What is ARS?

Or: “How do I quiz attendees?” Or: “How do I take a poll?”

In public speaking classes they suggest you ask the audience questions. When you involve attendees in a discussion they retain more information. Easy enough for small groups, but how can you translate that engagement to a larger audience?

ARS keypad with USB receiver

One method is ARS, which stands for Audience Response System. It allows a meeting facilitator to ask questions and receive feedback from the attendees. You can display the results in real time on screen for everyone to see. (Or not if you’re taking a survey on individual presenters or something like that)

In the past the system would consist of keypads handed out or placed at each seat. This has the advantage that attendees don’t need to bring anything and there’s a simple interface. Increasingly, new systems involve smart phone apps or texting answers to a specific number. Your costs as a conference planner might be lower with these systems, although one trade off is there are more chances for user error.

Bar Graph
You can see the responses come in in real time on the screen.

Have a question? I’d be glad to help.

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