With the dawn of remote and hybrid work, increasing numbers of organizations are experimenting with new ways to make their everyday conversations, meetings, and events more interactive for all participants. For many, the answer is to adopt an audience engagement platform that integrates seamlessly with their existing tech stack.
With so many platforms out there, the choice can be a difficult one. In this series of articles, we’ll explore the questions you need to ask to find the right tool for your organization. We’ll help you understand what your requirements are, outline the key features of all the major players, and ultimately, help you find the tool that’s the perfect match for your organization.
When comparing audience engagement platforms, there are four key factors that you should consider in your decision-making process:
- User Experience
- Data Collection
- Features and Functionality
MeetingPulse is one of those tools, but let’s be clear, we only win when we’re the best fit for your needs. Every organization has a specific set of needs, and every audience engagement platform has a slightly different focus. Our goal is to help you find the best platform for your organization. We’ve also included reviews from third-party platforms like Capterra and G2, so you can see unbiased opinions from real customers on how the platforms stack up against each other.
With that said, let’s meet the two audience engagement platforms that are the focus of this article: MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere.
MeetingPulse is a live interactivity and data collection tool that creates engagement through live Q&A, polls, feedback, surveys, and more. The platform is used by industry-leading companies including Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, and Anheuser-Busch, and is used for town halls, webinars, meetings, and other events.
The software integrates with major video conferencing platforms, requires no downloads, and opens instantly on any mobile or desktop browser.
MeetingPulse was founded in 2013. The company is headquartered in San Francisco but has employees in countries around the world.
About Poll Everywhere
Poll Everywhere helps companies create engagement in online meetings through live online polling, Q&As, quizzes, word clouds, and more. It’s used by large companies including Target, Google, and Spotify, and is also popular in classrooms around the world, with more than 300,000 educational users.
The tool can be used for a variety of occasions, including presentations, training sessions, meetings, lessons, and events. There’s mobile apps for iOS and Android, and integrations with major presentation and communication software platforms, including PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams, and Slack.
Poll Everywhere was founded in San Francisco in 2007, and now has a team of 60 employees based across the United States.
With any audience engagement platform, it’s crucial that there’s a simple yet powerful user experience. This holds true both for meeting attendees, who will likely use the tool quickly and intuitively, and for meeting administrators and event producers, the people tasked with organizing and implementing the technology that helps everything run smoothly.
The easier it is to learn and use an audience engagement platform, the more it will be used, which is why a seamless user experience is so important. Let’s break down the user experience offered by both MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere.
MeetingPulse: User Experience
With integrations to all major video conferencing platforms, including Zoom, WebEx, and Microsoft Teams, meeting attendees don’t need to download any additional software to start using MeetingPulse. It’s easy to join a virtual meeting from any device using a QR Code or a short link. In terms of features, there are 12 different audience engagement modules, each of which offer unique ways to foster positive engagement between meeting attendees.
For larger events, including conferences, town halls, and board meetings, meeting administrators and event producers can leverage a range of more advanced features, including custom branding, support for events with 25,000+ attendees, and an API. MeetingPulse also offers the MeetingPulse Experts program, which connects event producers with leading event technology providers.
PollEverywhere: User Experience
Poll Everywhere was initially billed as a modern day replacement for answer clickers, and is used widely in the education industry. With integrations to leading Learning Management Systems including Blackboard and Canvas, it’s easy for teachers to use the platform to take attendance, sync student grading, and engage with students.
In recent years, Poll Everywhere has tailored features towards the enterprise market, offering a range of tools for online meetings and events. The platform is relatively straightforward for administrators to use, with an intuitive back end and a range of different ways to pose questions to attendees.
For meeting attendees, using Poll Everywhere is simple, with integrations to presentation platforms including PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides, as well as communication platforms including Slack, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx.
There’s also a selection of premium features tailored to larger corporations, including participant registration, custom branding, and reporting. Customer Success Managers help new users to onboard and learn how to use the platform.
