The tip of technology

By December 11, 2016December 19th, 2017Onsite Action, Tactics

I had horrible service the other night at a restaurant. My gut reaction was to not leave a tip, but in the end I couldn’t do it.


Because tipping—waiters, cab drivers, hair dressers—has become part of our culture. It’s what we do.

Which is funny and so wrong. T.I.P. actually stands for ‘To Improve Performance’ – or some variation of that (I’ve seen a few). Originally, it was a bonus bestowed on service providers that really went above and beyond the job that they were already being paid to do.

But somewhere and somehow, it became status quo to give a tip, regardless of how well the service was done. So, in essence—at this point, we’re just giving tips for tip giving’s sake. Which begs the question, what is the goal of the server? Is it to serve or is it to get a tip?

As the technology industry continues to grow at a seemingly breakneck speed, it’s become exciting and important to add technology to our meetings. But sometimes, just as the tip gets automatically handed out, regardless of performance—the technology automatically gets tacked on, regardless of reason.

We need to make sure we’re not just using technology for technology’s sake—that would be a bad status quo.

There’s a family of technologies collectively known as ARS (Audience Response System). It allows presenters and companies to receive and show candid information from their teams during corporate meetings, and it makes a meeting interactive…IF used the right way: strategically and purposefully. If it’s just a token piece of technology, it serves as a diversion, not an addition.

Don’t you think the ARS should work for its time in the spotlight? I want it to earn its tip. I mean, is the goal to use ARS? Or is the goal interactivity?

  • Once, we had the chairman of a Fortune 100 company prepare talking points for 10 topics.
  • When she was on stage, we put all 10 topics on the screens behind her.
  • She asked her company what they wanted to talk about.
  • They used ARS to vote.
  • They all watched the votes come in.
    And then she proceeded to address their top four choices, in real time.
  • True interactivity!

The purpose of the experience is not the technology, the purpose of the technology is to enhance the experience. Just a little tip, from me to you.

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