Zeetings // Turning Events into Conversations

By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie

Zeetings is a cloud based presentation and content interaction platform that transforms the audience from passive viewers into active participants. Zeetings creates a genuine connection between presenter and audience, changing the paradigm from one way to two way conversations.

A “zeeting” is a social, interactive and accessible collaboration via any connected device while data driven analytics help hosts understand what their content community is thinking. Sounds super cool right? We definitely got excited when we first heard about it! So we spoke to Zeetings Co-Founder  and CEO Rob Kawalsky to hear more. 

And Zeetings are generously giving away a free one month event package valued at US$345 (A$475) to one lucky winner! Keep reading below and find out how you can enter and be a winner!

We were so excited when we heard about Zeetings! We’d love to hear how Zeetings was born – was there a particular lightbulb moment that sparked the idea?

There certainly was!  It happened at a pitch event in Silicon Valley with 20 Australian startups in the room.  The whole setup for the event was impeccable: it was held in a beautiful room with some really sophisticated projector and AV equipment, the place was filled with investors, media, and members from the startup community, it was a really exciting atmosphere.  There couldn’t have been a better environment for Australian companies to come pitch their business ideas - but what followed couldn’t be further from perfect.  

When the first company went onstage to pitch, the projector didn’t work, they couldn’t get their slides up on the screen, and they were frantically grappling with their laptops and equipment to figure out the problem.  It was pretty clear that even before they had started presenting, they had already lost the audience.  People were chatting, looking at their phones – they’d completely lost interest.  They eventually recovered and managed to deliver the presentation.  Then the next company went up to pitch. They opened up their slides from DropBox and started talking, but three slides in, they realised that they had opened an older version of the file! 

Something had to be done!

Presentations, and events more broadly, haven’t fundamentally changed in decades with attendees expected to simply sit back and be passive. What has changed dramatically, however, is the technology available and the desire of people to get involved. We realised there was an incredible opportunity to leverage mobile and other technologies to open up a dialogue at events – to really get attendees to sit up, lean in and get involved.

 

Zeetings is incredibly user-friendly, can you tell us how it suits all level of tech-savvy guests and how this makes it so unique?

The North Star that has been guiding us is simplicity. It’s not just about the look and feel of the platform, but also about how users feel when they are using it. This starts with a user interface which is not just extremely intuitive, but also familiar. 

This approach starts from the first point of contact guest have with Zeetings. To join in at an event, guests just open a browser and type in a simple URL. That’s it! There is nothing to download, nothing to install and guests don’t even need to create an account. Also, it works on any connected device.  

This seamless experience continues once you’re in with the right content, questions and more appearing on your device automatically at the right moment. It’s like magic! 

How is Zeetings a good fit and tool for anyone holding events, even small business owners who don’t have the big budgets of large corporations?

Zeetings is used by many small businesses because it’s a great way for them to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Not only does it take their events to the next level but it sends the message that they’re innovative, entrepreneurial and on the cutting-edge of technology.   

Technology is an amazing leveller.  Take polling for example. Years ago, you would need to rent physical clickers to distribute to your audience if you wanted to conduct a poll. Not only was this expensive—and hence, only companies with big budgets could afford it—it was also restrictive and not user-friendly at all. With Zeetings, clickers are replaced by people’s mobile phones. It makes the user experience far more superior at a much more cost-effective price.

The approach we have taken with Zeetings is that it should be easy enough and affordable enough to use for small events, yet powerful, secure and stable enough to use for large events. Our free plan is feature-rich and it’s ideal for small groups. Our next plan up is just $95 per month and it should cover everything a small business needs. 

We also make sure our pricing is transparent and fair. There are no lock-in contracts or hidden fees. If you have an event in one month but none the next month, you can simply downgrade to the free version. 

 

What are the features Zeetings that can be utilised to create compelling experiences that engage audiences?

An event should be an unforgettable experience. The best way to do that is to transform the audience from being passive spectators into active participants. Zeetings does it in several ways. 

Firstly, you can broadcast your content, such as slides, to participants in real-time – when you move to the next slide, their screen automatically updates too. Placing your content on participants’ devices creates a sense of ownership the boosts audience engagement and information retention.Slides are just the beginning though. With Zeetings you can ask your participants poll questions and display the results dynamically on the main screen as votes come in. We offer several poll formats and the results are illustrated beautifully and instantly.

The platform gives participants a voice. Throughout an event or during a Q&A session, participants can share their comments and post questions in real-time. Finally everyone, including the shy ones, has an equal opportunity to ask questions without someone hogging the microphone. Participants can also vote for the questions they most want answered by ‘liking’ them, giving the presenter a chance to move on to questions that the audience really wants answered. 

As a host, you can display individual questions asked by participants on the main screen with just one click – this is a great way of focusing everyone’s attention on the question being addressed. You can also display all the questions as a live feed as they come in. 

We see Zeetings as a dynamic and worldly service, can a business owner or entrepreneur use this platform for their workshops and events internationally? 

Definitely. Firstly, when you’re hosting a workshop or event, Zeetings empowers people who are not physically there to interact with the presentation alongside the rest of the audience. With just an internet connection, remote participants can feel as if they’re there and getting involved just like everyone else.  

As a presenter, you can also take Zeetings with you across the globe. Zeetings is cloud-based, so everything is accessible from anywhere. Sign in to your Zeetings account from anywhere on any device and your content, polls, surveys and all the other interactive elements are good to go. 

With 2016 almost at the half-way mark, what is on the horizon for Zeetings?

One benefit of empowering the audience to engage digitally is the ability to gather critical feedback from them. All this data is saved and presented in your analytics dashboard.

We see tremendous demand from event managers for more data about their events and participants. People want to make more informed decisions about what works and what to avoid and people want to know which participants to follow up with post-event and what the perfect follow up message should be. Over the coming period, we are focused on delivering these types of meaningful insights to event hosts and presenters. 

We’ve been privileged to work on some incredible events in the first half of the year and we are excited for more.

 

Don't forget - Zeetings are giving away a free one month event package valued at US$345 (A$475) to one lucky EHM reader! 

Heart-racing audience engagement. Transform your events by empowering everyone in the audience to participate, right from their own device. For your chance to win a Zeetings Events package for a month, valued at US$345, simply TELL US – how do you keep your audience inspired?

The winner will be drawn Monday 30th May at 9am. 

 

All images courtesy of Zeetings