Excess Smart phones and Tablets Out during the Event

    Cons: With online engagement during live events, there are of course going to be an excess of smart phones in the event venue and they most certainly won't be staying in pockets and purses. This can sometimes be distracting for both the people on stage and the other audience members.

    Pros: On the bright side of this, having many smart phones and online activity in an event can open many doors to interactive lectures, experiments, polls, and more that a speaker, lecturer or event host can do to interact with their audience. Sometimes, it may even push people to pay attention more since it comes across as more hands on.

    Widespread Information Fast

    Cons: We all know how the internet can spread information faster than wildfire. Thus, having online engagement during live events can be dangerous, in that some information can spread too fast. For example, if something goes wrong or a rumor is started during an event, it is quite possible for that information to go viral only within a few minutes.

    Pros: Being able to have your information travel from your event location to the internet and to anywhere in the world can be the golden ticket to free PR. For example, having people live tweet jokes, statistics, quotes, pictures, or more of your event causes quite a stir in the world of social media and with that, more people will be engaged in the event without physically being there.

    Engagement and Feedback

    Cons: Requiring and suggesting people be engaged during your live event via an online platform can be beneficial. However, it can also backfire on you as some people may offer harsh, unnecessary, or useless feedback. It can also be difficult to maintain if there are a large amount of people engaging at the same time.

    Pros: Overall, online engagement during an event can be very beneficial for engagement and feedback. The host of the event, whether it is a lecturer, professor, comedian, musician, or more, can ask opinions of the attendees during breaks, in the middle of the event, or prior to the event and based on the responses, they can alter their performance. This is extremely beneficial for lecturers who have a lot of material to cover but are unsure of what their audience is interested in or already knows. It is also very useful for taking polls or even for contests and giveaways.

    Have you participated in online engagement at a social event? Did you enjoy it? What were the pros and cons? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.