How to get an Audience Response System for your Next Event

Audience Response Systems (ARS) have been around for a very long time, but it’s only recently that I’ve started seeing them treated as “must-haves” by event industry writers. In this post, we introduce you to a few companies that can get ARS set up at your event.

What is an ARS, exactly?

Audience Response Systems allow you to gather live data from your audience, such as opinion polling during a speech or class lecture, for example. The benefits are obvious: increase audience engagement while collecting information, and help your audience feel more connected to the data that they present. Here are a couple of ARS Providers:

Poll Everywhere

Introducing Poll Everywhere from Poll Everywhere on Vimeo.

Some ARS systems actually involve equipment, but Poll Anywhere allows attendees to use Twitter or their mobile devices to respond to presenter questions. The results can be seen live online, or they can be piped directly into a powerpoint presentation. The cool thing about Poll Everywhere is that they allow for open-ended questions. You can ask the audience, for example, “What are you doing this afternoon?” and the text-messaged answers get posted to an answer board that either just the presenter can see, or everyone can see. Great stuff!

Keepad

Event Coordinator Washington DC: Input Voting Keypads
Keepad also offers app-based ARS systems that send data to Powerpoint, but they also rent out dedicated hardware keypads for voting, and a little gadget for receiving votes as well. If you’re not confident in the wifi or technology available at your venue, or otherwise aren’t confident that your audience will have the capacity to vote, getting dedicated equipment may be the way to go.