You see it at just about every business event or conference on the planet—the tops of attendees’ heads as they engage their phones instead of the presentation in front of them. Whether they’re responding to important work emails or playing Candy Crush, it’s clear that today’s B2B attendee’s attention is divided. But as audience engagement tools and mobile applications continue to gain traction, the very devices that distract attendees are leveraged to more deeply engage them. Here’s a review of five audience engagement tools every B2B marketer should consider.
Want feedback on your session in real time? Give audience response system Poll Everywhere a shot. Speakers ask the audience questions to identify gaps in understanding, what content is resonating or to launch a group discussion. The audience responds via a web-enabled device, and the results are instantly compiled in an animated graph or chart [PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides]. Features include true or false quizzes, clickable Q&A polls, Twitter-enabled polls, and the capability to ask open-ended or multiple-choice questions.
If you really want to keep attendees on their toes, consider Loquiz. The platform offers gamified experiences for groups of any size. Perhaps its best feature is leveraging users’ own unique content to customize games. Scavenger hunt style competitions are the most popular, but, Quiz, Clue, Rogain, Strategy, and Match options are also available. Games activate inside or outdoors as teams use one member’s mobile device. Bonus: The app is also a geat team-building tool.
Getting audiences to participate in a discussion or ask questions can be difficult. Add the logistics of passing a mic around the room, and hope is all but lost. That’s where Catchbox, a soft, throwable microphone, comes to the rescue. The “plush” microphone wirelessly connects to an existing audio system. It’s an effective way to keep attendees engaged as they watch the colorful cube get tossed around the room. Catchbox facilitates a faster-paced discussion with fewer interruptions. And don’t worry about the mic making a loud thud or squelch if it hits the ground—an auto-mute feature prevents the device from producing sound while being thrown. An option to imprint a company or event logo puts Catchbox at the top of the list of audience engagement tools.
Similar to Poll Everywhere, QuickMobile’s Live Insights tool includes live polling and PowerPoint integration features. But what sets the audience response system apart are features that change the group dynamic. The Discussion Forum feature allows attendees to ask questions anonymously while the speaker moderates the conversation. The Group Chat feature gives attendees a chance to like comments as well as communicate with other audience members enabling real-time collaboration. With the click of a button, the app also generates reports with live polling results and attendee messages.
A web-based application that doesn’t require downloading, Sli.do offers live Q&A, polling and presentation slide features that allow audience members to directly interact with the presenter. Its analytics feature is especially useful for marketers seeking insights on attendee behavior. Other amazing features include identifying the most influential users at an event, crowdsourcing top attendee questions as well as creating comprehensive event summary reports with interaction data.
Audience engagement tools significantly enhance interaction at business events. Weigh the pros and cons and choose the tool that best aligns with your presentation and the event at large. Once you choose an engagement tool, take it through its paces in the office. Deep dive all the product options so there are no hiccups at the live presentation. Use the tool smartly and you’ll never see the tops of your attendees’ heads again.
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