A quick tour of ExciteM!

Many people asked how does ExciteM work! So, the goal of this article is to show you the best practices to spice up your upcoming event using ExciteM.

What the hell is ExciteM?
That’s a great question. ExciteM allows you to poll your audiences and displays poll results in real-time (aka an Audience Response System). However, instead of using Old Fashioned/Expensive clickers, people can use their phones to vote (and their phones don’t have to be smart phones!). Your event audiences or your students in class can vote via: SMS, Dialing-In (and pressing the corresponding choice #), Facebook, and Twitter. You might be wondering what sets us apart from competition! OK, take a big breath…

Why ExciteM is better than other polling solutions?
Glad you asked… When you sign up with ExciteM, you get to pick a dedicated phone #. You can use our nice phone number finder tool to look up nice phone #s with your preferred area code. Sign up now here.

I know… I know I haven’t answered your question yet. Here is why it matters to have a dedicated phone #:

  • Easier Instructions:Let us assume you want to poll your audiences on “Who is the best NBA team?” and you list “1. Lakers”, “2. Heat”, “3. Celtics” as choices.With ExciteM, audiences can vote by texting their choice (e.g. “lakers”) or the # associated with their choice (e.g. “1″ for lakers). our competitors on the other side use one phone # for all their users (instead of a dedicated phone # per user). Hence, if you want to ask a question like the above one, people would vote by sending a special code for each keyword (e.g. text “129811″ for lakers, text “129972″ for Heat).  Which one is easier!!!?
  • Vote by Dialing In: Since older people don’t like texting/SMS, we allow them to vote by calling as well. How? It’s easy. They simply dial your dedicated phone number and press the corresponding choice number on their phone keypad followed by pound key “#”. For instance, if I wanted to vote for lakers, I can dial-in my account phone number and press 1. Isn’t that really cool! You will be surprised how many people prefer to call-in.

If you don’t get anything, please shoot me an email to baker@snooozy.com and I would be happy to assist.

So, how do I create a poll?

The answer is dead simple:
1. Type your question
2. Type your choices (click “add” to add more choices)
3. Choose voting methods (Twitter and Facebook are optional). If you choose Facebook or Twitter, it will ask you to give access to our application. Click “Allow” and you will be all set.
Important Note: We pull facebook and twitter votes every 1 minute. Hence, there might be a delay of up to 59 seconds in getting social media responses.
4. All DONE. YAY. Click “Launch Poll”

See the image below for your reference:

How do I present polls to attendees?

The “Results Page” contains voting instructions on the left side and on the right side, it shows the poll results in real-time. Simply, use this page to display live results to your attendees.

To access the results page, simply click the “Results” button in your dashboard. You must have an active question to see the ‘Results’ button. If you want to access results for previously created polls, click the “Polls” tab in navigation bar and look for your target poll. Once you find it, click the arrow (pointing to the bottom) and you will see the “Results” button for that particular poll.

If you don’t want to show the results in real-time, then simply copy the voting instructions from “Result Page” to any format you like (powerpoint slide, paper, conference agenda, booth tables, etc). You have a lot of room for creativity here. You can announce the results verbally when the voting closes.

Note 1: Only one poll can be active at a time. If you want to switch polls. Find the results page for the poll you want to activate from the “Polls” page, and click “Start” in the top right corner of the results page. By clicking “Start” on a particular poll, that poll becomes active and all your other polls will be stopped. This is a very handy in events/classes where you want to ask more than one poll and you want to prepare polls in advance.

Note 2: When displaying polls, use browser fullscreen mode. After you access the full screen mode, refresh the page (Shift +R for windows; Command + R in mac) to align the instructions/results to the middle of the page.

This is how the Results page would look like:

I hope this blog post have answered most of your questions. If you have any further questions/comments, please give me a shout at baker@snooozy.com.

Happy polling :)

Reach your attendees at conferences and ensure their satisfaction

ExciteM system allows you to reach your guests by simply using a text messaging system. Each conference will be assigned a phone number that attendees can text their questions or comments to. These questions or comments will instantly be routed to host of the event who monitors and respond to these inquiries instantly.

Attendees can use exciteM to acquire information about the event or to notify the host of any technical issues in real-time. This way you can improve your event, ensure attendees satisfaction at all times.

How to captivate audiences at an event or lecture?

Create a dialogue. A way that allows your audiences to participate, cast their vote without feeling that there privacy is violated specially for issues that are sensitive.

One way to solve this problem is to use an SMS polling service at your event. It does not require any of your audience to have a smart phone or download an application. All they need to do is text a number with their response. For older folks who are not comfortable with texting, ExciteM provide both SMS and IVR combined in one solution, which basically allows people to either dial-in to vote or text-in to vote. To make your event even more exciting, some planners give out gifts randomly to those poll participants (aka sweepstake).

Thank you,

5 steps to a great conference/event

Creating a successful event is something that requires a lot of details and planning in advance. I have prepared the following list that contains a high level focus on the most important aspects that can make your event very successful.

Your five steps guide to a great conference or event:

  1. High profile speakers that can boost attendance. This task can take sometime from creating a wish list of potential speakers, contacting them, and confirming their schedule and logistics.
  2. Market your event. Marketing the event will take time, and needs to be planned months in advance, especially for large conferences. If you are planning a conference outside your territory, then look for an event planner that is well versed in that area to help you market your event (via email or websites). Social marketing through Facebook and twitter can be extremely helpful.
  3. Logistics from AV, recording, catering, signs, printed materials, name tags, etc. Signs and printed materials might require a good lead-time. Estimate the size of your audiences. Pick a place that can handle the size of your expected audiences plus 15-20% extra safety margin. Send a reminder of the event two days before it happens.
  4. Set the agenda. The agenda should be informational yet not dry.  We have noticed that a lot of conferences and especially technical conferences tend to be very boring. You need to remember that if you don’t engage your audience, you will not capture their attention.One practice that has worked for many of our events, is asking questions related to the industry and allowing them to participate by voting through text messaging (SMS). This will make them think and contribute. Results will be displayed live in front of them as they are taking your poll. Having a few questions embedded between different topics can create a big difference in retaining your audience attention and it makes your event look more professional. ExciteM offers a great, easy-to-use solution for all your live polling needs (text polls, dial-ins). Click “Sign Up For Free” to try it for free.
  5. Save the best for last. Leaving the best speaker for the last session will keep your audiences tuned in till the end and will leave a great lasting impression regarding your event.

Thank you and I hope this post was helpful!