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sli.do: Q&A and Polls for Conferences and Events [Review]

By Julius Solaris

This article is the first of our newest section, Startup Reviews. The first #eventtech tool we will look at is sli.do, a live response tool for conferences and events with panels or Q&A.

While we will keep covering startups in our monthly roundup, Reviews are more in depth analysis of the features and applications of the latest tools.

In this section I will test the products for you, give you the pros and cons and key information about every app.

So let's kick off.

Sli.do_ Review

sli.do: What Is it?

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Sli.do is a web-based Q&A and polling platform for live events for attendees to ask questions and vote in live polls via their phones, tablets or computers. You may remember them as they won the Event Technology Award for Best Startup in 2013.

sli.do consists of 3 main views:

1. Audience View. Participants can join by entering a simple code via their phones, tablets or computers and use it to ask their questions or vote in polls.

2. Presentation View. This can be used to display the top questions or live poll results to everyone in the audience

3. Admin View. For the organizer to moderate incoming questions and control polls.

Review

One of the benefits of using sli.do is that it is super easy to set up and lets attendees immediately connect with the event, without downloading any app. Just enter a code and you are immediately connected with the audience view. This is the attendee control centre. From here you can answer polls (if any) or ask questions.

A study found out that we are more scared of public speaking than dying. In this perspective asking a question via the interface is a great way to involve your introverted audience.

One of the aspects that struck me the most about sli.do is the simplicity of the platform and the great user experience. As an attendee selecting an answer for a poll is super easy, as much as asking a question.

The presentation view is amazingly engaging. You can see live Tweets flowing on screen as well as the most voted questions. That's in fact one of the features I loved the most about sli.do. Attendees can vote for the most interesting questions to be asked to speakers. This user generated capability avoids repeating the same question all over again while engaging those who may not have a question.

As for the organiser, the features are quite enticing. You can display a brief overview of the agenda, have multiple rooms and concurrent polls. In the agenda you can also link presentations so that attendees can download them after the event. One thing to note is that moderation of questions is only in the basic paid plan, no filter will be applied to questions with the free version.

Kick-ass feature is the infographic generator. Sli.do creates an infographic with stats and the most interesting content generated. You can use this as a session recap for the audience or present it to your boss to show the engagement you managed to achieve.

Features

Here are the most significant features sli.do will bring to your event:

Questions
- Moderation (requires ENJOY or higher package)
- Highlight (moves selected question to the top)
- Download questions from the archive

Polls
- Multiple-options poll (Single Answer, Multiple Answers)
- Open text poll
- Rating poll (define range)
- Group poll (click on ‘add question’) – allows you to ask several polls at once (requires PRO or higher package)
- Review all results

Twitter
- Enable Twitter and input an event hashtag
- Turn on/off the Twitter moderation (requires ENJOY or higher package)

Prezi (BETA)
- Insert live polls seamlessly into Prezi
- Insert Q&A seamlessly into Prezi

Multiple tracks
- turn on/off more concurrent sli.do streams (requires PRO or higher package)

Analytics (BETA)
- See the event content overview (best questions and poll results)
- Generate and customize the event infographic
- Share the infographic with the best event content

Who Is It For?

Sli.do is the perfect solution for any conference or meeting having Q&A sessions or panels. While the product is free to use in its basic offering, therefore perfect for smaller events, it is ideal for large events where hundreds of questions come through social media or apps.

Other types of events that may benefit are hybrid events, internal meetings and pitch competitions.

If you are looking to add engagement to your event, this is a great addition. You should work with sli.do and get as many speakers as possible on board. Polls are a great way to break the monotony of too many slides and frontal interaction.

If you've noticed not so many questions coming from the audience, sli.do is also a good solution to break the ice.

Pros and Cons

Pros.

- Sli.do is the perfect tool if you are looking for a quick way to run polls and Q&A sessions.

- It's easy to use and to set up. It takes minutes to go live.

- It has custom features that make it different from other platforms. Think Prezi integration, Top Questions, Infographic generator

Cons

- Lack of Moderation for the free version can be scary to some. Yet again small events can perfectly do without.

- Live slidesharing would be an awesome addition (although I heard it's coming)

- No wifi, no party. If your venue has no wifi, you can't use it.

Price and Plans

BASIC: The Basic plan is ideal for small informal events where moderation is not required.This plan is FREE.

ENJOY: The Enjoy plan fits workshops or internal corporate events, where privacy is important. This is $199 a month.

PRO: The PRO plan is perfect for medium or larger events that require custom branding, unlimited polls or using sli.do simultaneously in multiple rooms. This is $349 a month.

PREMIUM: The Premium plan offers additional features such as Agenda, Slide-sharing or Networking as well as dedicated support. It can be used as an affordable alternative to some of the more expensive mobile apps. This is $999 a month.

Substantial savings if you sign up for the whole year.

In Conclusion

Sli.do is a cool tool in a very hot category: live polling and Q&A. The benefits of implementing such features in traditional, boring, frontal presentations is immense.

I can't seem to find intrinsic negatives in sli.do. It's easy to use and very accessible thanks to its free version.

Disclosure: Startup Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the startup. If you have any question please use the contact us section.

about the author

Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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