Q&A sessions form an important part of most conferences or meetings and provide your delegates with the opportunity to ask pertinent questions, offer opinions, or voice concerns about a specific topic.
Traditionally, delegates will raise their hand if they have a question and will then be selected by the moderator. A member of the event team will then hurry over to the selected delegate with a microphone so that they can ask their question, before handing the floor back to the moderator or whoever the question is aimed at so they can provide an answer.
This format has been used for years and I have no doubt will continue to be used for many more. However, this format does have a few drawbacks which may be hampering the effectiveness of your Q&A sessions:
- Do delegates lack the confidence to ask certain questions in front of a large audience?
- Are your delegates avoiding asking the ‘awkward’ questions?
- Depending upon the size of your audience, you may need additional staff to help facilitate a Q&A session in this format (running microphones between delegates etc.)
- All questions need to be logged manually by event staff so that you have a record following the event.
As you may expect, technology has a role to play when it comes to Q&A sessions and there are a variety of solutions available for you to try. One option that we are a fan of, and have had experience with in the past is Slido.
Slido is designed to streamline the Q&A process but also offers a wealth of other benefits too. As well as making it easy to manage your Q&A sessions, Slido allows you to create live polls and ‘puts the shoe on the other foot’ by enabling you to ask your audience questions and see their answers in real time. Take a look at the short introduction video below for a better overview:
Setting Slido up is a breeze and is done directly through their website (www.sli.do). Once your event is created and live, delegates can ‘join’ via their smartphone by entering a short event code on the Slido website (there is no need for them to sign up or provide personal details), after which they are free to ask and answer questions and participate in polls. All questions or responses from the audience can be moderated by a member of your event team prior to being published, allowing you to filter out anything inappropriate. Once a question or response is approved, it is displayed on the main screen so that is can be seen clearly by all your delegates. Likewise, with polls, the results can be displayed instantly.
In short, Slido is a great tool that:
- Helps to keep your delegates engaged.
- Makes it easy to add an interactive element to your event.
- Enables you to ask your audience questions and display their responses straight away.
- Removes barriers (such as embarrassment or lack of confidence) to your delegates asking important questions.
- Automatically archives all questions, responses, and poll results provided by your delegates so you can refer to them post event.
- Streamlines your Q&A sessions enabling you to achieve more in the same amount of time.
- Adds a more professional feel to your event.
- Displays all questions, responses, and polls on your main screen so that they can be easily seen by your audience – delegates can also ‘up vote’ questions they think are particularly relevant.
There are many different options available from Slido depending on what you want from the platform, ranging from a completely free plan to all singing, all dancing subscriptions. We think this is a great platform for hosting sleek and professional Q&A sessions and it’s well worth a look – www.sli.do – Audience Interaction Made Easy
If you would like some help or advice planning your next event, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the White Rhino team.