How to Make the Most Out of Live Polling at Events

October 24, 2019

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Last year we talked to you about event tech super-users – meeting planners who invest heavily in apps and have developed techniques to achieve higher ROI. When we talked to our super-users about their audience polling app or live polling feature, 59% described the concept as a key element to their success.

Using live polling during your event or conference allows your audience to interact with hosts, speakers, vendors and one another, in real time. Placing votes, responding to questions, and building off of fellow audience participation will keep your attendees alert and engaged. It’s clear that utilizing live polling is a smart move, so let’s break it down a bit more, so that you, the planner, can understand the tools available in your toolbox!

Why polling boosts attendee engagement

Apps can be used on a variety of polling devices for meetings and events and create an easy and fun way to make your guests part of the presentation. For example, ask your audience anything from “How long have you been with your company?” to “What is your favorite Beyonce song?” to “What part of the event is most appealing?” Live mobile polling usually offers multiple choice responses, so that results can be captured and integrated into a presentation in real time.

Audience responsive word clouds are also big crowd pleasers. Using your polling app, you can generate a relevant, open-ended question. We suggest asking a question that is best answered in one word. For example: for an event that is centered around environmental protection, you can ask “What one word comes to mind when you witness an act of care for the environment?” As the responses come through, they’re added to a cloud image, with the most common response appearing in the largest text size. Each word’s size indicates its frequency, creating an intriguing and impactful visual. Clients love using these polling systems for presentations on stage and because it is collaborative, they’re instantly more connected to their peers. Furthermore, planners can use the same idea to collect valuable feedback in real time.

Two best practices to start with 

Customization: Here at Stova, we know that customization goes a long way and our app allows you to customize the questions you ask and the response choices that your audience will have. This feature is an important one as your polling should always align with your overall event goal(s).

Format: We have no limit on the number of questions you can include in your poll. However, whether you’re using the Stova app or an alternative app, we recommend no more than 5-6 questions in one hour, so as to prevent burnout. In our app, you can include up to 10 answer choices, although again, we suggest a bit less.

How to add the cherry on top

Live polling is flexible, and might have more uses than you think. For example, sponsors have used polling at their booth to collect valuable information about their booth attendees. In these cases, polls aren’t served to the attendees directly through their app. Rather, the sponsor can use the questions as part of their conversation with their leads and record the responses for future follow-up. A sponsor might ask their visitors “Which products are you most interested in?” “By when do you need to have the product?” or “What product features are most important to you?” These answers can be captured after each interaction and used to prepare for the follow-up email, call or meeting.

How Can Stova help?

Live polling is an exciting and effective tool for boosting engagement and collecting valuable feedback from your guests in real time. Audience Response Systems are not limited to live polling and we also suggest revisiting our blog post on ARS to learn more about gamification, surveys, quizzes and more.

And as always, if you’re looking for more in-depth advice on apps and event tech, subscribe to the Stova blog. To talk it over with an expert, please feel free to schedule a free demo!

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