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Taking financial services events out of the Dark Ages

PowerPoint is opened 30 million times a day. Pretty astounding, but I guess if you work in the financial services sector that probably sounds about right. There simply is no escaping presentations. Day 1 in a bank and you’ll be expected to know your way around a slide deck. Jump to Day 1000 or Day 10,000 and there is a good chance you’ll still be using it, albeit with a team of people to pull your slides together before the presentation.

How come? Well presentations are a fairly straightforward way of communicating complex or quite detailed information, in a (hopefully) digestible way. Mission statements, strategy, data, sales graphs – presentation software provides the blank canvas to get a lot of different formats down in one place. So despite the cries of “Death by PowerPoint”, the product itself does a good job. If used well, it conveys information to an audience in an easy-to-use way.

But that audience is expected to be passive, at least until the offer of ‘any questions’ at the end of the session. This might have been the norm in a school or lecture theatre in the 1950s, but do people really learn and understand by sitting in silence? And in today’s digital world where every written word is dissected, commented upon, liked, questioned and socialised, will the next generations of finance professionals (or any audiences for that matter) want to work in this way?

Well, 2015 saw a whole host of financial services brands challenge this assumption, using interactive presentations to engage audiences and gather data.

Better use of presentation software in financial services

Investec, determined to stay distinctive and live up to its innovative values at its flagship customer event, integrated live polling and tweeted relevant results to its social audience, extending the reach of the event beyond those in the room. Integrated data gathering functionality provided their relationship managers with feedback and potential leads post event for follow-up.

Visa Europe Collab launched its first Innovation Exchange in Tel Aviv to an audience of significant players in the disruptive Israeli tech scene – investors, startups, banks and the wider fintech ecosystem. Visa engaged Glisser to deliver a fully managed interactive technology solution: slides were shared live to audience devices, and audience Q&A followed every presentation session, with the best questions receiving over 30 ‘upvotes’. As soon as the event was finished, a post event survey through the same audience platform gathered hundreds of data points for the Visa team.

Amex, Berenberg, Bloomberg and Grant Thornton are just a handful of other names that are changing the game when it comes to their live events. They’re embracing technology to enhance the attendee experience, engage audiences and gather valuable data for their businesses.

These companies recognise that if your clients are taking time out of their busy schedules to attend your event, you need to make it worth their while. Give them the content so they can really digest it, engage them in the debate, invite their opinions, and use the data to make your communications and your business better meet their needs and expectations.

[author title=”Mike Piddock, CEO and Founder” image=”http://thefintechtimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/mike-glisser.jpg”]Glisser – interactive presentation software that engages audiences and gathers data at live events.[/author]

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