Every event organizer knows that people attend conferences with 2 objectives in mind – learn new things and meet new people.
Audience Q&A helps fulfilling both of these objectives. Nevertheless, preparation of Q&A sessions does not receive appropriate attention from the event organizers or it is omitted from the events at all. We have a few tips on how to make it perfect.
The audience Q&A gives the attendees an opportunity to learn more about the topics they are interested in, get better understanding of the presented topic and even show their experience, knowledge and skills.
The presenters can learn how the audience understood their presentation, which topics they find interesting, and get hints and ideas for the next presentation.
The questions asked during the audience Q&A are great starting point for networking: Somebody asked an interesting question? Do we have the same problem? Did we already solve the same problem? Shall we work together? Let’s talk to them! Asking a question during the audience Q&A is also a good starting point for approaching the speaker and making a new contact.
A mobile event app, like Myia, is a great tool that helps you to prepare an efficient Q&A session, save time and get most of the questions answered.
Attendees will ask more questions
There are many questions that have never been asked – the attendees had to go to a microphone which is far away, they were shy to speak in front of big audience, they forgot what they wanted to ask by the end of the presentation, there was not enough time left to ask another question. An event app like Myia allows anyone to type the question right away from their place in the auditorium.
Select the most interesting questions
All attendees can see the questions asked so far. They can add their “like” if they are interested in the answer as well. This helps the moderator to select the question that most people would like to ask. The moderator and the speaker can know the questions upfront. They see how many questions haven’t been answered, yet and what topics is the audience interested in. They can also choose the questions depending on the time left for the Q&A session. They can mix tough and light questions depending on the atmosphere in the audience.
Follow up on the unanswered questions
Quite often there is not enough time to answer all questions asked. The event app allows you to write answers later. The presenter can even add additional info or links to the topics discussed. This is highly appreciated by the audience. Everybody understands that the time is limited. But they also see that the organizer is trying to give them as much value as possible for the price of the ticket.
Speaker is not always the one who has the best answer
Quite often the attendees write interesting comments to the questions. They can even answer some of them or propose meeting each other to talk more about the topic. This is exactly what you want – encourage new contacts and information exchange.
Be careful with deleting questions
Some questions asked in the app could be really tough, inappropriate or have some personal agenda behind them. It is good practice to keep these questions in the app as long as they follow good manners and etiquette. However, you do not have to answer them or you can just note that they will not be answered. The author of the deleted message can feel offended. If you delete an uncomfortable question, criticism of the organizer or of a speaker, disagreeable opinion, etc., it can trigger a strong reaction of the author of the deleted message.
Be prepared to ask the first question. Use projection screen
Some audiences hesitate to ask the questions. In such case, be ready to write the first question in the app and let the speaker to answer it. If the audience can see that it really works, they will try it as well. Projection screen on the stage that shows the selected questions keeps attention of the attendees to the questions and encourages them to be more active.
Q&A with an event app is more efficient
Using an event app for collecting the questions from the audience saves a lot of time during the Q&A session. You do not need to wait until somebody hands a microphone to the person who wants to ask. The question does not need to be repeated if it is not properly understood. The app helps you to select questions that are valuable to larger part of the audience.
The organizer can also save costs for the microphones used for the audience and for the staff that hands the microphones to anyone who wants to ask.
Audience Q&A is important part of any conference. It helps to fulfill the expectations of the attendees. The organizers should spend some time and effort to prepare it. Event apps like Myia can make the audience Q&A much more efficient and valuable. It also saves the organizer time and costs.
You can try all features of Myia for free. Make an account in https://portal.myia.events/signup and crate your test event.