With the dawn of remote and hybrid work, organizations are increasingly experimenting with new ways to make their everyday conversations, meetings, and events more interactive for all participants. For many, the answer is to adopt an audience engagement platform that integrates seamlessly with their existing tech stack.
With so many platforms out there, the choice can be a difficult one. In this series of articles, we’ll explore the questions you need to ask to find the right tool for your organization. We’ll help you understand what your requirements are, outline the key features of all the major players, and ultimately, help you find the tool that’s the perfect match for your organization.
When comparing audience engagement platforms, there are four key factors that you should consider in your decision-making process:
- User Experience
- Data Collection
- Features and Functionality
MeetingPulse is one of those tools, but let’s be clear, we only win when we’re the best fit for your needs. Every organization has a specific set of needs, and every audience engagement platform has a slightly different focus.
Our goal is to help you find the best platform for your organization. We’ve also included reviews from third-party platforms like Capterra and G2, so you can see unbiased opinions from real customers on how the platforms stack up against each other.
With that said, let’s meet the two audience engagement platforms that are the focus of this article: MeetingPulse and Polly.
MeetingPulse is an audience engagement platform that helps organizations take meetings and events to the next level through live Q&A, polls, feedback, surveys, and more.
The platform is used by industry-leading companies including Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, and Anheuser-Busch, and is used for town halls, webinars, meetings, and other events. The software integrates with all major video conferencing platforms, requires no downloads, and opens instantly on any mobile or desktop browser.
MeetingPulse was founded in 2013. The company is headquartered in San Francisco but has employees in countries around the world.
Polly is a survey platform that integrates with communications tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, as well as video conferencing platforms like Zoom. The platform is used by a wide range of tech companies, including Zendesk, Docusign, and Intuit, and helps companies to make data-driven decisions that are aligned with employee feedback.
Customers rely on Polly for use cases like employee engagement, new hire onboarding, meeting management, and more. The platform has a range of features, including Q&A, quizzes, and polls.
Pollywas founded in 2015, and is based in Seattle, although the company now has employees based all around the world.
If you’ve adopted any kind of new software platform in your organization recently, you’ll know how important user experience is. Simply put, the smoother and more intuitive the user experience of any tool, the more likely it is to be adopted widely.
That holds especially true for audience engagement tools like MeetingPulse and Polly. Meeting attendees will most likely only use this tool every so often, and won’t have time to attend any training sessions or read user guides. The tools should be easily accessible on a range of different devices, integrate seamlessly with existing enterprise software platforms, and easy to use, with a seamless sign up process and intuitive interface.
For those tasked with organizing the meetings and events these platforms will be used at, user experience is also critical. There should be powerful meeting management tools, with a comprehensive set of features that still remain easy to use. Remember, these tools will often be used live, in front of large audiences, so the back-end interface should be as simple as possible to minimize the chances of any mistakes.
Let’s take a closer look at the user experiences offered by both MeetingPulse and Polly.
MeetingPulse: User Experience
It’s very easy for meeting attendees to start using MeetingPulse – the platform integrates with all major video conferencing platforms, including Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, YouTube, and Vimeo. Users don’t have to download any additional software, and can join meetings from a wide range of devices.
To join a meeting, attendees can use a QR code or short link. There’s 12 different audience engagement modules, including polls, raffles, and announcements, each of which offer meeting organizers new ways to provide their attendees with a memorable user experience.
There’s also additional support and a range of advanced features for larger events like conferences and town halls. Event producers and meeting organizers can add custom branding, leverage a powerful API, and scale their meeting technology to host tens of thousands of active participants. There’s even support from event production companies around the world through the MeetingPulse Experts program, meaning users can access local talent to help bring their events to life –– whether they’re in-person, hybrid, or fully remote.
Polly: User Experience
Polly is also relatively easy to use, integrating with three major communications platforms: Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. Once installed, it’s easy for users to respond to a ‘Polly’ – the company’s name for a survey. The interface is straightforward, making use of emojis, simple surveys integrated into Slack threads, and visual displays.
Users do have to download the Polly extension from the Zoom Marketplace to use the software, and there’s no option to join a meeting using QR codes or short links, limiting how useful Polly could be at certain types of events or meetings.
However, there are a range of templates available to help new users get started and set up their first few meetings or Slack polls. There’s also guides and videos that new users can view to help them learn how to use the Polly platform.
What Do Customers Say?
Reviews from users on third-party sites like Capterra and G2 highlight a positive user experience for both MeetingPulse and Polly. On Capterra, MeetingPulse scores 4.6/5.0 for ease of use. Polly only has a couple of reviews on Capterra, but on G2, it receives a 4.4/5.0 overall rating from 25 reviewers.