What Do Customers Say?
Reviews on third-party review sites Capterra and G2 paint a positive picture of the user experience of both platforms. On Capterra, MeetingPulse scores 4.6/5.0 for ease of use, while Poll Everywhere scores 4.5/5.0. Here’s what online reviewers had to say about their experiences using MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere:
MeetingPulse User Reviews
“Setting up an audience response with a variety of options is a breeze and the back-end is very powerful. The attendee experience is super slick on mobile web. Most features and settings are really well thought out and can be easily customized” — Computer Software Company on Capterra.
“MeetingPulse has a modern UI that incorporates the latest trends in online solutions, meaning that it is extremely easy to pick up, use and understand. The experience has been so positive that after testing it for a few months, I subscribed to an annual plan” — Information Technology and Services Company on Capterra.
Poll Everywhere User Reviews
“We train our teachers and trainers to use it and, as non-experts, they find it is simple to get on board with and find it really works to break up long sessions and give audiences a simple and effective means of instant interaction” — Higher Education Institution on Capterra.
“I like how easy Poll Everywhere is to use for the audience. The system is a little difficult to use on the back end. There are a bunch of steps that I had to keep correcting that I felt should be default selections. Once I got the hang of it though, I understood the system” — Enterprise User on G2
While audience engagement tools represent a fantastic way to drive engagement during meetings, their use should not end there. It’s also important that administrators can download and analyze datasets at the end of meetings and events. Access to this data, which can include poll responses or answers to quiz questions, can be used to track learning and development.
Event producers and meeting planners can also dig into the data to track engagement throughout their meeting and identify areas which could be improved in the future. MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere both make it possible for organizers to download meeting data to carry out their own analysis. Let’s explore how they make that possible:
MeetingPulse: Data Collection
MeetingPulse users can access a range of reporting tools that help them to better analyze their meetings. Users can easily view a top line summary of the meeting, custom design their own reports, and export data in CSV or PDF files for further analysis.
One feature that’s unique to MeetingPulse is the ability to track the sentiment of the meeting over time, using the Pulse feature. Audience members can react throughout the meeting to share their feelings, and meeting organizers can view a timeline of the overall sentiment throughout the meeting.
“We love being able to do polls and raffles remotely. We also use MeetingPulse for voting on issues, which is a great record” — Hospital Administrator on G2
Poll Everywhere: Data Collection
With PollEverywhere, it’s easy to export data and screenshots of poll results, but more advanced reporting features are limited to premium plans. These advanced reporting features include a variety of reports, including executive summaries, pivot tables, and response histories for each meeting participant.
One element of Poll Everywhere’s data collection capabilities that sets the platform apart from competitors is the ability to collect student grades in a gradebook. This feature, built for Poll Everywhere’s thousands of education users, enables teachers and professors to use Poll Everywhere for pop quizzes and automatically record graded responses into their LMS.
Reviewers also appreciate that Poll Everywhere shows results in real time: “I love the on-the-fly results. This makes for great learning in the moment and surveying with attendees and students” — Enterprise User on G2
Features and Functionality
Generally speaking, the more tools an audience engagement platform has that enable meeting organizers to effectively engage with attendees, the better. Greater variety leads to greater engagement, and the ability to create fun, memorable experiences that add to attendees enjoyment of a meeting or event.
Both MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere offer meeting organizers a number of features and functionalities to build engagement with their audiences. MeetingPulse offers 12 different audience engagement modules, while PollEverywhere is mostly based around different forms of polls, and has 4 different audience engagement features. There is some overlap: both platforms offer live polling, Q&A, and quizzes.
Let’s take a closer look at the key audience engagement features available on MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere.
MeetingPulse: Features and Functionality
MeetingPulse offers users 12 different audience engagement tools, providing event producers and meeting administrators with a range of ways to interact with their audience, regardless of what they’re using MeetingPulse for. Features include:
- Q&A: Host moderated Q&A sessions, and enable attendees to upvote questions they want answered.
