Audience participation has come a long way in today’s high-tech environment. Attendees can now participate in sessions real-time from their seats, using an iPad, laptop, or wireless audience response system to provide feedback to an event meeting services organization and the presenter.

During a session using wireless audience response systems, small or large groups gather for a presentation projected onto a large screen. Each attendee is given a wireless unit and the survey facilitator asks questions. Audience members select a response using their audience response rental unit.

Livelier interactive sessions are possible using real-time polls to get audience feedback — complete with instant PowerPoint slides illustrating trends and results. Audience members can also text ideas to a presenter for brainstorming or Q&A. It’s a more democratic approach because the least shy person — or the one with the loudest voice — no longer has the upper hand. Anonymity enables discreet discussions and feedback about sensitive topics.

“Audience response is so critical in our industry and it has changed so much in the last few years,” says Jim Spellos, CMP, founder and president of Meeting U. “It has gone from a really expensive approach to one that at least theoretically should be connecting with your smartphone to be able to utilize it in session.”

Wireless Audience Response Systems are a greener approach to feedback surveys. The technology can replace paper surveys and the manpower to tally the results. You get the feedback while it is fresh in the attendees mind and you can see how many attendees have responded to each question real-time, thus encouraging close to 100% participation with each question.

Audience Response Rentals lend themselves to getting information you would normally not get until a post-event survey, which could be days if not weeks after your event, if at all.

“What better way for us to find out how people like what we’re doing, how much people like or dislike the conference, than to really get a sense about what people feel at the time they are feeling it,” says Spellos. “Imagine being able to make a mid-course correction in terms of content or programming or timing because the audience really doesn’t like the way the session or the event is going. Now that is an extreme example but if you think about it, it has a lot of power for the meeting professional who understands those tools and can harness them properly.”

Audience Response System Rentals can be used in a hybrid meeting as well, where part of the audience is at the face-to-face meeting and part of it is at a virtual location. Consider, Forest City Enterprises Inc., who uses wireless audience response to improve their decision-making. They use the anonymity of the technology to gain input from the entire team.

Let AV Event Solutions, a California Event Meeting Services Company, assist you in your selection of wireless audience response systems. Take advantage of this technology, it ease-of-use and data gathering capability to gain feedback from your audience, get a wide range of opinions, and deepen the engagement of your attendees.