2017 Event Tech Trends – Where Are They Now? (Live Q&A and Polling)

Welcome back! So far, we have covered four of the seven predicted trends (Catch up or re-visit them here).

As a reminder, here was our list of the 7 Must-See Event Tech Trends for 2017:

  1. Virtual Sourcing: virtually find the perfect event venue, from the comfort of your desk
  2. Google Cardboard: transport attendees anywhere in the world (and beyond!)
  3. Holograms: wow your attendees with your smartphone
  4. Beacons: personalize and track attendee experiences
  5. Live Q&A and Polling: increase engagement at your events
  6. Livestreaming: engage attendees beyond your event
  7. Mobile: make mobile a priority at your events

We’re going to pick up where we left off and talk about the next trend, live Q&A and Polling.

Live Q&A and polling are two of the most popular features of our CrowdCompass mobile event apps. Even though live Q&A and Polling represent really cool tech, they just really catching on in 2017. We weren’t wrong with our prediction that live Q&A and polling would be a major tech trend in 2017. Their use has definitely increased – which is evident from the wide array of companies offering these features.

Although the live polling technology hasn’t changed much in the last year, that doesn’t mean there weren’t new uses of it. In fact, there were some really fun and innovate ways we liked and wanted to share with you.

Stirring up Competition

This is sure to liven up any event. Create some competition among your exhibitors at an event by creating a live poll and asking a question such as “who has the best booth décor?” or “who has the best elevator pitch?”. Display the results in a centrally located place so all the exhibitors and attendees can view the standings as people cast their votes. Have a prize for the winner and announce them at the closing ceremony. Something simple like this creates a fun competition among the exhibitors. But don’t stop there – harness the same competitive vibes by doing similar challenges with speakers, sponsors, and maybe even attendees themselves!

Live Streaming

Another use of live polling that has been around for awhile but is still is gaining popularity is live streaming. Facebook took the stage with this when they rolled out their live streaming features globally in early 2016 – since then the use of live streaming has been on the rise.

Not only is live streaming fun because it is happening in real time, Facebook’s reactions allow users to express how they’re feeling about what is being said at that moment. Although limited to basic emotions such as ‘sad’, ‘angry’, ‘shocked’, ‘funny’, ‘love’ and the classic ‘like’, Facebook reactions during live streams provide valuable information about how viewers were digesting the information being streamed. It also makes analysis relatively simple – instead of having to wade through answers you can see that 10% of viewers were ‘angry’ at 27 seconds in, whereas 70% of users liked it and the other 20% laughed at it.

Facebook isn’t the only social platform with live polling and reactions though, but it is the leader. We are looking forward to seeing where live streaming with reactions will go in 2018 as facebook improves and other social media platforms try to catch up.

Similarly, live Q&A has been steadily increasing in popularity as well. Live Q&A adds a lot of value to events, and people are recognizing that more and more. For people who are intimidated by the very idea of standing up and asking a question during a speaker session, live Q&A offers a solution as they can just submit the question in the mobile event app. Additionally, for people who worry they may forget their question(s) by the time Q&A has arrived, they are able to submit their question(s) directly in the app at any point during the session. These are two of the biggest uses of live Q&A, and they have continued to grow during 2017. There was one major tech trend within live Q&A though that has already garnered a lot of support and will prove to be a continuing trend into 2018 – Chatbots.


Although we didn’t call out chatbots specifically in our predictions last year we believe they fit in well with the live Q&A category. At events, staff members are often overwhelmed by answering endless questions and making sure everything is running smoothly. Chatbots can alleviate some of that stress by answering questions for attendees easily via an app or a booth an attendee would go to. Although this may sound vaguely familiar to a stagnant Q&A web page, chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence and are programmed to learn from the questions they’re being asked so they will have the ability to answer more questions going forward — and be able to fully replace the need for a person to be answering questions all day. We believe chatbots are going to continue to play a major role in events going into 2018 and look forward to seeing where they go.

Have you used a chatbot? Let us know what you think of them in the comments below.


Written by Hannah Huston