The Real Benefits of an Audience Response System

Have you ever been to a conference where the audience members were giving real-time feedback through a hardware device such as a clicker? You may even have seen these devices on TV where audience members have been asked to vote “yes” or “no” to an answer from one of the presenters. This type of technology provides real-time feedback and has been in use since the 1960s. Of course, as technology has advanced, so too has the technology behind this kind of ARS (Audience Response System).

The Changes in ARS

So, how has ARS technology changed over the decades? In many ways, the early hardware-based clickers that gave simple responses were an extension of feedback forms that people often filled out after a meeting or a conference to give more detailed feedback.

As the technology developed, we began to see networks deployed within meetings, conferences, lectures halls, and other venues. These networks were connected to devices that allowed participants to provide real-time feedback; while this was certainly much more complex and advanced than the old simple clickers, it was still very cumbersome and expensive technology.

Nowadays, we have fast 4G telecommunications technology, smartphones that are essentially mini-computers, and cloud technology that is easy to use. What this means is that a real-time feedback system can be used through a person’s smartphone and the responses uploaded rapidly to the cloud for later retrieval, social media posting, or real-time analysis.

The Benefits of New Audience Response Systems

Apart from the fact that new applications and cloud-based Audience Response Systems are far less cumbersome than the old hardware, clicker, and network-based systems, they also provide the following primary advantages:

  • Flexible: First of all, this new technology is easy to use. The fact that a response system can be developed inside an application and then customised to suit a particular audience and event means that it is very flexible in terms of its range of applications.
  • Easy: The fact that people are using their own smartphones means that event organisers don’t need to provide extra hardware. It also means that audience members feel far more comfortable using their own devices.
  • Engaging: Audience Response System technology itself has been proven to increase the engagement of audiences whether they are students in a lecture theatre, staff members in a conference, or academics at a speaking event. The fact that new systems are easier to use, more familiar to audience members, and faster means that they are far more likely to engage and be interested.
  • More Advanced: Imagine being able to post a graph of audience responses in real time up on a large monitor for the entire audience to see? This is where fast application and cloud- based systems are simply more advanced.

For organisers of events where these feedback systems are used, they provide a real-time, honest, and anonymous account of thoughts, feelings, and opinions. This kind of data is invaluable to marketers but it is also of great benefit to any organiser who is seeking greater levels of engagement with an audience. Try a modern ARS tool such as Glisser in which customisability, flexibility, speed, and user engagement are priorities.