As life starts to open up, now is a great time to start focusing on attendee engagement in your live events. Developing ways to engage your audience and increase audience participation can give everyone the connection that they’ve been missing. And that is just as true of virtual and hybrid events as it is for in-person offerings.

Nowadays, you don’t need to rely on cheers and claps. Instead, you can use audience participation software to enable guests to interact with your event format. What’s more, free audience participation apps don’t require any investment in expensive hardware – attendees already have the technology required in their bags and pockets in the form of their phones and tablets. Read on to discover the best audience engagement tools that can help take your event to the next level.

1. Mentimeter

Mentimeter is a mobile voting app that lets you show the results live with real-time graphs and charts. Perfect for live, virtual, or hybrid events, it can be used for a wide range of events – from wine tasting and learning to paint, to gym classes and comedy nights. Able to handle over 30,000 votes per minute, it can work for small events or big ones. The app provides many different question/response formats such as multiple-choice, open-ended, rating scale, and word clouds. Plus, you can easily style it with your branding.

2. Glisser

Glisser lets presenters share slides to the audience’s mobile devices during their presentation. In turn, audience members can like, comment on, or share those slides on their own social networks. Attendees can also download the slides for later reference or to share with colleagues back at the office. It means there’s no need for printed handouts, which in turn saves trees and is more convenient for attendees.

3. BuzzMaster

BuzzMaster is an audience interaction app with a difference – it comes with “BuzzMasters” AKA real people who moderate the audience responses in real time. The BuzzMasters are all journalists or experienced event managers who sort through the data to curate the most interesting comments and find your visitors’ best stories. They can also hit the audience with new, unexpected questions, helping to facilitate the session and create a buzz. This could be a great tool for events such as conferences or debates where you want to stimulate conversation.

4. Crowd Mics

Crowd Mics is an app that turns the audience’s phones into wireless microphones. This comes in particularly useful at forum-style events or those that usually need a roaming microphone. The app works in conjunction with an ATOM box that plugs into the venue’s wired network and sound system. Meanwhile, the moderator uses an iPad app interface to control who speaks. Crowd Mics also has comment and polling functionality.

5. Catchbox

Unlike the rest of the tools in this list, Catchbox is not an app, but a physical microphone. However, it’s no ordinary microphone – it’s the world’s first throwable wireless microphone. So, when you’re asking questions for audience participation, rather than having to pick your way through the crowd to reach them with a normal mic, you simply throw them the Catchbox. It engages participants in a fun game of catch, while also helping to create an informal, laid-back atmosphere.

6. QuickMobile

QuickMobile is a polling and feedback app that lets the audience vote, rate, or answer multiple-choice questions from their phones. As well as being able to create questions ahead of time, presenters can launch a poll on the spur of the moment, facilitating a truly interactive session and enabling them to tailor their presentations according to the audience’s response. And because it works on mobile, both in-person and virtual attendees can easily take part.

7. Angage

Rather than asking participants to use their phones to vote or answer multiple-choice questions, Angage equips them with individual voting keypads, making the selection process easier for a less tech-savvy audience. The easy-to-use keypads let participants respond to questions by selecting letters or numbers. The responses can then be displayed in real time, making it easy to gather opinions.

8. Engagenow

Engagenow lets you design attractive-looking polls and quizzes that empower the audience to interact with the big screen during an event. It can also be used to crowdsource questions or open up chat around the event in order to spark debate and connect audience members. This could come in handy at events that feature a debate, such as panel discussions.

9. eventScribe

The eventScribe mobile event app has a wide range of functions, including the ability for participants to ask questions, post comments, and connect with each other on a private social networking platform. Another interesting feature is the ability for attendees to access presentation slides, which they can annotate. They can then share their notes with other participants. The app also has social networking capabilities that enable participants to connect and communicate, which is a great way to foster relationships between a live and virtual audience.

10. LoQuiz

Games are a great way to engage an audience, and LoQuiz lets you easily set up a variety of games and quizzes with an integrated question library. It can also help you stage bespoke treasure hunts, using photos or written clues to guide players. The app, which an appointed team leader operates on a tablet, uses GPS for outdoor positioning and a special clue system for indoor question mapping, making it suitable for events of all sizes.

Fully engage your audience

Moving to the future, focusing on engagement will become even more of a priority, with sustained engagement being particularly important. There are new areas to explore, such as hybrid events, which can help you reach a much wider audience – and using audience interaction platforms can bring virtual and in-person attendees together like never before. After all, if an attendee has been actively involved, they are far more likely to think the event was worthwhile.

To explore ways to better engage your virtual attendees, check out our virtual events platform.

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