How Live Polls Help Audience Interaction

Live polls are surprisingly versatile. They don’t just provide you with an excellent way of interacting with your guests, but also help you to track satisfaction and gather feedback about your event in real time. They can even help give your attendees a more personalised experience, something we’ve discussed in the previous blog. We think it’s an immensely useful function, which Eventogy has deployed in our apps for many of our clients. From our experience, we’ve highlighted five ways live polls improve your audience interaction and engagement.

1. They’re the perfect ‘icebreaker’

Live polls are an effective way of introducing your guests to new themes or ideas by inviting them to share their knowledge or opinions of a given topic. This way, polls can serve as a kind of ‘icebreaker’, kicking off the conversation and engaging guests early on the event. In turn, this helps set a positive tone for your event. For example, the result of a particularly controversial ‘icebreaker’ poll will help prompt discussion and debate. Furthermore, it can be a useful method for getting audience involvement going without, for instance, asking everyone in a room to introduce themselves — this might alienate more introverted guests, or prove unwieldy in a large audience.

2. They help break up presentations

Even the most interesting guest presentation or speech can start to drag after a while. Studies suggest that audience interest nosedives just 10 minutes in to a presentation.

Live polls directed at an audience can make things more interesting by breaking up the presentation, keeping it dynamic and the audience engaged. A guest presenter can get instant, real-time reactions to issues raised in their speech, which can inform the rest of their talk, or help them highlight a subject that matters to their audience. Giving attendees the chance to directly influence an event has a knock-on effect of improving audience participation.

3. You can use them to personalise your event

So what can speakers and presenters get out of these polls? Live polls can be a useful tool for altering the direction of a talk, meeting, or presentation. By gauging the level of knowledge in the room, speakers can choose whether to highlight certain issues that aren’t well known, and avoid those that all attendees are already well aware of. In addition, the presenter could use a poll to find out how well-disposed guests are towards, for example, a certain technology trend. If the general opinion is negative, they could then take the opportunity to explain why it’s useful. Using live polls is a fantastic way of keeping presenters and event staff up to date on their attendees’ mood, making it easy to integrate their thoughts and opinions into the event.

4. They can improve your social media strategy

Poll results and the conclusions you draw from them can be seamlessly integrated into your social media strategy.

By posting colourful, engaging graphs and charts on Twitter, LinkedIn and the like, you can help strike up peripheral discussion around your event, and the sessions and talks taking place there. These kind of things are incredibly shareable. Well-designed visual content quickly becomes something your guests and followers will want to share.

5. You can gather feedback in real time

You should never be afraid to ask for feedback. Typically, event planners will send out surveys by email after the end of an event, but live polls offer a unique opportunity to gauge the interest and satisfaction of your attendees in real time. You can poll your audience for their immediate opinion of whether a particular presentation, speaker, or element of your event worked for them, and make an instant judgement on how well your event is going. And if the feedback you’re receiving is negative, we’ve offered some reasons why in a previous blog.

Live polls are a simple but effective tool. They can make a small but tangible difference to the way your attendees interact with your guest speakers, and significantly change the direction of sessions and presentations. And with apps like Eventogy providing a built-in live polls function, you can integrate them with your event more easily than ever.

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