Delegates on training courses have ever-higher expectations from your presentation. At the same time, you need to make a big impact with your delivery. And we’re willing to bet you’d prefer this without the tortuous process of coming up with fresh ideas all the time! So how do you provide your audience with genuinely engaging, thought-provoking content, with minimum difficulty on your part? However well you might structure your presentations, there are few ways to ensure this result.

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Why you must seek customer insights

Posted on 4 October 2016

We all know that if our business is to perform, and our customers are to enjoy the experience they deserve, customer feedback is vital. But do we understand why?

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Customer experience (CX) is becoming a fervent source of focus for businesses, with Econsultancy’s latest Digital Marketing Trends report revealing that CX was the “single most exciting opportunity” of 2015. The fact that it not only won but beat both content marketing and mobile marketing definitely says something about its relevance.

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Picture the scene; you’ve spent months defining a new initiative that will definitely make your company more agile, more profitable, more fun, more ‘everything that matters’. All that’s left is to get the workforce on board. But you’ve got this under control with a beautifully designed internal comms programme. It’s perfect, exploiting brochures, emails, management briefings, company social feeds, desk toys, and everything else available to you, the modern communicator. It can’t go wrong! Or can it?

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How to Get the Most Out of ISE 2016

Posted on 02 February 2016

This February many of you will be rushing over to Amsterdam for the ISE Europe exhibition and many of you will already be planning ahead to make sure you spend your time wisely as well as enjoyably. There are talks to take in, stands to go visit and a good deal of networking to be done if you are serious about getting every benefit you can from this massive AV, system integration and communications exhibition.

And when the fair closes for the evening you certainly have to make sure you take in some of the sights and get a good cultural flavour of what Amsterdam has to offer if you’ve never been there before.

Here are top tips on how to survive ISE 2016 with your sanity intact.

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Whether you want to gauge the reaction to your latest product, get a handle on how staff feel about your workplace re-organisation or simply need to know what everyone thinks of the canteen, getting good, honest feedback that means something is important for any business.

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A Guide to Audience Response Systems

Posted on 15 December 2015

The business world is a hive of technology! In order to facilitate business processes, the use of gizmos and gadgets such as tablets, smart phones, interactive whiteboards and video conferencing is nothing new. Rather, this advancement in technology has empowered businesses to adapt to changing trends and survive competition, which gets fiercer day by day. Audience response systems have truly revolutionised the way in which people can interact during meetings, training sessions, AGM’s and lectures.

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Developing a Winning Training Strategy

Posted on 28 January 2015

The OMBEA audience response system (ARS) has always been a popular choice for corporate and public sector training. Trainers can take advantage of gathering real time opinions from their delegates and use this to direct their training activity to make it more relevant and focused on the needs of the participants, and the delegates appreciate being able to make their voices heard within the training room and sharing their expertise. As we have written in a p​revious blog​,​ OMBEA allows a move from passive participation to active engagement and that can only have a positive impact on training outcomes. Having an ARS to hand enhances the capability of the trainer and gives them a direct connection with the course participants.

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Making Sense of BETT 2015

Posted on 21 January 2015

This week is the BETT show. If you are involved in education in the UK and have any interest, however passing, in education technology then you will be well aware of the size and scope of this event. BETT is simply a large (OK, humongous) hall where manufacturers of education technology and suppliers of educational services exhibit in order to make schools, colleges and universities aware of their products. This all seems rational enough; in fact the trade show draws its roots from the medieval market where sellers came together at set dates and places to trade their wares. BETT bears more of a resemblance to the Victorian-scale celebrations of industry and commerce in the mid 19th century labelled, with typical bravado, 'The Great Exhibition'

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OMBEA is an audience response system (ARS); you can use it in educational contexts to help understand what the learners know and how they are learning, or in a consultative context where you are asking questions of an audience to gain an insight into an issue or situation. We work with it everyday and are passionate about how it can improve learning outcomes, help presenters communicate with and engage their audiences even better, and how it can be a key part of an overall strategy to improve teaching and communication in any organisation.

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Investing in an Audience Response System is a big decision. Although costs have come down since the systems were first available, it is still a major purchase, particularly if you need provision for a large number of participants. The implications of making the wrong decision are real in both financial and operational respects. If the system does not fulfil its strategic objective then you have wasted money but you have also failed to achieve that objective to boot, whether it be better employee engagement or creating more interactive lectures for students.

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Universities are complex organisations. Whilst this may be stating the obvious, it is important to understand the variations both between universities and within them. People most often use the term university to mean an institution with a definite identity and geographical location; asked to summarise what ‘Oxford University’ or ‘Liverpool University’ represent, most people with experience of higher education would be able to give a detailed answer summarising what they know about these institutions.

