The Imminent Decline of Hardware-Based Audience Response Systems

By Sean Ganser on

The proliferation of the smartphone is changing the face of modern meetings. Newer and better methods now exist for gathering feedback from a group. Due to the convenience and efficacy of newer audience response systems, the older methods are falling short. In the past, if a presenter wanted to conduct an interactive meeting, clickers had to be be distributed to the entire audience before the meeting began. Now, thanks to personal handheld devices, audience members already have a tool on hand for the job. In short, our smartphones act as “personal clickers,” more or less negating the need for additional devices.

The Clicker: Fading Into the Past

The clicker’s limited features don’t effectively compete with the more nimble mobile innovations currently on the market. Providing traditional clickers for an entire audience is costly and comes with liability. Interactive meetings conducted this way require more manpower, since clickers have to be passed out and gathered before and after an event. They also have to be maintained over time and can easily be damaged, lost, or stolen. Clickers require much more preparation and investment than their more up-to-date audience response system counterparts. Just as flip phones made way for the smartphone, clickers are fading out of the spotlight.

The Smartphone: Conduct Interactive Meetings Anytime, Anywhere

Presenters conducting meetings via clicker must ensure that all issues of compatibility, manpower, and preparation are addressed well in advance. On the other hand, smartphones and other handheld devices make interactive meetings possible at any time. By nature, in-depth advance preparation is not required to poll an audience or gather feedback from users who are participating via personal device. Online apps and browser-based solutions are automatically updated and maintained. This frees up time and money, allowing companies and facilitators to invest in more important matters.

Online Audience Response Systems: Gateway to a Richer Experience

Modern personal handheld devices provide a colorful and engaging experience when it comes to online interactive meeting apps and audience response systems. Clickers, on the other hand, typically have no screen. At best, they have small grayscale screens. Many clickers look like old versions of cell phones and in this case, appearances don’t lie. They function rather similarly and are from a similar time period in our technological past. Use of this archaic tool severely limits the types of interactions presenters might have with an audience. Audience response systems that are app- or browser-based, on the other hand, provide a much richer interactive meeting experience with far greater opportunities for tailored content. Additionally, these options allow attendees to interact with one another collectively and view shared results in real time on their own screens.

Taking the Plunge

As technology has advanced, so has the culture of our meetings. Nowadays, we all have a smartphone. In the past, modern audience response systems wouldn’t have been possible due to the absence of this technology. But now, why not take advantage of the new interactive meeting options made possible by our current technological culture? We invite you to explore the newer, richer world of mobile audience response systems. Once you discover how much it has to offer, you may never want to go back to the old clicker again.

 

 

At MeetingPulse, we provide a live audience solution that runs in any browser, so there’s nothing to download and no extra hardware is needed. Audience members participate on their mobile devices via a short link provided by the facilitator, eliminating the need to pass out and retrieve clickers. MeetingPulse technology was developed with simplicity in mind, thus it offers a wide array of customizable options to fit your presentation needs. Please contact us for more information or sign up to receive blog updates and our free ebook.

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