Here’s a few comments from actual users of both platforms who left online reviews discussing their experiences:
MeetingPulse User Reviews
“Setting up an audience response with a variety of options is a breeze and the back-end is very powerful. The attendee experience is super slick on mobile web. Most features and settings are really well thought out and can be easily customized” –– Computer Software Company on Capterra
“Helps our team collaborate, share ideas, and execute faster than ever before. Super easy to get started. Can sign up, create a meeting, and start collaborating in less than 5 minutes. No more excuses for boring meetings.” –– Marketing Agency on Capterra
“I like that everyone finds it really easy to use. Also that it pops up right in the browser with no apps to download which makes it easy to get people to use it.” –– Financial Services Company on Capterra
Polly User Reviews
“It’s very user friendly for both admin and participants. The formatting can be a little weird at first, but after the first couple of times you use Polly, it is easy to adjust.” –– HR & Benefits Specialist on G2
“Polly is a great tool for short polls that need answers quickly. Sometimes Polly is hard to create when you don’t create it on an internet browser. I don’t like creating it in the app because I’m worried about sending it incorrectly.” –– Design Company on G2
“Great tool for short questions, but not able to handle large surveys. Simple to use, and integrated with Slack. I did not like the limitations and difficulty with editing after sending a poll.” –– Software Engineer on Capterra
Audience engagement tools aren’t only for bringing meetings to life; they also offer meeting organizers the opportunity to collect a wealth of data that can produce valuable insights into all kinds of topics.
During meetings, it’s important to be able to quickly visualize data like poll responses in real-time, but after the meeting or event has concluded, organizers and administrators should be able to download reports and datasets that summarize audience engagement, responses, and participation during the course of the event. This data could be anything from votes on key issues to tracking engagement levels throughout the meeting.
Armed with this data, meeting organizers can conduct analysis, generate insights that help drive their organization forward, or even pass on information to marketing or sales teams.
On MeetingPulse, administrators are able to download a wide range of data at the conclusion of an event, but on Polly, the ability to download data is more limited. Let’s take a look at the capabilities of each platform in more detail:
MeetingPulse: Data Collection
When a MeetingPulse event concludes, organizers have a range of options as to how they want to analyze the data generated by the meeting. There’s a simple top-line dashboard available to view, but there’s also the ability to build custom reports and export raw meeting data in CSV or PDF format for further analysis.
One of MeetingPulse’s unique features is the ability to track audience sentiment throughout an event. During the course of the meeting, attendees can react at any time to what is being said, creating a tangible timeline of audience sentiment throughout the event. This helps organizers understand which sections or speakers resonated the most, and which need to be refined for future meetings.
The data collection features on MeetingPulse are so robust that many organizations use the platform for important occasions like board meetings and company governance, like this user in the healthcare industry:
“We love being able to do polls and raffles remotely. We also use MeetingPulse for voting on issues, which is a great record” –– Hospital Administrator on G2
Polly: Data Collection
On Polly, the data collection features are more geared towards providing meeting organizers (and attendees) with instant results that enable quick, data-driven decision making. Results can be presented in a range of different charts, and users can provide their demographic data to enable organizers to segment results.
Meeting administrators can export raw data to a CSV file, or create an integration with Google Sheets, but there’s limited ability for customization. While meeting organizers can ask different types of questions, there are no tools to track variables like audience sentiment, and there’s also a lack of reporting and analysis tools that other audience engagement platforms tend to be equipped with.
When it comes to data collection, users tend to agree that Polly is best used for simple applications:
“Great for short, informal surveys” –– Computer Software Company on G2
“This is really only for simple use cases – you’re not going to reinvent the wheel or get a lot of complex problems solved here, but it’s easy, quick, and fun.” –– Retail Company on G2
Features and Functionality
The best audience engagement platforms offer a wide variety of features that meeting organizers and event producers can use to interact with their audience. After all, a meeting that uses the same audience engagement techniques over and over again is a boring, repetitive meeting. The best meetings use a variety of formats and tools to keep attendees engaged and involved throughout the entire event.
Both MeetingPulse and Polly offer a range of features that meeting organizers can employ to effectively engage their audiences. MeetingPulse offers 12 different audience engagement modules in total, representing the broadest range of tools out of any audience engagement platform. By contrast, Polly offers five audience engagement features, and only for Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings.
While there’s some overlap between the tools, this isn’t strictly an apples-to-apples comparison. MeetingPulse is a purpose-built audience engagement platform for hybrid and virtual events, but Polly is primarily a polling tool for Slack and Microsoft Teams, and only recently launched a Zoom integration that enables audience engagement during meetings and events.
It could be the case that Polly adds more features as time goes on, but as of right now, these are the core audience engagement features offered by each platform:
MeetingPulse: Features and Functionality
MeetingPulse offers users 12 different audience engagement tools, providing event producers and meeting administrators with a range of ways to interact with their audience, regardless of what they’re using MeetingPulse for. Features include:
- Q&A: Host moderated Q&A sessions, and enable attendees to upvote questions they want answered.