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Big Data, No Small Thing

Posted on 04 July 2014

It is often said that we are now entering the age of ‘big data’. The concept of ‘big data’ is simple, it refers to the vast increase in data we now have as a result of so many processes being computerised and automated. The dream of the ‘big data’ advocates is that the data will help drive better decision making in organisations, show up trends which were previously hidden and enable strategies which are informed by what is happening in real time. Doug Laney in 2001 identified the 3 factors of big data as; volume, velocity, and variety (cited in Sas.com 2014). The volume of data available is increasingly massively, it is coming at organisations much more quickly (hence velocity) and is far more varied, allowing insights into behaviours and processes which were previously not available to scrutiny.

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One of our friends from the presentation industry, Ian Callow, is co-author of The Presenter’s Handbook. In this guest blog, Ian shares his A-Z tips for presenting with more confidence.

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Reading the Research, Part 2

Posted on 24 March 2014

In ‘Reading the Research Part 1’ we examined an interesting paper by Dunnett et. al. which explored the use of Student Response Systems (SRS) on student attendance and achievement in seminar settings. Three groups were taught through seminars; one group had no access to an SRS, the others used an SRS (so the students had clickers to vote with) and in a 3rd group some students had clickers and some did not (a mixed group). The study was unusual and worthy of comment because, although the numbers in the study were small (97 students across the 3 groups), the internal consistency of the study was very high as the same lecturer taught all of the groups and the content was the same in each case. Therefore any variations in attendance and achievement were very likely to have been heavily influenced by the presence or absence of the SRS within the teaching.

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Doing Employee Engagement the Right Way

Posted on 26 January 2014

The terms 'employee engagement' and 'collaboration' have been buzz words in business for quite a while now, and the currency of these concepts does not show any signs of fading. A report from Aon Hewitt on global employee engagement published in 2013 showed that companies which engage with their employees by seeking their views on long term strategies and demanding measurable actions are more profitable than those which do not (Aon Hewitt 2013). The reasons for this are intuitively correct as any organisation which can harness the insights and experiences of its workforce and use this to direct its course of action will have a serious competitive edge over one where management do not listen to employees at all and where decisions are taken only in the boardroom and with no reference to the reality of what is going on down on the 'shop floor'. An additional and very significant benefit is that employees whose voices are listened to are likely to stay working for an organisation longer, so reducing the costs of recruiting and training new staff whilst retaining experience within the company. So employee engagement is an all round 'good thing' and many employers are now taking it very seriously.

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Making Sense of BETT

Posted on 22 January 2014

This week is the BETT show. If you are involved in education in the UK and have any interest, however passing, in education technology then you will be well aware of the size and scope of this event. BETT is ostensibly a trade show, simply a large (OK, enormous) hall where manufacturers of education technology and suppliers of educational services exhibit in order to make schools, colleges and universities aware of their products. This all seems rational enough; in fact the trade show draws its roots from the medieval market where sellers came together at set dates and places to trade their wares, and of course the large scale celebrations of industry and commerce which began in the mid 19th century period, and which the Victorians, with typical bravado, labelled 'The Great Exhibition'

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Universities in the UK have been using Student Response Systems (SRS) for many years. The first iterations of this technology followed the usual model with early adopters championing this method of bringing interactivity and engagement into the usually passive lecture model. Innovation was at the level of an individual lecturer or departmental level, rarely was it done at faculty or institution level. But now many universities are implementing this technology for the whole institution and seeking to consolidate their choice of SRS and invest in a single system for the whole campus.

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Reading the Research, Part 1

Posted on 12 November 2013

Here at Ombea and Reivo we are passionate about student response systems (SRS) and how they can improve teaching and learning for students. We know from the work we do with clients, that when Ombea is used well in a lecture or seminar setting it increases engagement from the students and crucially it facilitates deep thought about the content. We have noticed also that there are definite benefits for lecturers. The process of thinking about the questions to ask makes lecturers reflect more deeply on how they are structuring their teaching, so often the use of student responses begins to improve teaching even before any questions are asked.

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It all hinges on the timing...

Posted on 23 October 2013

Here at Reivo we live and breathe student response systems. They are a seriously useful tool in a teacher’s toolkit, and can make a dramatic impact on the amount and quality of formative feedback taking place during a lesson. But like all tools, they need using effectively to maximise their potential. That’s why we spend a lot of time thinking, researching and exploring the most effective use of student response systems in the classroom.

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