Audience response systems (ARS) are experiencing more hardware and software adaptations and advances than decades past. Many of the capabilities and limitations that once defined the industry no longer bear weight.

Find out how up-to-date your knowledge of the audience response systems sector is with this round up of audience response myths!

Myth 1. ARS keypads are only available for rent

In today’s industry landscape, a handful of vendors provide audience response systems for purchase. For some organizations, purchasing keypad solutions is more affordable and convenient. Vistacom is one of a select few authorized resellers of audience response technology solutions.

Typically, keypad purchasing is recommended for organizations planning to utilize ARS at a high frequency or volume, thus making it more cost-effective than renting keypads. When going the purchasing route, 1-to-1 customer servicing and account management is a necessity. Minimal training is needed beyond reading supplied User Manuals on how to get started with ARS software.

Myth 2. Audience response systems can only be deployed using keypad devices

For organizers of blended events and meetings, keypad device solutions simply are not a viable option. The most progressive providers of today offer a mobile app-based or web-based ARS solution. Using either mobile solution, remote and in-person attendees can engage in live response exercises from their personal or specially hired devices.

Myth 3. Audience response solutions only support keypad or mobile usage

Though a rarity, there are audience response system vendors with solutions for blended audiences. Vistacom, Turning Technologies, and iClicker are the only reported audience response system vendors offering both keypad and mobile device solutions.

Myth 4. Mobile audience response systems only exist in app form

Mobile ARS solutions come in both mobile app and web-based app form. Web-based apps are device agnostic, meaning they can be accessed via smartphone, tablet or desktop devices. Mobile app solutions, on the other hand, are typically developed for the most common mobile app platforms (Apple/iOS and Google Play/Android).

While mobile app solutions require users to download a standalone app, web-based ARS solutions do not require any app downloading. Attendees simply click a website link to join live polls, surveys and other audience response sessions.

In some instances, both web-based and mobile app solutions have features that extend beyond that of keypad devices. Vistacom’s mobile VPOLL solution, for instance, allows users to edit and submit long-form text responses, view live response results on their devices, and engage in live surveys. Keypad devices lack the screen size to display response results or allow for long-form text display.

Myth 5. Mobile audience response apps are better than web-based solutions

Compared to mobile apps, web-based solutions tend to achieve comparatively high participation rates. Due to app fatigue, many attendees of conferences and external training events choose not to download standalone apps.