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Technology Engagement

Best Audience Engagement Tools For Interactive Event Experiences

By Meaghan Maybee on November 2, 2022

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Meaghan Maybee
Meaghan Maybee

As pc/nametag's in-house Word Wizard, Meaghan creates educational content that brings people together and drives meaningful conversations in the events industry.

Take a moment to think about the most fun you’ve ever had at an event. What made the experience so memorable? Chances are this event stuck out in your mind because you had fun. Creating an engaging attendee experience starts with getting attendees excited to participate and return year after year.

We get it. Presentation audience engagement can be tough! Luckily, the right mix of crowd engagement activities and interactive meeting tools can help you encourage interactions, create conversations, and foster discussions in a more meaningful way. Read on to find our list of ideas.

Audience Engagement Tools and Ideas for Events

1. Host a live Q&A session with event panelists.

Live Q&A sessions are the perfect way to deliver information, answer questions, and customize event content to your audience’s individual needs and interests. Q&A sessions also offer a more personalized, two-way conversational experience, which gives attendees a deeper understanding of your speaker’s topic.

Try this Audience Interaction Tool: MeetingPulse

MeetingPulse allows planners to create a more interactive presentation for their audience. Host live polls, surveys, raffles, quizzes, and Q&A sessions that are fully customized to your organization’s branding. The app's free version allows users to ask five polls per meeting, or get the "small business" option for $197 per month (perfect for 250+ attendee events).

panelists host a Q&A discussion at an event

2. Use a tossable microphone for audience questions.

Want to break the ice, make a session interactive, and get your audience to participate in your presentation? Make an activity out of the experience! Tossable microphones are a unique way to break down barriers, improve participation and help people feel more confident about sharing their insight. Eventgoers will also get a kick out of throwing and catching a microphone around the room. When the microphone is not in use, it can be used to record the keynote and breakout session audio.

Try this Presentation Engagement Tool: Catchbox

Catchbox inspires attendees to participate in dynamic debates and quickfire Q&A sessions. This soft, durable microphone is easy to toss and won’t get damaged if dropped. The “Mod” Catchbox costs $549 and is ideal for large events and conferences. Add a Cube Cover for added brand exposure.

catchbox throwable microphone for events

Image Source: Catchbox

3. Conduct a poll or survey as an audience engagement strategy.

It’s always a good idea to get to know your meeting’s audience. For example, why are they attending your event? Are they first-timers or returning attendees? What do they want to gain from your event? These questions (and more) can be answered by sending out a survey or poll to attendees before, during, or after your meeting. This feedback can help you quickly measure opinions, make improvements and get to know your attendees on a personal level.

Try this Polling Platform: Slido

Slido gives you everything you need to engage your meeting’s participants, capture their views, and make everyone feel more connected. This polling and Q&A platform also makes it simple to create reports on audience participation that can be analyzed and shared after your event. Get started for free with three polls per event and up to 100 participants.

event attendees clap at a conference

4. Use gamification technology to collect event data while having fun.

Conference gamification is a great tactic for enhancing digital marketing strategies and audience participation. Many game apps can be customized to your organization to engage new prospects and capture new leads. Consider adding digital scavenger hunts, custom QR code routes, arcade games, “spin to win” or other immersive games that add excitement to your event’s agenda.

Try this Virtual Event Gamification Platform: Captello

Captello features more than 35 interactive games and leaderboards that can be customized to your meeting or event. High scores and team information can be displayed on customizable leaderboards to create friendly competition, and gameplay winners can earn real prizes through the built-in gift card rewards platform.

event attendee scans a QR code

5. Maximize engagement by gamifying your event agenda.

Playing trivia games challenges us to think critically and creatively. Plus, there’s nothing quite as exciting as a bit of friendly competition! Jumpstart your event’s social effect by creating trivia teams that bring attendees together. They’ll love the thrill of cheering on their team, creating new connections and learning new knowledge in the process. Don’t forget to offer event-branded promotional products as an incentive to participate!

Try this Virtual Engagement Tool: Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that leverages user-generated, multiple-choice quizzes that can be accessed via a web browser or app. You can host Kahoot! games via any video conferencing platform, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and event streaming platforms. Kahoot Event "Bronze" level costs $250 for unlimited Kahoots and up to 100 participants per game.

virtual event attendee uses kahoot trivia software

Image Source: Kahoot

6. Offer virtual photo booths for social media sharing.

Virtual photo booths are the perfect addition to your hybrid event or virtual event, especially if not all attendees can gather in person. While many live events feature a live photographer, online events can accomplish the same task by using a self-serve virtual photo booth.

This way, online attendees will still feel like they're a part of the event. They’ll also get an event-branded keepsake which they can post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. Design a custom photo frame with your event’s logo, branding, or unique hashtag to increase brand awareness and shareability on social media.

