Getting your audience involved in your event doesn't have to be complex or difficult, and it can be a great way to keep your attendees connected to & engaged with the content. And audience participation has come a long way! As new event technology develops, participation methods have become more effortless and often integrate devices that the audience is already familiar with (and possibly carry around in their pockets). Let's look at how audience participation tech has evolved over the years!
Say you wanted to pose a question to your audience.
The old school method would be to ask the question, and either call upon attendees who had raised their hand or have attendees line up at a microphone to give their answers. These days, there are apps like UMU which allow attendees to type out answers on their mobile devices. Not only is this a way to gather more information in less time, but it also allows event team members to review the answers in real time and pick out the most relevant or interesting responses to share with the audience.
Or say you wanted to take a poll!
In past years, you might have rented & passed out dedicated "clickers" or response devices that relayed answers back to a receiver and, depending on the software that accompanied the clickers, the answers might be displayed in a clunky fashion or in small type in the upper corner of the content window. Today, there are a variety of economical polling apps that can also be run from attendees' mobile devices, with easy-to-read results displays that can be pulled up in a browser.
Perhaps you wanted to do a giveaway at the end of your event.
Apps to the rescue once again! Instead of using physical raffle tickets, you can use an app like UMU to collect entries and randomly select as many winners as you like.
Recent participation technology also opens up doors for new types of engagement!
Social media integrations are a great way to playfully engage your audience, whether it's by displaying relevant social media content on-screen, creating an event-specific hashtag to create collections of shared images, or sharing scannable QR codes that connect users to fun activations to encourage sharing! (Check out how UVA is using their 3D CavMan activation at recent events!)
If your event spans multiple locations, you can also use two-way live streaming to encourage live audience participation between locations! We recently worked on an event that was being simulcast between two different cities, with speakers presenting from both locations and large audiences attending each. To bring the energy back up after breaks, we set a camera on the audience and each location did the wave as the other watched, getting everyone pumped up for the next session. It was lots of fun, and the audience loved it!
New audience participation tech can improve your attendees' experience and encourage them to get more involved in the event. The more involved your attendees become, the more connected they feel and the more impactful the event will be. For more tips on keeping your audience engaged, check out our blog post: 7 Ways to Increase Audience Engagement with AV.