Cool Event Tech: Closed Captioning at WordCamp Los Angeles

September 26, 2018

I’m always excited when I see different ways that content is being shared with audiences. Closed captioning is one of those items that showed up on my radar when I was speaking at WordCamp Los Angeles in 2018. It was a nice turnout for my session on how to blog from your mobile phone.

The group asked great questions and it was more of a conversation than a lecture! Good, because who wants to be lectured to. One thing that also stuck out to me was that all sessions had a screen that was showing live closed captions of the talk. You can see that screen in the article image.

This is awesome and a great service. It makes the speaker's session more accessible. It's also a great tool for the people who heard what I said but who want to reference it later or to double-check if they heard some outrageous thing correctly!

I asked WordCamp Los Angeles Organizer Jen Miller, a content marketing executive at Need Someone to… to elaborate more on how they implemented the close captioning device at their event.

“We hired a company called Quick Caption to make speaker talks more accessible for our audience,” Miller said via text. “Many attendees commented on how seeing the words helped them stay focused.”

“The captioning displays showed a [blue] background with large yellow type, making them easy to see throughout each room,” she added. “Live captioning definitely provided more value to our event and helped those who had difficulty hearing the speakers, as well.”

As a speaker being “closed captioned” I was also tempted to read what I just said and correct what was “heard” versus what I meant to say. I resisted the urge though and focused on sharing information.

Closed captioning at speaking sessions is a great and simple service that I hope more conferences will consider offering for attendees … I’m also wondering how I can get a transcript to read what I said!

I don’t really like listening to myself talk but reading it back, which I’ve done with talks that were transcribed in the past, sometimes helps me adjust my message in similar talks down the road.

P.S. Book me to speak at your conference here! I go wherever there are airports nearby (-ish)!

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About the author
Christoph Trappe | Former Chief Content Officer