Making conferences more interactive, and more fun

We’ve been going to conferences a lot lately, and not just to eat free snacks and listen to clever people talk. For some time now we’ve been talking to event organisers to see (and trial) how Flattr could help to make conferences better.

How would Flattr be used at a conference?

So far Flattr has almost exclusively been used on the web. With QR codes everything at a conference, every attendant, every venue or room and even every coffee table can be made flattrable.

Showing how it works

Also, we’ve released an iPhone app that event organisers can use to list the program, and enable flattring either via scanning QR codes or clicking the familiar green button in the app.

Putting the two together, the World’s first flattrable conference took place in our home town Malmö at the end of August, as covered by The Next Web, Conference Basics and our own blog.

It went really well!

We’re pleased to say that trialling this functionality went well both from our own and conference organiser’s perspective. There was excitement from using a new feature for the first time as well as some confusion, but the numbers speak for themselves:

– Around 180 of the 600 participants signed up to Flattr, and 25 or so were Flattr users from before. So altogether about a third of participants engaged in flattry in some shape or form.

Flattr QR codes on the posters

– More than a 100 participants flattred something or someone at least once, that’s more than half of those that signed up.

– The most flattred thing was one of the keynotes by Amber Case, which received more than 60 flattrs. Altogether 10 sessions got more than 10 flattrs, and almost all sessions got flattrd at least once.

– Participant-to-participant flattring was also happening, but on a smaller scale. The most signs of appreciation a layman got was 4 but all in all 20, or 10%, of attendees displaying a QR code were flattred at least once.

– The Conference emailed a 10€ Flattr voucher code to all participants before the event. Just short of 15% of email recipients, or around 90 people, used the code and signed up. About the same amount of people registered at the event.

Benefits of using Flattr in a conference setting

Martin Thornkvist of The Conference pointed out that number of flattrs is a good indication of what was liked and what could have been better at the event. Furthermore, flattring engaged participants well, scanning someone’s QR code was a good icebreaker.

The fact that using Flattr at a conference gives a whole lot of innovativeness brownie points, goes without saying.

What we’ll do differently next time

Martin is one of the main organizers of The Conference

The first flattrable conference went well, but that is not to say it could not have been better. Our developers are already improving the app as we speak, and there are several other things to keep in mind for future events. For example, we’d recommend to make sure every badge has a flattrable QR code, even before someone has signed up to Flattr (and we’re working hard to allow this on our end) and that QR codes for sessions are well visible both inside and outside of a talk venue. So mostly small things, but hey, devil is in the detail.

We’re looking forward to our next conferences.

5 thoughts on “Making conferences more interactive, and more fun

  1. A few additional ideas that the participants suggested:

    * TV screen in every conf room (or in the hallway outside) that displays real time tweets and flattrs.

    * Life size human cutouts in the hallway with the faces of the presenters carrying the name and the QR code for their presentation. Easier to remember that way during the break which one was the one you really-really enjoyed but didn’t flattr earlier.

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