- Polls: Run multiple polls in different configurations. Share results in real-time, or analyze them after the event.
- Dynamic Surveys: Combine multiple polls into one single survey, and distribute it before, during, or after the event.
- Pulse: Attendees can react at any time to what’s being said, creating an accurate “pulse” of attendee sentiment throughout the meeting.
- Ideas: Encourage attendees to submit innovative ideas by creating topic threads where everyone can submit ideas, vote on them, and add comments.
- Materials: Ensure everyone is prepared by sharing meeting materials, links, and files ahead of the beginning of the meeting.
- Raffles: Boost engagement with raffles that randomly select a member of your audience as a winner. Use them as ice breakers or a technique to collect emails.
- Announce: Quickly send an announcement to all meeting attendees to share important updates.
- Video: Use MeetingPulse’s video solution, or integrate MeetingPulse’s audience engagement tools with a range of third-party tools for video conferencing, webinars, and live streams.
- Agenda: Allow attendees to drive the agenda by crowdsourcing topics from your audience.
- Schedule: Create and share event schedules to keep your meeting attendees on track and make sure your event runs smoothly.
- Chat (Beta): Enable real-time messaging and free-flowing conversations with an all-new live chat feature.
There’s also a host of event management and security tools to ensure that your event remains secure and on track.
Polly: Features and Functionality
Polly provides meeting administrators with five different ways to interact with attendees in real-time. These include:
- Q&A: attendees can submit questions in real-time, with moderation and upvoting features to ensure the discussion remains focused on the most important topics.
- Polls: send attendees a short poll, with options for multiple choice and open answer questions.
- Word Cloud: create a live word cloud based on attendees’ responses to key questions and issues.
- Ratings: quickly gauge how your audience feels about any topic by asking them to provide a rating using a variety of scales.
- Icebreakers: cut through the awkward silence at the start of a meeting with fun icebreakers everyone can participate in.
For meeting administrators, there’s a range of features available with Polly’s Enterprise subscription, including sophisticated security features, a user management panel, and activity logs. There’s also the ability to automate workflows with Polly using both the Polly API and built-in integrations with tools like Zapier and Jira.
Both MeetingPulse and Polly offer a range of different pricing tiers to enable users to select the pricing plan that best matches the needs of their organization. Currently, Polly is only available to Microsoft Teams users, and the Zoom integration is only available to Enterprise customers, for which pricing is not shared. MeetingPulse pricing is standard, no matter what video conferencing platform your organization uses.
Each platform offers a free tier, enabling users to try out the basic features for free before committing to a paid subscription. On MeetingPulse, the free plan supports meeting up to 100 attendees, with five polls per event and live Q&A features. On Polly, the free plan allows for 25 responses, with various question types and live Q&A features also enabled.
MeetingPulse also offers a $10/mo Starter plan, which enables unlimited meetings, polls, and voting for 700 attendees, as well as a Premium plan, which offers a range of enterprise-level features including custom branding, automatic translation, and moderated Q&A, for $192/mo.
Polly offers a Standard plan, priced at $79/mo, which allows for 4,500 monthly responses, as well as increased storage of results and chat integrations. Polly’s Enterprise tier is priced on a per-user basis, at $3 per user, per month, and enables unlimited responses, more sophisticated security features, and a customer success manager.
MeetingPulse offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well as a price match guarantee that ensures users will never pay more for MeetingPulse than they would for a comparable audience engagement platform. As far as we can tell, Polly offers neither of these things but does invite non-profits and educational groups to apply for discounted pricing.
Choosing The Right Platform For Your Needs
When it comes to selecting which platform to go with for your organization, it’s really a question of understanding exactly what your needs are and then determining which platform will best satisfy them. Both platforms provide great solutions, and their users rate them highly: MeetingPulse receives a 4.8/5.0 overall rating on Capterra, while Polly scores 4.2/5.0 on G2.
In our view, MeetingPulse offers a wider range of features and is custom-built for audience engagement at every type of meeting from internal meetings to large corporate events. Users will benefit from a greater variety of tools to engage their audience, a broader range of integrations to video conferencing platforms, and higher levels of customer support and customization – particularly for Enterprise customers.
Polly is better suited to organizations that rely more on communication platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams than in-person or virtual meetings. Reviewers comment that Polly is great for getting quick feedback on simple decisions, and the custom Slack integration is a powerful feature that dramatically improves polling response rates.
There’s no need to rush into any decisions without first trying both platforms out and determining how well they support the needs of your organization. Both MeetingPulse and Polly offer free plans, so we suggest you experiment with both before deciding which tool is the best match for you.