Audience engagement and interaction – is technology always the right answer?


This footage has been kindly captured by our friends at First Sight Media –

Richard Bridge, founder and CEO of Top Banana, alongside his head of creative services, Ben Barnes, took to the Conference and Creativity stage at last year’s Event Tech Live to ask the question: “To tech, or not to tech.”

Using live polls to assist their debate, the two speakers engaged the audience to learn more about humans’ reliance on digital technology. With this information, they began the discussion into when technology is needed and when it is simply unwarranted.

Ben advised organisers should ask two questions before applying technology to their project: will it help me achieve better results and is it a quick and easy for the user? If the answer is ‘no’ to either question, the technology may be nothing more than a waste of time and money. 

Technology is sometimes essential for gathering and sharing information, particularly if the objective is time-sensitive.

“We need to lead with the objective first,” Ben said. “Good technology is never developed without a clear objective in front of it.”

Steering the discussion to audience engagement, Richard claimed that engagement only happens when audiences feel listened to. Though technology isn’t always essential to create these feelings, it can certainly offer support to other means.

Richard and Ben challenged the audience to consider when technology is best utilised and how it helped achieve the event’s objectives. This was to guide the audience to a better understanding of when technology should be used, and when it should be dismissed: technology shouldn’t be used just for the sake of using it!

Molly Hookings
Author: Molly Hookings

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: