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5 Ways to Optimize Polling for Your Next Event

June 7, 2021
Brooke Wilson

Who doesn’t love a good poll? There’s something collective in our curiosity in knowing whether or not others think the same way we do. It’s exciting to see responses in real time and it provides a sense of satisfaction to see our choices in a quantitative format.

The good news is polling is an engagement technique that transitioned well to digital events. With all of the tools and platforms available online, there are new and creative ways to ask audience questions and collect all of that juicy data. As we transition back to in-person and continue to develop what digital interaction looks like, polling can be a secret weapon in your event arsenal.

Here are five ways to step your game up with polling for your next event.

  1. Switch it up every 7-10 minutes – in both digital and in-person presentations, the attention of the audience can drift if there is not a change every 7-10 minutes. There should be natural segments in your sessions, and polling is a great way to transition from one topic to another while getting the audience involved.
  2. Showing results – most polling tools allow you to display the audience responses immediately after taking the poll, or in real time. If you are able to do so logistically, and results aren’t confidential, it is recommended to allow the audience to see what the outcome is. Not only does it provide immediate gratification but creates a greater sense of involvement in the presentation.
  3. Make use of your analytics – the beauty of online polling is having the data available immediately and in an organized format. Don’t let this go to waste! Poll results can be used to grab attention and announce the outcome of a session. They can also be used to market future sessions/content to drive registration.
  4. Make it fun – Polling does not have to be boring. If you don’t show interest in making your poll or survey, your audience won’t have interest in answering the questions. Add photos, make it personal, use language that is conversational and authentic. There are a lot of tools out there like SurveyAnyplace, that will make it feel like your audience is on a journey rather than just clicking to the next question.
  5. Use polling for human-centered design – The next few years are going to be crucial for finding the right balance between our pre- and post-pandemic worlds. Where you’ll find the most success is making decisions based on what your audience wants, also known as human-centered design. What better way than polling to find out what your people want, and if you implement the four tips mentioned above, your people will enjoy giving you their feedback.

As we move forward into the world of omnichannel, hybrid, synchronous, asynchronous, or whatever you want to call it, we need to sharpen our engagement tools and have them work harder for us and for our events.

Brooke Wilson
Experience Design Manager
360 Live Media