Blog by Cory Schaeffer, Co-Founder of Listen Technologies
With noise levels on trade show floors reaching up to 80 to 90 decibels – equal to the sound of a lawn mower or heavy street traffic – commanding a captive audience at trade shows and conferences is a significant challenge marketer’s face. In many cases, this can even hinder the ability to achieve a satisfactory return on investment from participating in such events.
Finding the leverage to overcome the hustle and bustle of trade show floors is one of the keys to successfully generating quality leads as a result of exhibiting. One way to accomplish this is the use of enhanced listening technology.
Enhanced listening technology grew out of assistive listening technology, which is generally associated with helping individuals with some degree of hearing loss hear better. In its traditional form, assistive listening technology takes what is coming through a venue’s sound system and delivers it directly into the ear of an individual with hearing loss while simultaneously blocking out background noise to allow for a personal listening experience.
However, over the years a growing trend has developed around the use of assistive listening technology to enhance the experiences of individuals without hearing loss as well. After all, having difficulty hearing isn’t always about hearing loss. Often times, language barriers and environmental noise plays a significant role as well.
Thus, enhanced listening technology was born. Enhanced listing technology leverages similar wireless listening devices as assistive listening, but it is specifically tailored to the needs of presenters, tour guides, language interpreters and others who need to cut through environmental noise to create a personal listening experience for every individual they seek to communicate with.
There are very few more challenging environments to create a personal listening experience in than trade show floors. The constant clamour of voices makes it remarkably difficult for attendees to give their undivided attention to a single booth presentation. It’s not an uncommon site to see trade show exhibitors pouring their whole heart into a presentation or even a one on one conversation, only to have the audience or other party only half engaged due to the fact that they frankly can’t hear what is being said.
Some try to overcome this by leveraging microphones connected to loud speakers. Rather than helping, however, such an approach primarily just contributes to the already too loud ambient noise of a trade show environment and do not create a personal, comfortable listening experience.
Alternatively, enhanced listening systems as described above are portable radio frequency-based systems that use microphones and small transmitters worn by exhibitors and headsets with small receivers worn by attendees. As attendees approach a booth, they are invited to simply slip the headphones on. As they do, the environmental noise is blocked, while the exhibitor’s voice can be heard loud and clear. In contrast to the loud speaker strategy, enhanced listening systems create a very individual, engaging experience.
In short, enhanced listening systems can help ensure companies gain the full attention of trade show audiences and engage with attendees on a personal level. All this will help companies cultivate better leads and get a better return on investment from exhibiting at trade shows.
Cory Schaeffer is a founder of Listen Technologies Corporation. Established in 1998, Listen manufacturers wireless audio products used in venues for auditory assistance, soundfield, tour group, language interpretation and conferencing. For more information, click here.