Real-time polling at events is a tool that has the capabilities to enhance the look and feel in a number of ways. It can engage with the audience, present data in a quick and efficient manner and help compare information from previous polls taken over time. It’s an element of event technology that clients can gain immediate satisfaction from because it helps show what people are thinking on the spot. Let’s delve into more of the specifics of how real-time polling can help take your event to the next level.

Engaging with the Audience

Imagine yourself at a comedy show and the performer decides to interact with only the people in the front row. You would feel left out seeing if you were sitting in the back of the room. This imagery rings true for real-time polling in that people like to be engaged and noticed. Real-time polling helps connect with everyone in a room by allowing them to make a choice and provide their own input in the question that is being asked.

The timing of when to ask polling questions is vital. Speakers can install polling throughout their presentation to keep the attention going or they can bookend it. The benefit of real time polling is that it can accommodate the style of the presenter as well as the content being presented, however, if the polling is used too frequent it may distract from the overall presentation and confuse the audience.

One of the key attributes about using event technology to conduct polls is that it can deliver anonymity to the audience and how they responded. It’s one of the few aspects in events that offers this kind of privacy and selection. In comparison, when an attendee is asking a question they are immediately identified in the audience and have to get a microphone to be recognized. By creating this level of animosity, the response rate and engagement can increase significantly.

Presenting Data

When you think of the word “data”, what pops into your mind first? For me, it’s something that is concrete, factual and quantitative. Not the most “exciting” words for people that require data in order to learn something new at an event. The goal of delivering data to attendees should be to add a little glitz and glamour to the overall presentation. Data doesn’t have to be shown on an excel sheet with numbers going on endlessly in a vertical and horizontal fashion. That would make anyone fall asleep! It can be a colorful pie chart or bar graph on the big screen that catches the human eye and makes people pay attention. It can also be drawn out on large sheets of paper via the speaker and presented in a diagram format. Real time polling can provide a capture of inbound data from the audience or show existing data needing to be presented in functional and visual means.  It is especially persuasive when having to communicate either complex or mundane information. When using data in a presentation to support or validate a point, the delivery of the data in a meaningful way can ensure the audience remembers it after the meeting.

Comparing Information Over Time

Information over time helps to show patterns and trends of how people felt about something at one point in their lives and may feel differently about later on. An example of this can be seen at events for the medical industry where they discuss the advantages and disadvantages to using a new drug. If you were to poll the audience before the drug was released about what their thoughts are about its overall safety and effectiveness and then poll the same audience after the drug has been in the market for six months, the results would most likely differ. Real-time polling can help show changes over time with a line graph of results. This information can then be used to show the differences between expectation and reality. Speakers can make critical points in their presentations about this and why retrieving this information on the fly is so critical.

As evidenced, real-time polling can be a powerful asset for your events. When used, it can effectively capture the most important data possible for a presentation, company or event. As one of the many facets of event technology available today it’s definitely a valuable feature when presenters are trying to engage with the audience, collect data and show change over time.