How To Use Mobile Event App Live Polling & Audience Response Systems

Posted by Matt Milloway on Aug 26, 2015

Live polling enables event planners and organizers to provide better levels of engagement between speakers and attendees. While traditional audience response systems are limited and require an additional investment by event hosts, a mobile event app gives attendees access to session information, PDF documents, and other resources alongside the ability to submit live responses to questions posed at sessions.

Everything needed to learn new material and interact with others is available in one native mobile event app for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

Live Polling Overview

A mobile event app with live polling gives attendees a way to quickly interact with speakers, moderators, and presenters discussing important topics at meetings and conferences. A typical workflow includes the attendee navigating to a session or presentation page in the mobile event app and selecting one of the predetermined poll questions. Event planners and organizers are able to worth with each individual speaker to develop engaging question criteria ahead of time and results during the session are immediately available in the mobile app’s admin system for moderators or the speakers themselves to view in real time to better interact with the audience. Results may also be displayed in the mobile app to give attendees a view of the entire audience’s feedback.

Digging Deeper with Polling Questions

Utilize scenarios where attendees are asked a question that requires a little work or research to answer. Studies show a hands on approach to learning is extremely beneficial to long-term information retention:

Consider the fact most sessions at an event involve one person speaking for an hour or more to a group of attendees. Yet even the most flashy powerpoint presentation fails to resonate with a majority of attendees. Furthermore, people seldom retain all of the information—even when the subject matter is compelling or relevant to his or her job... The need to create engaging and interactive sessions is therefore a vital element to improving overall attendee education. Much like learning to walk or riding a bike, simply hearing someone discuss an important industry topic or new company initiative fails to have much effect without giving those responsible for implementing the new ideas a chance to get their hands dirty.
Read "Better Attendee Education Through Mobile Apps"

A question is posed with necessary research required for an accurate answer available in PDF studies or abstracts attached to a session’s detail page—conveniently located next to the live polling call to action and every other piece of relevant information inside the mobile app. The simple act of obtaining the information—as opposed to picking a favorite color, for instance—goes a long way to increasing engagement with a mobile app and memory retention of key points.

Creative Uses of Live Polling

Traditional uses of live polling such as asking larger audiences questions in front of a speaker or moderator are great ways to engage with attendees. The live polling technology can be extended to other uses and create even more interaction amongst everyone at the event.

Industry-Wide Questions

In addition to sessions-specific questions relevant to a particular speaker and his or her subject matter, consider asking organization or even industry-wide questions to better gather demographic information, attendee preferences, and big-picture opinions to issues extending beyond the event itself. Throw in incentives (i.e. prizes or giveaways) and create a fun environment to generate real-time information on a host of value-added data to be used by the host at a later day for everything from sales and marketing initiatives to better understanding the audience for next year’s event.


In-app surveys are often unable to capture the spontaneity associated with generating great ideas. Other times the incentives just aren’t there to thoughtfully answer a question from the comfort of one’s hotel room or airplane seat after the event ends. Live polling, however, urges attendees to brainstorm on important subject matter in real-time and puts the pressure on audience members to send a thoughtful response to be viewed and judged by not only the moderator or speaker, but other attendees at the event. Brainstorming via live polling is great for everything from larger internal sales meetings to industry-wise conferences attempting to better understand big-picture issues and concerns.

Quizzes and Workshops

On the opposite end of the spectrum is using live polling in mobile event apps for smaller workshops and collaborative efforts amongst attendees. Encourage attendees to work together to solve tasks and submit answers for real-time debates and discussions over hot-topic issues most important to the entire industry. Creating two-way conversations with interaction is greatly helpful to keep attendees interested and make the process fun.

For more information on live polling and AppBurst’s mobile event apps: