Audience Polling Provider, ParticiPoll Announces Major Technology Updates To Target Events With Larger Audience Sizes

Leicester, UK – May 22nd – 2017 – ParticiPoll announce major technology updates to scale with their growing customer base and larger audience sizes.

ParticiPoll’s existing customer base are major pharmaceutical organisations, conference organisers across industries and major academic institutions. “The conference sector is an important target market for ParticiPoll and we are increasing customer confidence by providing a robust platform to serve big audiences, ensuring success at large events” said Ben Ravilious, co founder of ParticiPoll.

ParticiPoll Was Used At The Recent Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) Conference 2017, in Paris

“Audience polls present a particular technical challenge because of the ‘bursty’ nature of the traffic,” said ParticiPoll’s CTO Ian Scotland. “Having a conference audience of say 2000 delegates all voting simultaneously requires the volume capacity characteristics of a much larger website whilst being able to collect and return results to presenters faster than a typical web page load time. We’ve utilized a combination of Amazon AWS’s DynamoDB database server plus a load-balancing system to allow us to quickly provision new resources as demand increases. With our new setup, we can handle current demand and also easily scale our provision in the future.”

The Newly Launched ParticiPoll Website

Alongside this technology update, ParticiPoll, have launched a new website to help support their customers even better. “Our new website offers our customers useful resources to run successful polls,” said ParticiPoll founder Ben Ravilious. “Being responsible for running large audience polls can be a daunting experience, these new capabilities and resources will enable our customers to build better audience engagement and achieve their goals.”

About ParticiPoll:

ParticiPoll is an audience polling add-in for PowerPoint that uses audience members’ mobile devices for anonymous voting, displaying results live in presentations. The system helps speakers deliver impressive interactive presentations and discover what their audiences really think. ParticiPoll was founded in 2014 as a joint venture between Leicester-based startup studio Ultimateweb Ltd and actuarial science lecturer Dr Steve Hales.

For more information please contact:

Ben Ravilious                     +44(0)1162988895

Using Audience Polling to Drive Engagement in Junior Doctor Training at University College London Hospitals

The Intensive Care Medicine Training course at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) are using ParticiPoll to drive participant engagement. The one-day introductory course in the fundamentals of Critical Care is attended by Junior Doctors about to start out in an ICU post. This course (part of a series of charity courses) supports patients, staff and medical research at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The course is facilitated by experienced Registrars. It provides a safe learning environment using practical simulations. Students gain hands on experience preparing them for the “real life” experiences that face them in ICU.

Jennifer Robins, one of the course organisers describes how ParticiPoll is helping them achieve their course objectives.

How are you currently using ParticiPoll? 

As our course is mainly practical based, our participants form small groups. They gain hands on experience e.g. how to use a ventilator, airway management, management of acute kidney injury. This prepares them to be able to manage and undertake these procedures in ICU the first time they face them.

Practical sessions enable participants to gain hands on training experience of key procedures, such as airway management.

At the end of the course, our participants come together participate in a tutorial plenary session to test knowledge and understanding. It is here where we gauge and assess the learning objectives have been met. Originally, we structured this as a question and answer session to try and objectively measure whether people had improved their understanding of the content. The questions were challenging for our audience as they had only a basic level of experience and understanding. In order to help participation we introduced it in a presentation format and then last July we incorporated ParticiPoll.

The anonymity of polling enables learners to safely participate without risking embarrassment. This session has dramatically improved as a result, making it more engaging.

How does ParticiPoll help your course attendees as it relates to engagement and learning?

Using ParticiPoll has helped us highlight both well-understood topics and those that are problematic for learners. The practical part of our course consists of small group teaching where learners get the opportunity to learn and practice skills. ParticiPoll lends itself to a larger group such as the plenary session in that it allows the learners to have an individual voice. Our participants get quite competitive!

The practical sessions are run in small groups for participants to ask questions and learn from experienced registrars.

The plenary learning format can lead to a lack of concentration if the content isn’t sufficiently stimulating or too difficult. Polling allows us to skim over well-understood topics and go into more detail on the questions that 25% of people get wrong – normally these people get left behind. So essentially it democratizes learning and allows full engagement. It allows the lecture to evolve into in a learning activity. Because of the engagement, it fights the end of day slump.

The plenary sessions bring participants together and using interactive powerpoint with ParticiPoll they are able to test their knowledge in a safe environment.

How do the audience respond to using ParticiPoll?

Initially I think people were dubious about whether it was going to work but then people saw that it was recording the answers submitted. It keeps learners eyes focused on the presentation and the evolving pattern of how they are performing as a group.

Use of interactive powerpoint in plenary sessions helps keep learners engaged.

Have you had any challenges using ParticiPoll?

From a usability standpoint it’s straightforward and simple. This is important for people like me who are not very tech-savvy. We score consistently high in the feedback we receive for our courses. We continually aim to innovate and improve the course. ParticiPoll allows us to detect when there has been a drop off in response to content. This helps us refocus and make our future courses even sharper.

How do you structure your questions?

We keep it simple, one stem with 4 possible answers.

What happens when you ask a question and it is clear from the answers that the audience has not grasped some information?

We have structured our presentation to include 3 slides after each polling question highlighting the knowledge supporting the correct answers. For instance, if we notice a massive spread of answers from the results, it is clear that specific content has not been understood. We then transition to the following 3 slides and ensure the content is revisited. Where the answers are clearly correct, we can then skip the 3 content slides, as we know the audience has understood.

What advice would you give to someone who is keen to try audience polling?

It really helps you to understand how involved your audience is. Your audience gain a stake in the performance and this allows them to perform (in a safe environment). This can also help you as the presenter, to feel less alone.

ParticiPoll is very easy to set up regardless of your tech-ability. Their tech support are very helpful and want you to get the most out of the software. It requires no hardware except the participants’ own phones so you don’t need to store anything or count back in expensive handsets. Once you have the software you can use it for any presentation (as long as they don’t occur in tandem).

We are now exploring further opportunities to use polling on our courses.

ParticiPoll partner with Kenes Group for audience polling at ATTD 2017

Kenes Group, one of the world’s leading conference organisers, with 50+ years experience organising global events, has chosen ParticiPoll for their audience polling. ParticiPoll’s anonymous audience polling is particularly popular with medical and life science practitioners, so we were delighted when Kenes the only global professional congress organizer dedicated to medical and scientific events chose to partner with us.

Ziv Izarov, Technology Project Manager of Kenes shared his experience of using ParticiPoll at the 10th International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD) in Paris.


ATTD 2017 Scientific Congress in Paris

How do you go about engaging an audience of 3000+ physicians at a medical congress such as ATTD?
Over the 50+ years experience we have in conference management, there is a transition taking place, and most likely due to new technology and the rise in use of social media: from having attendees at a conference to having active participants. Instead of passively sitting at an event, our audiences now expect active engagement.
Using the latest technology we aim to deliver highly personalised and interactive experiences at our congresses. For instance, our ATTD conference App provides each participant with his or her own personalised experience of the congress. This also allows us to manage the conference in real time taking into consideration and acting on audience feedback and preferences. This year we have added Polling as an additional communication tool into the App to give participants an immediate say, and give them a means to communicate with the speakers and interact with the content.

How do you collaborate with the speakers for such an event, especially as it relates to Audience Polling?
To ensure effective participation during audience polling sessions, we work with our speakers individually, and take an active role in understanding the goals and objectives of each session. This is key. From this we collaborate to establish the best way to weave in interactive polling where it is likely to drive key learning’s or key takeaways. We specialize in scientific congresses, and this is a field that it is continuously evolving, with new treatments/guidelines/technology every year, hence to distill the essential information and for the content to be memorable and impactful, interactive audience polling is an excellent tool. Audience engagement ensures we keep these important discussions’ going on long after the meeting has ended.

Can you give us some examples of the types of questions the speakers used at ATTD for the sessions?
In one of the congress sessions, the speaker introduced a technology to treat diabetes, she wanted to see if she could convince the crowd that this technology could improve treatment. She conducted a poll at the start of her presentation and repeated the same question with a second poll at the end of the presentation. This example illustrates how the audience reacted to the content.
In addition, at ATTD we used the ParticiPoll comments system in more than 8 sessions, which enabled the audience to send questions to the speaker using the conference APP. At the end of the presentation, the speaker was able to select questions from this list, which contributed to an interactive and relevant discussion.


What made you chose ParticiPoll and how was your experience using it at ATTD?
One of our goals at Kenes is to be at the forefront of technology to improve our congress experiences, and we are familiar and have experience with audience polling software on the market. ParticiPoll stood out for us, as it is incredibly simple to use. ParticiPoll allows us to drop polls straight into Powerpoint presentations. It also uses audience members’ web connected devices and hence there is no need for extra hardware. ParticiPoll also customize the voting address (URL) according to the client brand or event. The anonymity of the polling results is another definite advantage, particularly as the industry we serve, life sciences, involves an exchange of sensitive information, discussion and makes reference to patient care.

Talk us through how the audience accessed the poll at the congress?
We worked with ParticiPoll to integrate the polling software into our conference App that made the process seamless. ParticiPoll were excellent partners in testing the polling prior to the sessions to ensure we had the capability to run smooth polling sessions.


ATTD 2017, audience used their own smartphones to participate in the polling sessions

For speakers and other conference organisers who may be interested in using ParticiPoll for their audiences, what are some of the important factors to consider when managing a poll at such an event?
A few important considerations should be made. Firstly, working in partnership with your speakers to establish the objectives of a session/presentation. Understand how and where to use polling questions. Ensure you are aligned with the speaker on how and when the poll is introduced, and how to refer them to their mobile device to participate. At Kenes we have a dedicated team of technicians present on site to ensure we have the necessary wireless infrastructure and sufficient Internet bandwidth to support several thousand participants accessing their device at the same time.


Professor Stephanie Ariel (King's College London) facilitating an audience poll using ParticiPoll

ATTD 2017: Facilitating an audience poll using ParticiPoll

What was the audience feedback of using ParticiPoll?
We find that engaging our audiences maximizes learning and sharing with others, because they have directly participated in the learning process. As many of the audience members are physicians and specialists in their subjects, they are more likely to then share the content with their faculty/peers when they return to their respective country. This way we find our audiences become strong ambassadors – which is powerful in having them share the information further. I would hope they would consider using the polling facility as they do this, to give their audiences the same experience, and hopefully further drive home the key takeaways from the congress. In addition, the speaker’s reaction to the voting and comment system was great, they all loved how easy and simple it is to use, and how smooth it worked on site.

As you are always thinking ahead, in what other conference/event settings can you envisage ParticiPoll being used?
One of the additional features of ParticiPoll is the audience can share comments with the presenters in real-time. The presenter can then isolate an individual comment for display on the screen to continue a lively and engaging dialogue with the audience.

‘Photographs by Simon Callaghan Photography

ParticiPoll Kunden-Fallstudie: Sectio chirurgica Live-Operationen Webinar

ParticiPolls anonyme Zuschauer-Umfragen sind besonders bei Nutzern in den Bereichen der Medizin und Life Sciences beliebt. Daher waren wir sehr erfreut, dass die beliebte deutsche live-Webinar Serie Sectio chirurgica sich dazu entschlossen hat, ParticiPoll bereits im zweiten Jahr in Folge wiederzuverwenden.


Ben Ravilious, Mitbegründer von ParticiPoll, sprach mit dem Organisator der Sectio chirurgica, Andreas Kramer, Medizintechniker am Department für Anatomie der Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen….


BR: Erzählen Sie etwas über die Sectio chirurgica: Was sind die Ziele, wie wurde die Sectio chirurgica entwickelt, wie war die Resonanz auf die Sectio chirurgica bisher.

AK: Aktuell haben Sich über 20.000 Medizinstudenten registriert. Dies entspricht einem Viertel aller Medizinstudierenden in Deutschland. Aber auch Ärzte und Vertreter medizinischer Fachberufe gehören zu den Zuschauern. Ziel der Sectio chirurgica ist es, die klassische Anatomie in einen klinischen Kontext zu bringen und dadurch gemeinsam interdisziplinär spannende Eingriffe kostenlos als Livestream zur Verfügung zu stellen. Aktuell liegen ja eLearning Formate und MOOCs stark im Trend. Da konnten wir natürlich mit der Sectio chirurgica punkten und haben viel positives Feedback erhalten.


BR: Den Operationssaal, das Studio und den Livestream aufzubauen muss mit einigen Herausforderungen verbunden sein – können Sie uns etwas darüber erzählen, wie Sie all dies bewerkstelligt haben?

AK: Die Sectio chirurgica gibt es seit über 8 Jahren. Zu Beginn wurde diese nur in einen Hörsaal übertragen. Mit den Jahren wuchsen die Anforderungen sowohl von uns, als auch von unseren Zuschauern. So entstand die Idee die Sectio chirurgica via Livestream ins Internet zu übertragen. Wir bauten bei uns im Department für Anatomie einen echten OP-Saal ein und kombinierten diesen mit moderner Studio und Fernsehtechnik. Die Herausforderungen als Fachfremde bestanden vor allem darin Partner zu finden, die einen kompetent beraten und auch langfristigen Support bieten können.


BR: Die Interaktion mit dem Publikum nimmt einen großen Teil der Sectio chirurgica ein – welche Funktionen waren bei der Suche einer technischen Lösung entscheidend?

AK: Ja, Interaktion ist bei uns ein wichtiger Bestandteil. Bei uns soll der Zuschauer nicht nur gelangweilt vor dem Bildschirm oder Tablet sitzen. Wir erfanden den “Second Stream Screen” abgeleitet vom Second Screen aus dem Fernsehumfeld. Hier stellen wir dem Zuschauer auf seinem mobilen Endgerät zusätzliche Live-Inhalte, wie beispielsweise weitere Kameraperspektiven und die Möglichkeit beim live-Voting mitmachen zu können zur Verfügung. Uns war es wichtig fertige Dienstleistungen bei Dritten für diesen Bereich einkaufen und individuell anpassen zu können. Eigenentwicklungen sind oft zu teuer. Die Lösungen müssen einfach in der Wartung und auch hoch skalierbar sein – da die Zuschauerzahl stetig wächst.


BR: Wieso haben Sie sich für ParticiPoll entschieden und welche Erfahrungen haben Sie beim Einsatz in den Liveübertragungen gemacht?

AK: Wir haben bereits länger nach einer Standalone-Lösung für ein Live-Voting-System gesucht. Der erste Kontakt mit der Firma ParticiPoll war super nett und unkompliziert. Bei der Entscheidung das ParticiPoll-System bei uns einsetzen zu können war uns besonders wichtig, das wir einfach und schnell die Erstellung und das Design der Fragen umsetzen können. Ebenso wichtig war uns die Möglichkeit zur Analyse des Abstimmungsverhaltens der Zuschauer, um den Einsatz verbessern zu können. Die Resonanz der Zuschauer war bisher durchweg positiv – allerdings haben wir gemerkt, dass das Timing, also wann wir die Fragen während der live-Sendung stellen, sehr wichtig ist, um den roten Faden der Sendung nicht zu stören.


BR: Worauf kann man sich in der Staffel 2016 der Sectio chirurgica freuen?

AK: Für die neue Staffel haben wir ein großes neues Greenscreen-Studio mit einer mehr als 8m großen Projektionsfläche gebaut. Tolle anatomische Bilder, 3D-Anomationen und spannende Interviews werden hier auf eine ganz besondere Art und Weise präsentiert werden.
Wir wollen aber auch verstärkt das live-Voting einsetzen. Hier werden die Zuschauer aktiv den Verlauf der Sendung beeinflussen können.

Start der neuen Staffel ist der 28.04. um 18Uhr. Interessierte können sich bereits unter registrieren. Zugang zu dem Livestream erhalten Medizinstudierende, Ärzte und Vertreter medizinischer Fachberufe.

Customer Case Study: Sectio Chirurgica Live Surgery Webinar

ParticiPoll’s anonymous audience polling is particularly popular with medical and life science practitioners so we were delighted when the popular German live surgery webinar series Sectio Chirurgica chose to use ParticiPoll for a second year running.


ParticiPoll co-founder Ben Ravilious spoke to Sectio Chirurgica organiser Andreas Kramer, medical technologist at the Department of Anatomy, Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen….


BR: Tell me about Sectio Chirurgica: what its aims are, how it was set up and what response it has had so far.

AK: Currently more than 20,000 medical students have registered for Sectio chirurgica. This estimates as about a quarter of all medical students in Germany. The audience does not just consist of medical students, however, but also of physicians and other medical professionals. Sectio chirurgica aims at embedding classical anatomy into a clinical context, thus presenting exciting interdisciplinary livestreams accessible for free. Obviously, we were able to benefit from the fact that eLearning formats and MOOCs are very “now” and so we received a lot of positive feedback.


BR: Organising the operating theatre, studio and live streaming must present some challenges – can you tell us a bit about how you bring everything together?

AK: We started producing Sectio chirurgica 8 years ago. In the beginning we only transmitted the surgeries into our own lecture hall. Over the years our own expectations and the expectations of our audience were raised. The idea was born to transmit Sectio chirurgica live via the internet to a broader medical audience. We literally began building our own operating room right in the Department of Anatomy and combined it with modern studio and television technology. One of the main challenges for us as non-specialists was finding partners able to give expert advice as well as long-term support.


BR: Interaction with the audience is a big part of Sectio Chirurgica – what features did you seek when you were looking for a technical solution?

AK: Yes, interaction is one of the most important features. We do not want the audience to fall asleep staring at their screen or tablet. We developed the Second Stream Screen, derived from Second Screen as known in television. In the S3 we offer the audience additional live-content on a mobile device (tablet or smartphone), i.e. different camera angles and the opportunity to take part in our live-vote. We were particularly concerned with finding 3rd parties offering a finished product we could buy and adapt to our needs. Often this is cheaper than developing a product yourself. Solutions need to be fairly easy to maintain as well as “scalable”, since our audience is growing steadily.


BR: What made you choose ParticiPoll and what was your experience of using it in your live show?

AK: We have been looking for a stand-alone voting system for some time. Our first contact with ParticiPoll was very uncomplicated and actually quite friendly. The decision to use the ParticiPoll-system was influenced by how fast and easy it is to create questionnaires and adapt the design. Another important feature was the ability to analyse the voting behaviour of our audience, allowing us to improve the way we use the voting feature. Our audience’s feedback was 100% positive, however, we soon realised how important timing is when asking a question in order to be non-disruptive.


BR: What can we look forward to in the 2016 season of Sectio Chirurgica?

AK: For the new series we built a new and bigger greenscreen studio with a projection surface spanning over 8m. Amazing anatomic pictures, 3D animations and exciting interviews will now be presented in a unique manner. Plus, we will use the live-vote feature even more and allow the audience to actively influence the episode.
The new series begins April 28th 2016 at 6pm CEST. You can register now: Access is granted to medical students, physicians and medical professionals.

PowerPoint ‘Kill Switch’ Shuts Down Poor Presentations

Audience polling system provider has launched a new ‘Kill Switch’ which allows audience members to instantly suspend poor PowerPoint presentations by majority vote.

(Strictly embargoed until after midnight, 31st March 2016)

The Kill Switch will be rolled out in April as an additional feature to ParticiPoll’s existing audience voting system, popular with healthcare, life sciences, educational and corporate users.

voting app kill button and resulting PowerPoint shut down screen

Head of Marketing at ParticiPoll, April Bouffon said “ParticiPoll is already a great way of obtaining live feedback from audiences but we realised the potential to take it one stage further and let them totally shut down the application if the presenter wasn’t up to scratch, and we realized that if you Buy Instagram views online, you can also improve your business with this social network.”