by Emily Giunta, CLE, Inc.
• The power of polling
• Interactive engagement
You’re already using (or at least exploring) an app for your events. It’s a great communication tool for your attendees and offers the convenience of having conference agendas, breakout schedules, speaker info, and many other details at their fingertips. But taking that a step further, are your meetings interactive and engaging?
• What is the format of your meetings?
• Are they all “sit and get” or do you use interactive or engaging tools?
• Have you been thinking about adding a crowdsource or interactive polling element but not sure where to start?
There are many options when choosing an app for interaction. Apps such as Meetoo*, Poll Everywhere, Crowd Compass, and Crowd Mics are among the many options for audience interaction. There are also internet-based services, such as Sli.do, which do not require your attendees to download an app to participate. This has become popular as people don’t want to download one more app or create another login. Special features allow you to customize the look with your own branding, create themes, tailor questions, and integrate those responses within a speaker’s presentation.
Most apps and interactive tools are simple to use. When you take the time in advance to plan and set up questions for polling, it can be a seamless addition to your meeting that adds tremendous value. Polling is a benefit to offer your keynotes to receive questions and input based on their message. It is also a useful and efficient way to submit questions to the moderator of a panel, in addition to pre-planned questions. Interaction gives your audience a voice – especially to those who have something to offer but prefer the anonymity that texting a question or comment provides or for those who would never speak in front of a group.
Poll results may be displayed on screen for attendees to see as part of the program or presentation or can easily be kept confidential. While all poll results are collected for later analysis, sharing the results with the room in real time is interesting for attendees and can be a conversation starter. Likely, the most value offered by a polling app is to gain insight and feedback from your attendees while they are in your audience. Let’s face it, people will be looking at their phones during meetings, so you may as well capture their attention – and have it work to your benefit.
As with any event element, define your goal and have the option you choose be a solution to that goal. What is the goal?
• Interaction & Engagement
• Data Collection
• Feedback & Surveys• Questions & Comments for Panels or Keynotes
There are a lot of choices – spend some time researching and comparing the features to ensure you end up with one that fits your needs as well as provides the ROI you are looking for.
A large detail to consider is internet access. WiFi becomes a higher priority and you will want to provide a good connection for your meeting to maximize utilization and minimize frustration for your attendees. Work with your venue to order the appropriate amount to cover your group. It is also important to consider your audience to ensure the industry and demographic will utilize the tool. Providing a device, tablet or smartphone, option for those attendees who don’t have or don’t want to use their own device is a solution for this.
While event app interaction is simple, it is important to share instructions with your users. Include the information in multiple places. Use digital signage or screens as attendees are entering the room to display the name of the app, simple instructions, and the event or meeting code. Having this information available throughout the meeting or conference may encourage those who weren’t at an opening session, or ready to commit at the beginning, easy access to join at any time.
Use your trusted AV partner as a resource while you plan the use of your app and polling and how you would like to incorporate it into your program. They can help determine the best size and placement of screens and displays, as well as help connect and operate the service to ensure a smooth program.
* Please note that Meetoo can also be used as a web app with no need to download anything in order for participants to use.