My Virtual Event Platform Has Chat & Polls —
Do I Still Need Conferences i/o?

Today’s organizations need a platform to host their online events. When education is the primary (or only) focus, they frequently look to simple platforms like Zoom, WebEx, or GoToWebinar. But when organizations are planning large virtual events like a conference or annual meeting, they may need an online platform that’s more comprehensive and includes advanced capabilities like a virtual expo hall or networking.

In this article, we’re going to group all of these different tools together as “virtual event platforms”.

In a recent survey, 80% of event organizers said it’s more difficult to keep an audience engaged during virtual events compared to events that are held on-site.

Virtual event platforms often include built-in interactive tools like chat and simple polls.

These built-in features are convenient and can be helpful but they often lack the functionality needed to inspire and sustain genuine audience engagement.

Conferences i/o works alongside virtual event platforms to make professional education more effective and less boring with technology specifically built to increase audience participation, engagement, and feedback. 

Audience Q&A


The chat boxes built into virtual platforms are commonly used for questions, comments, as well as interaction between attendees.

Restricting all attendee communication to a single area can make it quite difficult for presenters and moderators to manage. Sadly, this often leads to a messy Q&A session with questions being overlooked, repeated, and no way for moderators to prioritize.

Moderators have to continuously scroll through the chat feed and try to determine whether each message was a comment, a question directed to another attendee, or an actual question for the presenter.

In the example to the left, the attendees have tried to overcome this by typing “QUESTION” at the beginning of their messages.

Conferences i/o’s Social Q&A™ feature acts as a lighthouse, guiding moderators and attendees through a sea of questions.

Upvoting

With Conferences i/o attendees can ask questions but they can also “vote up” other questions they’re interested in. This modern form of crowdsourcing gives presenters insight into what is most important to the entire group, allowing them to maximize the value of the time dedicated to Q&A.

Smart Filters

Q&A Moderators can delete or hide duplicate questions, mark questions as complete once they’ve been answered, and privately highlight questions they feel are especially significant.  Moderators can also sort the questions based on popularity, recency, etc. 

Screening Questions

Approval filters give the moderator an opportunity to review questions and block any off-topic comments from going live. Conferences i/o also offers a built in Profanity Filter for some added protection against anything inappropriate.

Q&A for Panel Discussions

In panel discussions or sessions with more than one presenter, attendees can direct their questions to a specific speaker instead of the entire panel. Moderators will see the speaker’s name under the question and can even filter the list to show all questions or to only show the questions for a specific panelist.

Pre-event Interaction  

Audience members are encouraged to ask questions or share ideas prior to the event or session. This type of insight can be tremendously valuable to presenters who can use it to adjust their content based on the most popular questions being asked. 

Post-event Interaction 

Moderators can respond to questions in Conferences i/o in real-time but they can also continue adding responses after the event has ended, making sure there are no questions that go unanswered. In addition, a full recap of the Q&A can be exported and shared with attendees or embedded alongside the recorded session replay to extend the engagement for on-demand viewers as well.

Audience Polling


Unlike virtual event platforms that only provide basic multiple-choice polling options, Conferences i/o offers dynamic live polling with a variety of interactive formats and options. 

Open Ended Polls

In addition to basic multiple choice poll questions, Conferences i/o features an open-ended question format that gives presenters more flexibility and creates a more personalized experience for attendees.

Presenters can display open ended poll results as a compelling word cloud or as colorful thought bubbles.

Thought Bubble Display Format
Word Cloud Display Format

Brainstorming Polls

Brainstorming polls give attendees the opportunity to voice their own ideas and support the ideas of other attendees with upvotes. This polling format was also designed to prevent bias and ensure the most popular ideas are brought to light. 

Pre/Post Test Comparisons

Presenters can assess how much attendees have learned or how their opinions have changed over the course of the presentation. In the example above we can see that only 24% of attendees answered a question correctly at the start of the presentation but by the end of the session 85% of attendees answered correctly. A clear indication that the presenter was effective at teaching the content.

Blended Polls

Presenters can use Conferences i/o to compare results across multiple poll questions. For instance, how many individuals who said pizza was their favorite food also said they prefer comedy movies?

PowerPoint Integration   

To keep audiences engaged, polls and Q&A need to fit seamlessly into a presentation. Unlike virtual event platforms, Conferences i/o can generate PowerPoint slides embedded with a code that brings each interactive element to life so presenters can engage the audience while maintaining the flow of their presentation.

Team Battle Game


In this fun, quiz-style game, teams of players compete to earn points by answering quiz questions correctly and quickly while an animated leaderboard updates in real-time.

Elevated Evaluations


Not only does Conferences i/o improve the virtual event experience for the participant, it also gives organizers a unique advantage in terms of feedback. Conferences i/o includes real-time evaluations, giving attendees the opportunity to provide feedback before they even leave the event, leading to higher response rates and more accurate data.

Use our built-in Raffles feature to incentivize attendees to complete the evaluation by giving away a prize. The prize doesn’t have to be extravagant. Even just a small incentive can have a major impact in terms of response rates.

Insightful Reports


Conferences i/o synthesizes data across the event and generates a variety of insightful reports including: engagement and evaluation reports and attendance tracking data to easily process Continuing Education (CE) credits.