How to Engage Your Event Audience Using Live Polls

How to Engage Your Event Audience Using Live Polls

Creating a memorable experience is critical to event success. In order to be extraordinary, an event experience must not just deliver information or services but also engage your guests’ hearts and minds. It sounds like a daunting task. But the secret is to find simple ways to deliver those “surprise and delight” moments during your event that cannot be forgotten. 

These days guests expect tech integrations at events. Using digital resources like live polls is a great way to bring value to your guests and increase engagement while optimizing your bottom line. Live polls are online or SMS-based polling or survey platforms that measure real-time audience sentiment. Results are measured instantly and can be shared via projection in an event room, online or via an event app. Think for a moment about the things you could do if you understand how your guests were feeling at any given moment of your event! The possibilities are endless! It can be done. Here are some ideas.

Session Starts and Ice Breakers

Use live polls to start a session off on the right foot. Speakers can use a poll to ask a leading question that can inform how they structure their talk or to learn more about who their audience is. The question could be as simple as “What are you expecting to learn in this session?” Or start the session by asking what level of understanding the audience has about the topic being discussed. Offer three to five options and let the crowd respond. What powerful information that would be for your speaker!

For other events, a live poll can be a fun way to let attendees relax. If a speaker wants to disarm guests so that they are more open to the discussion, asking an unexpected question at the beginning of a session such as “What superpower would you like to have?” would be an excellent way to break the tension. Hold the results until the end so that attendees have something to look forward to. 


Using live polls can help manage a large Q&A session. Some polling apps offer the ability for attendees to submit comments or questions. Have a moderator review the questions, sort them for priority and then show on screens or in the app for the speaker and the crowd to answer. The audience can even vote on which questions to focus on. This makes the typical practice of running a microphone around a room to various speakers obsolete. It can also mean that more questions are answered and that more attendee is engaged in the discussion. 

Session Feedback

Polling platforms make paper surveys completely unnecessary. Instead of the typical session survey printed on a half sheet of paper left on every chair, ask attendees to rate the session in a polling app at the end of the event. So much easier! Session feedback results can be tabulated and shared with your team, your speakers, and sponsors via the app, website, or email and actions can be taken for improvement immediately, even before the event is over. 

If your sessions are dependent on educating your attendees, you can also use a polling app during the session to measure awareness about the topic being presented. Sort of like a pop quiz for events. To make it more fun, reward those who answer your quiz, whether right or wrong. Speakers or planners can then adjust their delivery if you find the topic is not resonating with the crowd. 

Event Feedback

Of course, live polling can also be used to collect other kinds of event feedback. This can be done either at the end of your event or just after the event, using an online survey format.  Measure attendee sentiment regarding vendors, sponsors, meals, swag, venue, or other activities. Ask for feedback on session dates, location, topics or marketing. Request ideas for future events. Be transparent with the results. Your attendees will appreciate feeling like they are a part of the event planning process. Eventzilla can help you send a post-event survey to your attendees. 

Social Media Contests

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram offer live poll options that you should leverage for easy social media sharing contests.  Post a photo of several attendees or staff members wearing conference swag and post a “Who Wore It Better?” survey. Or ask a series of questions via a poll that leads guests to search for and find a prize. Use these polls as a way to encourage attendee interaction and online sharing as well as to build your social media follower base. 

Social or Networking Activities

Live polls add another element of personal interaction during social activities. Polls have a way of stimulating conversations. Plan an attendee or staff talent show and ask guests to vote for fan favorites and other categories. Or use polls to pair up guests who answer certain questions in the same way for a networking event. You could also survey guests in order to decide what activities are scheduled for the next event day. 

Guests always appreciate the opportunity to be heard. Live polling apps and platforms make gathering and reacting to feedback in real-time simple and fun.  Most out-of-the-box apps are relatively low cost or even free. Try one out today. 

Eventzilla Team

Highlight option

Turn on the "highlight" option for any widget, to get an alternative styling like this. You can change the colors for highlighted widgets in the theme options. See more examples below.