Many conference attendees today find themselves bored by the same old conference routine and many times find they are sitting and listening to lecture after lecture while trying not to fall asleep. With the advent of “text polling,” today’s conferences can be as interactive as a one-on-one meeting or the networking session during happy hour.
Text polling is a fabulous way to make a room of hundreds or even thousands of attendees feel like an intimate gathering where back-and-forth conversation flows freely. With text polling, the speaker or moderator can gather real-time feedback before, during and after any live event.
In this article, learn about how text polling works and best practices for its use.
How Text Polling Works
There are a number of free and low-cost polling tools that are designed to work in a text-based format. The best tools conform to these characteristics:
- Are compatible with any smart device and OS (operating system).
- Can push additional content (such as slides or presentations) to users.
- Have infinite response capacity.
- Assigns access keys to control access to polls and presentations.
- Stores templates from past polls and presentations for future use.
- Is mobile-friendly for views on different sized screens.
- Offer excellent customer service and support, including training and troubleshooting.
- Have different options to accommodate different needs and audience sizes.
- Have cloud-based storage systems to accommodate stored polling data.
Tip #1: Poll in Advance
For webinars, lectures and other live events scheduled for a future date, the presenter and moderators can tailor the agenda to participants backgrounds, interests and needs by text polling registrants in advance. This is also a great way to gather background demographics of the actual registrant group to display and discuss during the event.
Tip #2: Poll During the Event
Text polling offers a highly interactive experience for participants for live and “virtual live” events. Polling can focus on gaining data, inviting questions, generating debate and other valuable information-gathering options. Providing the results of the polls to participants in presentation form can also add value.
Tip #3: Poll After the Event
Polling after a live event concludes offers lecturers and moderators the opportunity to “go paperless” in collecting participant feedback. By structuring the feedback in poll form and funneling the data into a presentation, text polling also makes it simple to report back to clients or managers on presentation results.
Tip #4: Poll to Develop an Event
Whether the goal is to develop a second event based on a first successful event, to build a new event from scratch or some combination thereof, text polling offers an excellent way to gain feedback on what potential registrants may be interested in learning about in the future.
Tip #5: Poll Between Events
Text polling is also a seamless method for keeping in touch with past event participants in between events. In this format, text polling can be used much like social media platforms to build a relationship and keep it viable.
With the availability of text polling as an additional tool to build and present meaty, informative and fun live and live virtual events, participant satisfaction scores are likely to increase, which can also help to boost registration rates for future live events.