- Polls: Run multiple polls in different configurations. Share results in real-time, or analyze them after the event.
- Dynamic Surveys: Combine multiple polls into one single survey, and distribute it before, during, or after the event.
- Pulse: Attendees can react at any time to what’s being said, creating an accurate “pulse” of attendee sentiment throughout the meeting.
- Ideas: Encourage attendees to submit innovative ideas by creating topic threads where everyone can submit ideas, vote on them, and add comments.
- Materials: Ensure everyone is prepared by sharing meeting materials, links, and files ahead of the beginning of the meeting.
- Raffles: Boost engagement with raffles that randomly select a member of your audience as a winner. Use them as ice breakers or a technique to collect emails.
- Announce: Quickly send an announcement to all meeting attendees to share important updates.
- Video: Use MeetingPulse’s video solution, or integrate MeetingPulse’s audience engagement tools with a range of third party tools for video conferencing, webinars, and live streams.
- Agenda: Allow attendees to drive the agenda by crowdsourcing topics from your audience.
- Schedule: Create and share event schedules to keep your meeting attendees on track and make sure your event runs smoothly.
- Chat (Beta): Enable real-time messaging and free-flowing conversations with an all-new live chat feature.
There’s also a host of event management and security tools to ensure that your event remains secure and on-track.
Poll Everywhere: Features and Functionality
Poll Everywhere offers four key audience engagement modules, although there are a lot of different options within these features, particularly within polling. Features include:
- Polls: Users can create a variety of polls, including multiple-choice, rank order, clickable image, open-ended, and more.
- Q&A: Attendees can submit questions and vote on the questions they most want answers to. On premium plans, questions can be moderated.
- Multiple Choice Quizzes: Meeting organizers can create a series of questions, and assign correct answers to each. Grading can be done in just a couple of clicks.
- Word Clouds: A word cloud can be generated from attendee responses to capture how the audience is feeling about a certain topic. Word clouds update in real-time as responses are submitted.
Both MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere offer a selection of tiers, giving users the option to select the pricing plan that best fits the needs of their organization. PollEverywhere also offers one-time event plans geared towards large, one-off events.
MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere both offer free tiers, which means it’s easy for potential customers to test out the software before committing to a monthly or annual subscription. Both platforms offer an entry-level subscription for $120/yr, which allow users to run unlimited meetings for up to 700 attendees.
For larger organizations, there’s a range of options. Premium tiers come in at around $200/mo on both platforms. On MeetingPulse, the Premium tier is available for $192/mo, with features including custom branding, moderated Q&A, and a managed sign-in process. With Poll Everywhere, the premium tier, branded Teams, is $199/mo, and also includes custom branding, alongside other features like the ability to pin questions during presentations.
Both MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere offer custom pricing for enterprise users, with plans offering more robust security features, larger audience sizes, custom reporting, and increased levels of customer support.
Additionally, Poll Everywhere offers a range of different pricing options for educational institutions. MeetingPulse offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and is committed to price matching other audience engagement software platforms. As far as we can tell, Poll Everywhere offers neither of these options.
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Needs
Both MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere offer a wide range of audience engagement features that help organizations take their virtual and hybrid events to the next level. When it comes to deciding which is best for your organization, it’s really a question of which platform best meets your needs.
MeetingPulse and Poll Everywhere are both rated highly by reviewers. On Capterra, MeetingPulse receives a 4.8/5.0 rating, whereas Poll Everywhere scores 4.5/5.0. On the whole, MeetingPulse does offer organizations more ways to engage with their audience, and has features which are perhaps better suited for the needs of business users and event producers.
The core set of features on Poll Everywhere is perhaps better suited to the education market, and integrations with leading learning management systems like Blackboard offer a clear point of differentiation.
Before making a decision, it makes sense to use each product for a trial event. Fortunately, both platforms offer free versions, so you can try them both out before committing.