07 November 2008

Personal Technology: Ballroom Dialing

This week I attended a technology conference in Florida (sponsored by Sloan-C) on online learning. Like many conferences today, the event included most meals. That's a great way to (a) keep your attendees in the meeting space, (b) help your attendees keep their expenses down, (c) give something to vendors to sponsor.

And that's how I came to be in a ballroom for dinner (sponsored by TaskStream) with at least 800 or 900 people. The entertainment was a mentalist (Michael Anthony) with the requisite number of astounding feats.

For me, the highlight of the evening was the mentalist's request that the audience locate a participant from afar for his next astounding feat. He said, "we'll do this by cell phone." And easily 500 people whipped out their cell phones and started dialing.

I had never been in such a setting. Hundreds of people willing to call their... lifelines? The way this worked in the ballroom is that one fellow held up his phone to signify connection and the mentalist called him up to the stage. And then the cell phone was put on "speaker" and held up to a microphone and the mentalist proceeded to accomplish an astounding feat with a woman in her bed in Ohio.

My point is this: at least 500 people not only had their cell phones at the ready, but were happy to utilize them for the entertainer's task. It was an amazing group activity in a ballroom.

(No, I didn't dial out.)

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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