Live Digital Event Audience Interaction Fun.


In the last few weeks I’ve been with a client providing live event digital support and I can tell you that there is a real dichotomy in emotion about such a thing. On the one hand you’ve got international travel and the buzz and excitement of being at a live event, not to mention the great feeling that comes with being part of a show team - all working together, getting stuff done to make it a fantastic event. The flip side is that its live and that after months of preparation, planning and rehearsal it all comes down to one live performance and, quite literally, anything can happen!

However, all the planning and preparation paid off combined with the collective skills and experience of the whole team and the two day live event was a great success, mixing music, presentations, video content and live audience interaction seamlessly into a fantastic visitor experience.

Sagittarius has been tasked with perhaps the most risky of all the production elements - sourcing, executing and supporting the live audience polling system. The live polling needed to support a number of important features, including:

  1. Live Q&A - the ability for the audience to send questions to the current speaker and for the speaker to have these curated and presented onto a device in their hand, on stage.Live
  2. Opinion Polls - the speaker would ask a question and present a number of options. The audience would then have 30 seconds to make their selection knownLive Results - following a
  3. live poll the results then needed to be fed into the VT system so that the speaker and the audience could see the results come in on a giant video screen, in real time
  4. The ability to run multiple polls and Q&As in a single speaker session via the individual audience members mobile devices
  5. To be accessible to 99.9% of the audience who would be using a mixed bag of mobile devices

The solution we chose was PollEverywhere, a relatively new SaaS based solution from a company in the USA. It ticked most of the client's boxes in terms of functionality and was web based, rather than native app based and so removed some of the concerns around supported devices and operating systems. Also, it allowed for custom branding and, as this was a corporate event for one of the world's largest law firms, it could be made to look in keeping with their strong brand and event branding.

How it worked

In reality, to use this live voting platform was quite easy.

  1. You create a question, or a poll in the language of PollEverywhere
  2. You decide if it will be a free text, multiple choice, ranking or other type of response - we ran a combination of the three over the two days
  3. You decide how people can respond - through the web based app, via SMS or through Twitter
  4. You set a few other things including whether users needed to be registered and if this was to be run between specific times
  5. You activate the poll

The web app that the audience navigated to then presented the current live poll and allowed them to send in their answers. It used peer-to-peer technology to then move to the next poll whenever the controller published the next live poll and this worked very well, with only a 1 or 2 second delay between the next vote being activated and all the audience devices updating.

But did it work?

The short answer is ‘Yes’. The speed with which questions and answers could be created and published, coupled with the quick response times of audience devices updating, plus the API that allowed us to grab the results, in real time, and display these on large video screens at the event meant that it was a good solution, all in all.

Of course, there are always things that happen during live events but ultimately ‘the show must go on’ as someone rather famous once said and, in this instance, in certainly did with the audiences live, interactive participation - a great use of digital adding an extra dimension to a tried and tested format and media.

Today award-winning digital experience agency Sagittarius is proud to have been certified to ISO 27001 Information Security Management systems standard by business improvement company, BSI.

Leading brands demand first-class information security from their agency partners and the only real proof of this is achieving the ISO / IEC 27001 Certification. If you’re in sectors such as Financial Services, Healthcare, or even working with Government and Third Sector you’ll know that regulation and compliance are essential throughout your supply chain and that the top priority is guarding information and data.

Nick Towers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Sagittarius said “We wanted to ensure that brands can come to us in the knowledge that we take data security, data protection and privacy very seriously. Our mantra is ‘remarkable’ and this applies to not just what we do but how we do it and ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised best practice framework for this. To achieve this in six months’ pay testimony to the hard work and commitment to security and privacy that prevails at Sagittarius and I’m very proud of the whole team who have made it their mission to exceed the high standards needed.”

Sagittarius wanted to meet the very highest standard and so decided to work with BSI whose mission is to ‘share knowledge, innovation and best practice to help people and organizations make excellence a habit’. 
Achieving ISO 27001 certification clearly demonstrates that the Information Security Management System at Sagittarius meets international best practice and demonstrates to our customers and partners that we handle information securely throughout the business. 

The agency accepted that by embracing the implementation process they were actively encouraging their team to delve into internal processes and rather than accepting these as ‘the norm’, firstly making sure they were all documented sufficiently. Then as part of that process, they challenged and questioned each process to pressure test validity and innovate and improve where necessary.  BSI then rigorously audited Sagittarius’ policies, processes, and approach to data security. Through the audit stages, BSI shared opportunities for improvement and have helped refine the Sagittarius InfoSec roadmap. 

Data is the most valuable asset any business can have and to achieve peak performance through a truly connected strategy and digital experience it’s imperative that data and information is shared with the agency partner. Trust plays a pivotal role and assurances of confidentiality can only be achieved through an ISO 27001 accredited organisation.
Initiatives like the GDPR have raised the bar on compliance and the associated fines for having gaps in governance leading to breaches are significant. At Sagittarius we operate a single source of truth using tools and systems such as Confluence and Jira to provide documentation quickly and accurately and this was complimented by the auditors. 

Nick goes on to say “We are delighted to create even more value for our clients and prioritise the things that matter to them and their customers. This ISO 27001 certification bolsters our class leading NPS score of 85 adding deeper quality to our services. It sets us apart from other agencies when brands are looking for a partner with deeper credentials. We wanted to take the next step and ensure that Information Security became baked into everyday processes and the way we function as a business. We set an ambitious timeline of achieving the ISO 27001 certification and to meet the highest possible standards through independent auditing and we’ve nailed it. We pride ourselves on ensuring the data of our clients, team and partners are handled in the most responsible manner.”

Gigi Robinson, Regional Product Manager – Information Security & Business Continuity, said: "Protecting information is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations. Achieving ISO 27001 demonstrates Sagittarius' commitment and proactive approach in ensuring their information management processes are robust, secure and resilient for the future. We are thrilled to have supported Sagittarius in achieving this certification which demonstrates to customers and suppliers an ability to handle information securely."

Additional Notes
ISO 27001 is an internationally recognized best practice framework for an information security management system (ISMS). Sagittarius has designed a set of adequate and proportionate security controls within the ISMS to help protect our internal and our clients’ information against cyber-attacks. We have used the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the NIS Regulation as part of our framework.  


Nick Towers
Nick Towers
Co-Founder & Joint CEO
Co-Founder, CEO and self-confessed massive geek, Nick has been in digital since graduating from law and moving into technology many years ago. Through a combination of building awesome client relationships, crafting a formidable team of digital experts and consistently delivering results for our clients Nick has taken Sagittarius from being a successful small agency to the global digital customer experience consultancy and Sitecore powerhouse that it is today.
Nick Towers

Nick Towers

21 Jun 2016 - 5 minute read
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