Typically, as you already are no doubt aware, to gather questions and feedback from an audience at an event or meeting, microphones are either strategically placed around the room, or a roaming wireless set is passed around. In March 2014, Crowd Mics launched an iOS and android app that converts smartphones and tablets into microphones that allows the participating audience member to be heard over the sound system, negating the need and expense of extra equipment. The team here at Outsourced Events thought this was a very interesting new addition to event technology, so investigated a little further and plan to trial it at a future date.
So how does it work?
Whilst Crowd Mics doesn’t need to be connected to the internet, it does require the presenter and all members of the audience to be connected to the same wireless router. This could be a stand alone or via the venue’s wifi system.
The speaker on stage plugs a smartphone into the room’s sound system and creates a name and access code for the event in the Crowd Mics app. Audience members download the app and enter the code to join the event. When they want to ask a question or make a comment, they tap their phones, and the presenter will see a list of people who want to talk in the order they came online. The presenter can enable an individual microphone, mute a microphone, or put the system in “open mic” mode so anyone can comment. Audience members can also submit text comments to the presenter through the Crowd Mics app, and the system offers basic polling functions.
Crowd Mics is free for audience members. The event organizer, presenter, or venue pays for access to the system based on the size of the crowd. It’s free for 20 people or fewer, and then starts at $25 for 50 participants.
Our initial thoughts are that this is a great way to encourage audience participation as everyone likes to ply with technology! A link to the app could be included in your event collateral to encourage the audience to download it before the day. What we find really great, however, is the queueing system, it means that people don’t have to wave frantically to be seen. The amplification then becomes a bonus.
If you need any help managing your events, then call Denise at Outsourced Events on +44 (0)208 995 9495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org