Tag Archives: Audience Response

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.

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.

Audience Response and Social Media can be mutually supportive

When used at your events, audience engagement and response services can be used to provide fresh content for your social media channels, in the same way your social media channels can provide content for audience response. Mark Kisby explains why and how…

A bit of back ground… Does your organisation have a presence on any of the following social media channels? Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Flicker, YouTube, etc… Do you blog or micro-blog? Do you believe the trend gurus that without a presence or a plan for social media you will lose the ability to gain referals as now these channels are increasingly the ‘friend’ that people will turn to to gain a recomendation.

It does not matter that the recommendation is from a person they have not met or ever will meet. It is indeed this fact which possibly makes the recommendation (or horror story…) all the more valid as it appears to be unbiased. This is not lost on the likes of Google and other search engines as they move away from static site listings to monitoring social media for ranking a subject’s current relevence in searches. Essentially if you don’t tweet, blog, facebook, linkin, you risk slipping off the new “radar”.

It is not easy to maintain all these channels and it takes time and effort to build this body of content. One of the tricks is to get others to help you through ‘retweeting’ and ‘friending’ your organisation or even better to get others to generate their own output linking back to you through engaging your audience.

To do this effectivly you need good, useful, content as standard marketing messages no longer apply as they will be recognised as just another biased sales pitch and treated like spam.

Audience Response Voting Keypad

An audience response system can help in generating content for use on social media

Audience engagement and audience response systems can help in generating content for use on social media channels. Here are a few tips how to use them.

Take ownership of the search criteria: On twitter this is the creation of a Hash tag (#). Simply add a ‘#’ to a word you would like to be used as a search word for your event. Ideally a short word so as not to use up too many of the 140 characters available in a tweet… e.g. ‘#mirth’ is used for our local comedy club ‘Mirth of Forth’. This should then be announced as part of your posting style from the first announcement onwards so everyone can search and see the content generated.  You can now also send normal text messages  to twitter so allowing those not registered to make a contribution via their mobile phones to on line content.

To generate activity organically you need to ensure that the basic content is of interest out side of your immediate circle. This may seem a given but you would be supprised at the number of events we have witnessed where the content is not ‘news’. An Ecology conference attended by ecologists would not be supprised to learn that “100% of those polled thought that ecology was very important”. It is a ‘non’ question where the out come was so predictable as to make the asking of the question a waste of time.

A better statement put to the same group would be “Ecology is slipping in importance to the public eye…” This would create a result which could be broadcast via social media and in turn the public can reply saying why it is slipping. The speed of social media would allow reply comments to be fed back into the conference, via audience response or engagement systems, to be debated further, all greatly increasing the value of the time spent together. The process will have also greatly increased the event’s profile with the the public and media.

So audience response and social media can sit very well together but as always content is king.

Add value to your event with Audience Response

Audience response systems can add a great deal of value to your conferences and events. Mark Kisby explains how…

During the recent ‘Credit Crunch’ organisations were under pressure to cut their conferences and events budgets. What they saved by reducing the size of the stage or by going to a cheaper venue shouldn’t have effected the basic content of the day or the goals for staging the event in the first place. Audience response systems (ARS) were often cut early in the budget review but this can be a mistake as an audience response system will add tremendous value by giving tangible results and feed back from delegates attending.

An ARS can show whether or not the key the aims of staging an event have been met or not, it can reveal any sticking points. This allows your event to measure its effectiveness during the day and give evidence of its success to all the stakeholders.

Audience Response Voting Keypad

Audience Response Voting Keypad

Audience response can also maximise the available time at an event by asking delegates which themes are of most interest, so allowing you to apportion time appropriately. It costs a lot to get every one in one place so it makes sense to ensure their time together is as productive as possible.

Using these systems also sends a clear message to the attendees, that ‘we are listening and your opinion is valued’.  Presenters in the dreaded post lunch grave yard slot will appreciate the regenerative powers of asking a flagging delegate a question on which they need to ponder before responding.  ARS has been proven to increase retention on the subject polled and certainly your chair person will marvel at the ARS’s capability to break the ice during Q&A sessions and promote delegate interaction as they begin to discuss options with their neighbour, so leading to improved networking.

Asking post event evaluation questions at the end of the last session will save your staff days of data input from a paper based questionnaire.

So how do they work? In its basic form an audience response system comprises of a display to present the question and a range possible options / answers, and a ‘keypad’ to allow the delegate to select the option / answer which best matches their opinion.

The results of the poll are displayed immediately after the close of the 10 second voting slot. The equipment is usually radio based and wireless so allowing free distribution amongst an audience.

Some systems also offer the ability to communicate directly with the presenter through the ’free text submission’ of questions so allowing the delegate to ask their own question, or submit an idea, rather than just responding to predetermined options.

All in all if the budget is being trimmed it pays not to cut the one item that can prove the days effectiveness and show value has been obtained for the spend. If you are still looking for ways to save, go for the cheaper dessert option, cut the sparkling water and have a smaller lighting rig!

AVD can supply a range of Audience Response Systems including:-
Voting Keypads

Mini Voting Keypads
Deletext – SMS
Deletext – Engage


AVD helped raise over £21,000 for good causes when Bovis engaged them to provide a silent auction service to their annual charity fundraiser despite travel chaos. Mark Kisby takes up the story… Looking out the window and listening to the radio the … Continue reading