Video of the questioner did not appear on screen after they had asked their question, the 'focus' went back to speaker and presenter, whilst the speaker was answering the question. Consequently the audience received no feedback on whether or not the question was being answered, i.e. the audience (or speaker) could not watch for facial expressions, to see if he was satisfied with the answer.
In addition, during the question and answer sessions, the presenter didn't go back to the questioner after his question had been answered. In conventional conferences the questioner is often asked if his question has been adequately answered. In some cases they were asked and this worked well, although it took up more time, and gave less opportunity for other sites to ask questions. There is clearly a trade-off; distribution adds participants exponentially, but this in turn reduces a given individual's allocation of time for direct participation.
In some cases the questioner and speaker together on screen didn't make eye contact with camera (speaker was looking at local monitor and questioner looking at his paper in front of him/ elsewhere). This reduced the likely level of involvement felt by remote sites.
There was no clapping after sessions (even where the speaker was local) at the Brussels main site. Clapping only occurred during entertaining moments, e.g. after Mexican Wave, and when presenters requested that participants clap a speaker. At the Madrid site some of the local speakers were clapped. This is an interesting social issue that warrants further research.
Graphics Multimedia Virtual Environments Visualisation Contents