Category Archives: Audience Response

Mobile phone services to be discontinued

We are sorry to announce that Mobile Phone Voting and SMS services are no longer available through AV Department Limited. Keypad alternative based services however are proving very popular.

Technologies and expectations have moved on since we introduced the service over 6 years ago. Though a product that continued to generate some interest inside a wider portfolio its popularity in recent years dwindled together with increasing operating costs so as of the 31st of January 2014 the service will no longer be available.

The main barriers to continuing the service were:-

  • The fact that the service may cost the delegate the small charge of a text message at their service providers standard tariff. Unlike keypads which are free to the delegate as the cost is paid by the congress. While this was not a problem with a single question it became an issue when 5 or more were asked…
  •  Text messaging is generally seen as a ‘free’ service and it was expected that our services would also be free.
  • The reality was when clients could see the benefits of a keypad based system with additional features they would want the keypads.
  • Not all venues had signal for all networks so elements of the audience could be left out. Unlike keypads which operate on a local radio network set up specifically for that purpose and all participants are issued a keypad ensuring 100% coverage.
  • The service, if using a short code, could exclude international roaming mobiles.
  • We could not take the service abroad. Unlike our keypads which work on internationally agreed frequencies.
  • The time taken to generate a result was not instantaneous. Unlike keypads which generate a response graphic as soon as the poll is closed.
  • Simple text messaging is now available through keypads with better graphical and data management tools.
  • For more information please contact us.

We don’t do Turning Point…

We sometimes get asked if our voting systems are Turning Point compatible or if we have Turning Point keypads. The answer no it is not compatible, and no we do not stock Turning Point, and finally we will not be going down that route either!
The reason we don’t use Turning Point is it is too inflexible, it is also a PowerPoint ‘plug in’ which needs to run on the main presentation machine. This has risks in terms of presentation stability which if it fails it will knock out both voting and presentation so leaving no space for recovery.
Our systems runs on a separate PC that runs in parallel to the presentation machine and is cut in via a seamless switcher. This allows us to edit the questions and test while the main presentation is being run. It is not unusual for us to be carrying out last minute editing, at the request of the speaker, while the main presentation is already running. It also allows for much greater control in terms of screen content. The presenter need only verbalise what they want to see on the screen and it will be made so by the technician. This unshackles the presenter from the lectern and allows a more dynamic presentation. The operation of Turning Point requires key strokes that can’t be controlled by an industry standard cue light so the presenter has to control the presentation from the lectern.
Turning Point Keypad

Turning Point
Good for Education Bad for Event Production

We also find that the Turning Point graphics are not flexible enough to cope with the production demands of  larger shows. Turning Point is a good education and training tool but we feel it is not suitable for use in larger events where the voting content is mission critical or where the event has higher production values.
Just so you know we have available 3 different keypad types (Reply IQ, Reply +, and Reply mini +) and 4 different softwares (ARS Pro, Win Quiry, Power Com and SNAP) to suit varying client requirements. Please view our Audience Response pages here to see the full range of interactives we can provide.  We can use any software and keypad combination where as Turning Point will only ever work with Turning Point software so there is no upgrade path for clients to travel. Snap is a simple software (like Turning Point) which works with our Reply Mini + keypads for dry hires but also we can use the same keypads with the ARS Pro software which is a true event production voting software.
We undertake to programe our systems and require in advance the questions, in an electronic format, and the master slide of your presentation.These need to be submitted to us a few days before the event. Edits can be made on the day but this allows us to proof read the content and format the graphics.
Turning Point has its place in the market as a training and education tool but we do not perceive it to be suitable for event production.
We hope this helps.

Silent Auction exceeds expectation

Recently AVD were proud to provide a Silent Auction service to the Water & Waves Gala Dinner supporting the Seaman’s Mission and Air-Sea Rescue Trust. The service enabled guests to text bids, using their mobile phones, during the dinner. The bids were updated live on screens, increasing competition for items so pushing up the prices and generating more funds.  The Silent Auction raised 25% more than expected and at a fraction of the cost compared to a keypad based service.

