How to implement an audience response system at your conference

When holding a conference, ideally, you want to be able to interact with each of your audience, and have them respond to it. This makes an Audience Response System (ARS) vital when holding a conference. Now, how can you implement this successfully? Read on to find out.

Ensure that all the Equipment is Ready

The first step is to make sure that you have all the technical equipment ready to hand. You will likely need the following devices:

  • A steady, reliable internet connection on all devices
  • A tablet for speakers and moderators at the event to refer to in order to read question
  • A projector or a secondary screen so presentations can be shown with polls and questions
  • A tablet or laptop where the solution can be administered
  • A laptop so that the presentation can be viewed

Learn how to Manage the System

Before you dive right into the conference, it is vital that you learn all the functions of this tool. Some of the most important aspects you should know include:

  • How to turn on and turn off polling
  • How to highlight any questions
  • Moderating incoming questions
  • And how to switch between polls and questions

Appoint Someone Reliable and Professional

You should always delegate the task of administrating the system to someone reliable and professional during the event. This can be:

Choose the Right Sessions

When it comes to large group environments (more than fifty individuals), ARS systems are particularly useful. Cases that work well include:

  1. Long sessions. Since most people’s attention lasts for just ten minutes, polls help to keep your attendees and audience focused throughout the presentation.
  2. Panel discussions. You can easily direct the discussion to where you wanted through panel discussions, where the audience can be involved from the beginning.
  3. Q&A sessions. Question and answer sessions at the end of the presentation are a great way of interacting with the audience and ensuring everyone understands the material. The best way of doing this is by collecting a range of questions throughout the presentation so you are ready once the presentation has been finished.

Brief Your Moderator

When it comes to using ARS systems at conferences, having a moderator is essential. They will introduce the system at the beginning, ask questions that the audience can answer during the event, and encourages the usage of the system for giving feedback. Before the event starts, you should consult your moderator on the following aspects:

  • Discussing the last details on the day of the conference
  • Arrange a time to discuss their roles in the ARS and what you expect from them
  • Email the moderator with explanations of the responses system

Introducing the Tool to the Audience

The ARS system is not commonly used, so for members of your audience who are not familiar with it, an introduction is a good idea. It will only take a few minutes at the beginning of the conference to give them an explanation of the system. If you employ a good event management company or event agency, they will take care of the installation, the briefing—everything you need to successfully implement the ARS.