Try this Virtual Photo Booth for Events: Snapbar

There are several fun elements that can make your virtual photo booth more engaging for event attendees. Snapbar, for example, allows you to combine all attendee photos into a post-event collage or video — a great way to showcase your brand. It also allows guests to add a virtual background, fun digital stickers, and text to their photos.

snapbar social media and photobooth software

Photo Source: BizBash

7. Generate a word cloud to summarize key takeaways.

A “word cloud” is an artistic cluster of words typically shown in different sizes, colors, and orientations. The bigger and bolder the word, the more often it is selected or voted for by meeting participants.

Word clouds are an interactive way to visualize how attendees feel about a topic or to summarize what they’ve learned from your meeting. You may find that your audience is more likely to participate when given a visual-based activity for an icebreaker or reflection activity.

Try this Audience Engagement Platform: Mentimeter

A word cloud program like Mentimeter lets speakers ask a question and present it to their audience in a visual way. Ask attendees to provide their input via a smartphone or other device. Answers are used to build a real-time word cloud, which can be presented on a screen during a keynote presentation. Use this tool for free to ask your audience up to two questions. Get started for free with the ability to ask up to two questions and up to 5 quizzes.

event attendees use mentimeter word cloud software

Photo Source: Mentimeter

8. Use smartphone-based microphones for audience questions.

At events, time is precious. Attendees might not want to wait for a wireless microphone to be passed around the room during large sessions. Instead, allow attendees to use their smartphones as a microphone. Broadcast attendees’ voices over the PA system while also selecting speakers, disabling microphones, and conducting real-time polls.

Try this Audience Engagement App: Crowd Mics

Crowd Mics empowers event audiences to speak, text, and vote directly from their smartphones. Not only can attendees use their own phones as wireless microphones, but they can also text in a comment or question or participate in polls directly from their seats.

conference attendee uses the Crowd Mics phone app to ask a question Photo Source: Biamp

Free Audience Interaction Tools and Response Software

Digital tools, mobile apps, and audience engagement technology are the future of event planning and attendee interaction. Whether you’re using event technology for live streaming, lead retrieval, social sharing, attendee tracking, event fundraising, or live data tracking, there’s a solution out there to help you improve engagement and ROI.

Need audience response software on a budget? We've got you. Here are our favorite free engagement tools for virtual meetings and in-person events.

1. CrowdPurr

Add fun to any event with free trivia, leaderboards, and more. Use CrowdPurr to create interactive, mobile-driven experiences for on-site, virtual, and hybrid events. Invite up to 20 participants to answer up to 15 questions for free, or upgrade for expanded access.

2. Loquiz

Loquiz is a gamification platform that lets event professionals create their own adventure games and scavenger hunts for conferences and events. Sign up for a 14-day free trial.

3. Quizizz

Quizizz allows users to create quizzes, presentations, and polls that anyone can play on any device. Start for free with no credit card required.

4. Poll Everywhere

Visualize feedback in real time while also measuring event attendee engagement. Poll Everywhere lets you get started for free with unlimited users and questions for groups of up to 25 people.

5. VeVox

Vevox is a top-rated polIing and Q&A program for businesses. Invite up to 100 participants for free, with unlimited basic multi-choice polling and Q&A, quiz leaderboard, and no downloads required.

read 100+ creative event themes for meetings, conferences, and parties

Paid Audience Interaction Tools and Response Software

There are limitless options for event professionals in need of audience interaction software Improve audience interactions, engagement, and participation with the following paid software options.

1. Angage

Angage is a mobile engagement and interactive platform that lets event organizers engage with their audience during keynote sessions, breakout sessions, and more. Click here to see pricing options.

2. CrowdCompass

Make it simple for your attendees to actively participate in session discussions. CrowdCompass features real-time engagement features for learning and networking.

3. Glisser

Looking for live digital engagement experiences that deliver results? Glisser lets event professionals build polls, quizzes, word clouds, and games directly into presentations.

4. Pathable

Level up your event's engagement with gamification features, polling capabilities, and integrated social media widgets! You can even incentivize the experience with a points system that awards participation.

5. Worksup

Activate your audience by learning about their opinions! Worksup lets users set up Q&As, quizzes, and polls quickly, even during a session. Then, broadcast live results and download findings for later use.

Audience Participation Ideas for Engaging Events

When it comes to audience engagement tools, it can be difficult to know which solutions are worth your investment. If you’re unsure of where to start, make it a goal to capture as much feedback as possible from your attendees before, during, and after your event to get the best audience engagement tools.

Use tools like surveys, polls, digital response cards, and more to ask attendees for their thoughts and feedback. With the right data, you’ll feel empowered to increase attendee satisfaction and improve your event’s ROI. Tell us, what fun interactive presentation ideas have you used?

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