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Application Notes
An Introduction to Audience Response Systems

Audience response systems are used by meeting facilitators and process consultants over the two decades in conferences, seminars, workshops and business review meetings to harness the collective wisdom, knowledge and experience of meeting participants.

An audience response system allows meeting facilitators to understand what audience know, think and feel about on any topics discussed at meetings. Audience response systems facilitate anonymous and instant feedback from every participant at a meeting to have a say and participate actively in the meeting discussions. 

A good audience response system should be easy setup, learn and use. It should be integrated seamlessly into a meeting presentation and its use should be non-intrusive to the meeting. OptionPower has been tested for more than a decade as  a reliable software that can been confidently deployed in major conferences and corporate meetings
How do audience response systems work?
1. The presenter creates a normal PowerPoint presentation.
2 They add interactive slides such as multiple choice questions and lists for ranking.
3 Wireless keypads are distributed to all audience members.
4 The audience responds to the interactive slides when they appear.
5 Results are immediately shown and the data is stored for future analysis
Interactive meetings are shown to improve attendee attentiveness up to 88% and increase retention as much as 27%. Audience response systems are also perfect for meetings where assessment, decision-making or voting must be conducted quickly. It creates an instant exchange of thoughts and ideas that would otherwise be impossible.
Benefits of Interactive Meetings Using ARS
The keypads allow participants to respond anonymously, thereby encouraging more honest and accurate responses. The result is less posturing politically and greater focus on content and outcomes.

You can get more accomplished, faster. Users routinely report achieving a 20% to 40% productivity gain when compared to non-technology assisted meetings.

Improved Understanding
Utilizing the keypads, you are not just finding out who feels what about a given subject, but the degree to which they feel that way. A simple raising of hands is unlikely to give the group as clear a picture of the true range of opinion as quickly as the technology can.

Democracy of Input
Every participant gets a keypad, every participant gets to register his or her opinion - not just the participants who talk the most or have the most "power." And, the picture of this input in graphical form provides the basis for further discussion and decision making.

The 80/20 Rule
Instead of spending 80% of the meeting time finding out what people are thinking, the OptionFinder System allows you to do that in less than 20% of the time, so that most of the time is available to focus on why they think this way and what to do about it.

Public display screen
The facilitator can use the public display of responses to get the group to explain what is going on in its picture of "reality," to take ownership of the range of opinions present, and to focus on the outcomes that are critical to the success of the group. Proprietary "hot-keys" allow immediate and flexible navigation through the results to fully understand the group's thinking.

Alignment and Buy-in
Because of the efficiency and interactivity of the technology, the group experiences greater participant buy-in to the process and alignment around the decisions that they make as a result of the process.

Low intimidation
Eleven buttons on a keypad (from "0" to "10") are as easy to use as a push-button telephone. Users range from senior executives to factory workers, from children to senior citizens.
ROI of ARS Meeting Process
Enhanced Outcomes
The results of the meeting must be quantifiably better. That is, it produces better decisions, stronger ideas, improved communication, deeper understanding, or some other desired result. This dimension is both the most important and the hardest to measure. After all, it may be years before a decision can be proven to be the correct one.

Stronger Rapport
The participants have a better sense of connectedness. Because of the interactive meeting those involved must have greater feelings of bonding, belongingness, trust, team cohesion, friendship, shared understanding and shared experience. Connections and networks are created that could be critical to future business.

Increased Efficiency
Meeting outcomes must be achieved faster, better or with less cost. For example, if voting or decision ranking exercises can be accomplished in 2 days instead of 3 days as a result of process automation with interactive technology, the savings in participant travel costs, meals, and time away from work because of an audience response system are quantifiable.

Improved Performance
Implementing interactive technology must lead to improved individual or organizational performance or goal attainment. In other words, meetings using audience response systems need to result in action that enhances employee or group contributions to company goals.

Better Acceptance
The meeting or event outcome must have increased support by management or other constituent groups. It needs to achieve more buy-in, greater enthusiasm and extra momentum. The meeting sponsors and participants should accept and enjoy the process. They must understand and believe that their participation and input will be heeded and have a positive organizational impact.