Bid Screen

Bids are clearly displayed on screens

Traditionally Silent Auctions were run using pen and paper and more recently keypad based systems provided a convenient solution but at greater expense.  However using our service the Water & Waves Silent Auction enjoyed the convenience of keypads but minus the cost and headaches of managing expensive equipment. See here for more details

Tech monitors

Our technician monitors and updates the bids

This year we anticipate increasing demand for this service as charities seek to reduce costs and increase revenues.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we could assist you to do just that at your next event!

SMS voting improves for conferences and events

AV Department Ltd’s ‘Deletext’ sms and voting service gets an upgrade that removes the need for technicians and keypads to be on site to run simple voting. Mark Kisby explains the improvements made.

SMS voting display

SMS voting can do away with keypads and technicians on site

We have been promoting the use of SMS messaging and voting in conferences and events for a number of years now but the voting element has needed an upgrade for a while to make the service truly usable as a remote offering. By this I mean with the upgrades implemented we no longer need to be on site to interpret or reformat results to display on large screen displays, this means you can now run a voting session with out having to hire keypads or have technicians on site for voting only. This makes the service viable for large events where polling the audience is not viable for keypads due to the number of participants or the low number of questions to be polled.  This makes the service ideal for competitions where an audience votes on a favourite (battle of the bands / dance competitions etc..).

No Keypads! Deletext uses the sms technology in your delegate’s mobile phone to allow them to vote by texting a simple code to a short code telephone no. This saves a huge amount of money as you don’t have to hire 100s or 1000’s of keypads. (Prices start from just  £100 + Vat)

No Technicians on site! The questions are prepared in advance of the  session and given as a URL showing the vote results live. All you need is a laptop connected to the internet to view and display the results as they come in.

It is in the display of vote results where the improvements have  been made. The displayed  pie chart can now show the pie labels in various font sizes to aid legibility on screen. Frequency can now be shown as numeric and percentage value. Percentages can now be displayed to 2 decimal places. Charts can display the original question and be personalised with a logo.

No venue restrictions! Delegates can express an opinion from any where in the UK not just in the room where a voting system is installed. Multiple sites can vote on the same issue and be centrally displayed for all to see.

No time restrictions! Delegates can vote at any time 24/7 once the poll has been made live. This also allows for pre event testing to give complete peace of mind. Roadshows can also poll questions and have the results displayed as a rolling total.

Multiple votes simultaneously! Run several votes at the same time. View results from any where in the world.

Our messaging services are used for silent auctions, top table questions, and media messaging. Contact us to see how we can help you.

This service requires enough mobile phone coverage to send a text message and internet connection to view results.

Silent Auction adds to CHAS total

AV Department Ltd provided silent auction services to CHAS’s & The Scottish Sun’s Miss Scotland Tiara Ball and Auction. The glamorous star-studded evening held at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel was hosted by Lorraine Kelly and Miss Scotland Nicola Mimnagh and raised a fantastic total of £70,000

Tiara Ball

Guests bid on displayied lots using their mobile phones

Just 8 lots in the silent auction contributed a very healthy £4,531.00 to the evening’s total.

AVD advised on the introduction of the silent auction and on how to bid together with AVD’s extensive FAQ on the service this allowed the client to produce clear instructions for the Lot catalogue.

During the dinner, guests (using their own mobile phones) texted their bids to a 5 digit short code text number ‘80010’ the text bid followed the format of the lot number ‘Lot5’ followed by the bid value and, if required, an identifying name. If a name is not provided the last 4 digits of the sending number are displayed ‘…7662’.  The received bids are then displayed via a moderated display.

All submitted bids were confirmed by a reply txt thanking the bidder for their support and giving further contact details.

The key advantages over paper based auctions are:- No need to leave your table to bid, No bits of paper to collect, Fast bidding process, Time stamped bid tracking, Bid confirmations. The advantages over keypad based auctions are:- No proprietary keypads are needed, Always the correct number of handsets available, Greatly reduced costs, Multiple cost and service options available.

CHAS hope to use the technology again in future events.

“Thank you so much for everything on Saturday you were fantastic, the whole team felt you were very professional and did a brilliant job.”

Criona Tate, Corporate and Events Fundraiser

chas-logo

The evening raised £70,000 for CHAS