App Talk: Do Conference Apps Trump Voting Keypads?

CrowdComms recently delivered an event for a major software company in Sydney and Melbourne for 250 guests. They wanted to use voting keypads instead of a mobile solution, such as an event app. Voting keypads is where a lot of our staff came from, so it’s second nature for us to deliver against a brief for polling keypad events.

If you’re not familiar with keypad technology, let’s start with how to spot one in an event environment. It’s around the size of a credit card and is handed to guests at the beginning of the day or left on event seating.

The keypads are little radio transmitters and interact directly with PowerPoint enabling presenters to ask live voting questions to an audience. The audience members press their buttons and a bar or pie chart appears on the big screen showing everyone how the room has voted. It’s clever, good fun and when used correctly it makes presentations more engaging.

The client told us that limiting distractions was a reason why a polling keypad was better for their particular event rather than a mobile solution. “We don’t want people to be looking at their phones during the meeting.”

They added that, “we tried an event app before and some people struggled to figure out how to use it. We just want to go back to the technology we used to use. It worked and we liked it.”

Polling keypads are fantastic and they are fit for purpose i.e. polling. But that’s it.

If you want to do some live polling at an event - and are not interested in any other features that a mobile event app can provide - it’s certainly the way to go.

In a world of so many digital choices, people can disregard older technologies. But sometimes it’s worth looking back and considering using the things that used to be popular but have perhaps become less fashionable since the smartphone revolution.