How the Techshare Pro audience responded to Slido

We set out to make TechShare Pro, our flagship accessible technology conference, as inclusive an Screen shot of mobile phone showing Slido app questions from Techshare Pro audience to the  main stageexperience as possible. This included the audience participation elements. In the run up to the event, we worked with Question & Answer (Q&A) tech platform Slido to make their app more inclusive so we could road test it at the event.  Here's how we got on at Techshare Pro...

Our Head of Marketing & Communications at AbilityNet, Mark Walker, introduced our journey with Slido during the welcome session. Just a few minutes later audience questions started to appear on the screens of our devices. The first few questions were more about people saying hello to Mark on stage, but quickly the tool was started to be used in all seriousness.

“Is Slido a good way to improve accessibility at events?”

Over the course of the day we had around 200 questions from our delegates and around 240 likes (people showing support for someone else’s question) to help order the relevance of the questions. The most popular question on the main stage was actually a question about Slido itself: “Is Slido a good way to improve accessibility at events? Tick if the answer is yes. From Mark on stage!”.  With 10 likes, it seemed our audience agreed. 

We used Slido throughout the day and In the conference breakout sessions the most popular question was “How do you select the users apart from their disabilities?”, a question asked to RNIB and Google during the user research talk.

Digital questions are trackable questions

Other than being able to capture everyone’s questions during the day, and providing an accessible platform for people to interact with, using a digital Q&A platform also means you can track topics and analyse the results. For example, the most frequent word used in the questions was, no surprises here, ‘accessibility’! Barclays, Google or Apple were also popular topics. Having that insight into the topics that interested our audience is invaluable for planning TechShare Pro 2019. 

Lessons learned for the next event

This was our first event using Slido and the feedback on the day in person, on screen and on social media was very positive. Our Q&A’s are now more inclusive and the questions asked were definitely more interesting for everyone. 

For the next event we have learned that we probably need to have a dedicated screen for Slido during the talks to make it more present for the audience. In the sessions where Slido was on screen all the time, we had more questions of a better quality from our delegates.

We now know more about the admin part of the platform and have discovered some little tricks that help us to be quicker. And at this year’s conference we will probably start using the polling functionality to interact more with our audience.

Improving accessibility through partnership

We set out to make TechShare Pro more accessible and inclusive and we achieved this by working in partnership with Slido. It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with their enthusiastic, determined and hard-working team. I would like to give my very special thanks to Klara Sarkanyova for helping us during the process and on the day. 

Slido now can say that by working with our accessibility consultants they have made the process of asking a question easier not only for people too shy to put their hands up, but also for people with speech disabilities, dexterity issues or language barriers.  

Questions, anyone?

Related articles:

Part 1 - How assistive technology can increase interaction at events