Putting Technology to Work at Events

live audience pollingThe age of instant responses and the 24-hour news cycle has spawned a wide array of applications designed to put the word out. Fast. It’s also given us a lot of great tools to use to gather feedback and promote audience engagement before, during and after events. With more and more events coming on line and happening live every day, you need to make the most of any opportunity to learn from your event attendees.

Two tools that we particularly like using are live audience polling and surveys.

Live audience polling technology has really improved in the past couple of years. Personal mobile devices can be used to text a short code in response to a question. Responses show in real time and can be easily embedded in a speaker presentation. It’s an interactive and engaging way to get your audience to lean forward. Be sure to rehearse with the speaker in advance so the flow is smooth – and be sure to test on the actual presentation computer in the presentation room at a live event. Polling is simple on most webinar platforms, and can help the presenter incorporate audience opinion to their talk track. Whether used in a webinar or in person, the payback is big for a little more work on the speaker delivery. Audiences love this interaction!

Surveys are useful in the lead up to an event to gauge attendee interest and help judge how popular a topic will be. The best use of event surveys however, is a retrospective look at event success. With a short set of relevant questions you can gauge how your audience related to your content, presentations and speakers. You can also take the opportunity to ask for testimonials that can be used for future event marketing. It’s important to get the survey out quickly after an event is over while the content is still fresh and the experience is still top of mind. One way to encourage higher response rates is to offer incentives – make a donation to a charity, put respondents in a drawing for prizes or our favorite – the chance to attend the event next year at a discounted rate.

Whether you are planning your next big live conference or a series of webcasts, don’t let your next event go by without taking a look at how you can put technology to work for you. And if you need help, just ask us!

Posted by Linda Jackson