Improving the Q&A Experience with Mobile

Ever been to a conference and watched a panel discussion and noted how awkwardly the Q&A flows during the session? As it turns out, relying on wireless hardware setups and microphone runners is not really the ideal solution to a seamless and problem-free Q&A session.

On the heels of the Convention Industry Council’s Conclave event, we experimented a bit with a crowd-sourced Q&A. During the discussion, attendees were encouraged to submit their questions to the panel via the event app. If another attendee had already asked a similar question or if an existing question was also of interest, attendees were encouraged to vote for that question in the app. When it was time for questions, the moderator read the audience questions to the panel in order of popularity. As each question was posed, they were removed from the app in real time. All attendees could plainly see and vote on any of the 26 questions that were submitted over the course of the session, right from their mobile devices.

Since the questions were submitted in real-time, a discussion moderator was on hand to ensure that all submissions were suitable for public view before they were pushed to the audience’s mobile devices (including tablets, iPhones and Androids.) The authors’ names were displayed with each question, which further helped to curb the submission of non-relevant comments. The live Q&A session provided a safe and effective way for discussions to take place with a large audience. Since all the questions were recorded in the QuickMobile platform, they can now be used as topics for future blog posts.

Using mobile devices to pose questions during a live Q&A session provided several additional benefits over the typical microphone-based session.

  • Firstly it eliminated the complexities and cost of multiple handheld wireless microphones that need to be patched into the AV system and charged sufficiently
  • It eliminated the necessity of microphone runners and the need for them to jog across the room to reach far-away attendees and shorten any awkward pauses.
  • Additionally, a submitted question list removes the need for a moderator to scan a crowd sitting in the dark looking for raised hands – and potentially missing someone.
  • Lastly it protects against attendees who dominate the airtime by being long-winded, having multiple questions or expressing a non-relevant/negative agenda.
  • By providing app-delivered question submission, you can ensure that all questions are vetted, relevant and elegantly displayed to your audience. For more information on our live Q&A features, click here.