11 Best Audience Response Systems for Interactive Events in 2023

Audience response systems have become an indispensable tool for planners of conferences, corporate events, trainings and more. By allowing presenters to interact with participants and gather feedback in real time, these systems boost engagement, promote learning through gamification, and provide valuable data.

This article will highlight the 11 top audience response platforms available in 2023 and detail their stand-out features. Whether you’re looking to add some flair to a general session, train a remote sales team, or liven up a university lecture, these systems have you covered.

What is an Audience Response System?

An audience response system (ARS) is an event technology platform that facilitates real-time interactivity between presenters and their attendees. These systems allow participants to respond to polls, quiz questions, surveys and more using their smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Key features can include:

  • Live polling: Gather feedback on the spot to conference session topics or gauge opinion.
  • Quizzes and trivia: Engage participants by putting their knowledge to the test.
  • Q&A: Allow attendees to submit questions to which a presenter or panel can respond.
  • Analytics: Track participation metrics and data around responses.
  • Gamification: Leaderboards, badges, teams and more to further involvement.

The benefits of using an ARS include increased attendee engagement, opportunities for presenters to gather immediate feedback, promotion of peer discussion around questions, and data collection for analysis post-event.

Key Features to Look For in an Audience Response System

With dozens of audience response platforms now available, it’s important to assess which offering best meets your unique needs. Here are some key features to consider when evaluating options:

  • Custom branding: Look for easily customizable system themes, logos and color schemes.
  • Mobile capabilities: Enable participation across devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  • Data integration: Choose a system that allows data exports, analytics dashboards and integration with programs like PowerBI or Tableau for visualization.
  • Platform integrations: Ensure compatibility with virtual meeting software, LMS systems or video streaming services used.
  • Pricing: Evaluate both pricing models (per user fees vs unlimited plans) and budget range options.
  • Security: Assess available security controls like passcodes, login requirements and user management.

The 11 Best Audience Response Platforms

Based on the above criteria, here are 11 top-rated audience response systems to consider for your next event.

Pigeonhole Live

Pigeonhole Live is a cloud-based system tailored specifically for conferences, meetings, town halls and similar events. Top features include:

  • Custom branding and theming
  • Q&A module with moderator controls
  • Unlimited participants and questions
  • Analytics for engagement metrics
  • Integration with platforms like YouTube and Zoom

Pricing starts at $9 per month for up to 100 participants. Volume discounts are available.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere stands out with its seamless integration across presentation platforms and excellent mobile experience. Highlights include:

  • Real-time responses shown in PowerPoint, Keynote and more
  • Over 20 response card types
  • Dedicated apps for Android, iOS and Windows
  • Automated reports exported as .CSV or PDF

Plans begin at $180 per month with discounts for annual commitments.


Slido brings all-in-one event software to the table. Major capabilities include:

  • Polls, quizzes, Q&A and surveys
  • Built-in user management with registration and access codes
  • Engagement analytics and data exports
  • Native apps for major platforms and browser-based access

Slido offers a free plan for events under 100 people as well as paid tiers starting at $7 per month.


If you’re looking to supercharge engagement through gamification, check out Crowdpurr. Noteworthy features include:

  • Bingo, scavenger hunts, trivia and other games
  • Real-time leaderboards and teams
  • Hashtag aggregation from social channels
  • Custom branding and styling options
  • Free version with up to 20 participants


Vevox enables seamless feedback gathering across live, virtual and asynchronous events. Key strengths:

  • Single platform for polls, surveys, word clouds and more
  • Integrations with LMS and web conferencing systems
  • Accessible by participants via web link or QR code
  • Dedicated pricing for education and government

Pricing starts at $1,250 per year with discounts for multi-year agreements.


In addition to acclaimed video creation capabilities, WeVideo also offers the audience response linked product Playposit. Main features include:

  • Interactive video quizzes and surveys
  • Question sequencing options and rules
  • Custom branding and styling
  • Education focused features like auto-grading

WeVideo offers tiered pricing plans starting at $59 per month.


AhaSlides provides an easy-to-use browser-based system focused on engagement through interactive presentations. Core strengths:

  • Library of +10,000 template presentations
  • Built-in features like spin wheel, word cloud and laser pointer
  • Polls, quizzes and survey creation wizard
  • Free version allows up to 7 participants

Paid plans start at $10 per month.


OMBEA offers lush presentation integration and excellent analytics. Key features:

  • Real-time audience responses shown via PowerPoint
  • Interactive dashboards displaying participation and correct/incorrect answers
  • Multiple choice, numeric and text input response options
  • Group analysis by gender, age and other filters

Yearly subscription plans are available starting at $1,150.


SlidesWith provides free and freemium plans—ideal for budget-conscious organizers. Core features include:

  • Customizable quiz and poll templates
  • Word cloud, teams, photo sharing and laser pointer modules
  • Up to 200 participants on free plan
  • Paid plans offer expanded analytics

Starting at $19 per month paid plans add functionality like data exports, engagement metrics and usage insights.


MeetingPulse integrates directly with platforms like PowerPoint and Outlook to enable seamless feedback during meetings. Key features:

  • Surveys, polls and live Q&A modules
  • Real-time emoji reactions from attendees
  • Insight dashboard showing top questions and responses
  • 30-day free trial

Monthly subscription plans start at $15 per month per organizer account.

Zoho Backstage

Last but not least, Zoho Backstage provides an end-to-end webinar and meeting management suite. Top capabilities include:

  • Polls, surveys, Q&A and hand raise interactions
  • Custom landing pages and email templates
  • User management with registration and access codes
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing at $0.10 per attendee

Zoho Backstage represents an affordable and full-featured option.

Implementing a Successful Audience Response System

With so many robust systems now available, the challenges shift to proper implementation. Here are a few best practices to ensure your ARS drives maximum engagement:

  • Promote participation: Provide verbal cues and display a participation link front-and-center to boost response rates.
  • Keep it snappy: Favor concise polls and games over lengthy surveys to maintain energy.
  • Incentivize: Raffle prizes or gamification perks motivated involvement.
  • Follow-up: Share key data like top questions to reinforce interest post-event.


Audience response systems have evolved from clunky clickers to sleek, robust engagement platforms. They represent a valuable way to boost participation, promote peer learning, and gather actionable data at your next event.

This guide detailed 11 top-rated options across a range of features and pricing models. Whether building a first-time trivia session or an ongoing employee training program, selecting the right ARS technology provides a foundation for success.

Choose from one of the recommended vendors above to take your next all-hands, training or industry conference to the next level.