Potential of Twitter in Japan

Uchida Yoko people thought it was another one of those crazy ideas I brought in. Rather than doing Q&A after panel discussion, I proposed that we set it up so that everyone can post question or comment during panel discussion to realize audience participation. I explained that people would feel freer to express their opinion through such medium, since they will not have any fear of embarrassment. In front of 100 people, they can stay absolutely anonymous. They don’t have to raise their hand, don’t have to worry that their voice will crack while asking question, don’t have to worry if it’s a stupid question. This should enliven the event.

Since it was only with limited audience of 100 people, Uchida Yoko event team didn’t see too much harm in trying, so we went ahead with it. On the day of sustainability case study presentation, big screens were ready, and the panelists were seated in front of the screen so they will be aware of what’s going on in the audiences’ mind.

The result was phenomenal. Usually at such event in Japan, even if the panel discussion were very interesting, there would only be a handful of questions at the end. Actually, until now, all such panel discussion was not quite participative. But using Twitter, for this sustainability case study panel discussion, we had 40 very good questions from 100 people audiences in 15 minutes time while the panel discussion was being held.

The panelists were surprised, but stimulated by the questions, and the discussion became intense.

So here is a great way to draw out audience’s thoughts, to connect with the crowd: Twitter.

Next, I am going to use Twitter as a part of workspace user research. Thank you, Twitter team, for such wonderful tool!

Audience using mobile phone to use Twitter

Panel discussion in progress

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