Does technology really improve audience engagement?

Column Holland Audience Engagement

Audience engagement is viewed as an important measure to determine the success of a meeting or conference. More meeting owners and organizers feel that the audience wants to have its say. There are many mobile technological gadgets that can increase audience engagement during your meeting, like mobile phone-based applications to vote and comment on a speaker.

I have seen such tools more frequently during the last months. Speakers use them to let the audience vote on different statements and opinions. But is this truly engagement? Does my opinion really matter for the course of the session? Are these technologies really valuable for participants of a meeting? And what is the key to true audience engagement?