Björn Carlberg is well known in Sweden for his quirky and fun puppet shows that attract audiences of all ages. In his most recent show, “Peptalk” he has brought in a secret weapon that has brought him closer to his audience: Mentimeter.
“I was working with a new interactive stage software that was developed for cultural events in Gothenburg, but we realized quickly that we needed a tried and tested solution. So, we started looking around and found Mentimeter” says Carlberg. “As soon as we tried it, we saw that it was not buggy and that it was stable enough to use in front of a large audience.”
"Peptalk" isn't your ordinary puppet show. Carlberg has used Mentimeter to engage his audience in real-time, transforming passive spectators into active participants. During the show, audience members use their smartphones to respond to prompts and questions asked by the puppets, influencing the course of the performance and what the puppets say. This approach not only breaks the fourth wall but also creates a unique, dynamic and different experience – each night.
People in the audience are surprised at how smoothly Mentimeter works – especially since the point of entry is so easy.
“I think people really enjoy knowing what others think. You have a big group of people who come into the venue, and they don’t know each other. And then I ask them a simple, almost stupid question, like, ‘Do you prefer chips or popcorn’. It’s fun to get a direct number on that, like 40% prefer popcorn over chips. People feel like they are really a part of the show – they have an opinion and are invested much deeper in the show” says Carlberg.
Integrating technology into live theater comes with its own unique set of challenges. There is a delicate balance required to manage live audience input, ensuring it enhances the show without leading to inappropriate interruptions.
“When it comes to live shows like this, with a full room of people from different ages and background, it’s important to not make it too complicated for the audience. It depends on what show or event you are doing, but I avoid open ended questions like the Word Cloud. For my show, I feel like I lose some tempo. It’s much better to ask quicker, funnier and simpler questions” Carlberg explains.
With this said, a lot of people in the audience are surprised at how smoothly Mentimeter works – especially since the point of entry is so easy. “You just pop up the QR code, and then people are in. It’s very smooth. Nowadays, no one wants another app. The fact that Mentimeter is web-based, and that you don’t need to log in is really a key to success” says Carlberg.
Mentimeter gave me a lot of creative energy and there are a lot of of really fun things you can do thanks to these specific interactive features.
“I also do some segments without any interactivity, but once I ask a question again, people just take out their phones and they are ready to answer again. The voting matches the question, which is really nice” he continues.
Looking ahead, Carlberg is optimistic about the potential of Mentimeter to further enhance his performances and is certain it will have a place in his future shows. He envisions incorporating more advanced features and exploring new ways to engage his audience.
“When I realized I could make an interactive show instead of an ordinary one, I started thinking in a whole new way. Mentimeter gave me a lot of creative energy and there are a lot of of really fun things you can do thanks to these specific interactive features" he says.
Want to engage your audience in your next live event? Try Mentimeter today!